Links and Comments: Roy Moore and Religious Hypocrisy

The Roy Moore scandal fascinates me for several reasons.

First, because Roy Moore has been a villain, a sort of comic-book villain, for years and years, among progressives who observe his brand of religious zealotry as a sign of the most regressive aspects of American society (especially in the South). He’s a Biblical fundamentalist; he insists on mounting monuments about the Ten Commandments in defiance of law (and regardless of the fact that our judicial system does not, in fact, endorse all of those commandments — the law does not insist on worshiping one god, closing on Sundays, etc. etc.) Again and again, I think religious zealots are just not too bright; they basically don’t understand, or refuse to understand, the American system of government.

And second, because the support for Moore reveals the deep hypocrisy of the religious right. Apparently, as far as I can gather, they’ll support Moore (and Trump) because the conservative agenda, especially the drive to repeal Row v. Wade [which, even if accomplished, would leave progressive blue states with laws that permit abortion], overrides any concern about the morality of elected officials.

Many items to link, of which here are just a few.

Right Wing Watch: Roy Moore: A History of Bigotry, Extremism and Contempt for the Rule of Law

A comprehensive catalog, that includes his contempt for gays, whom he would outlaw.

Slate: One Group That Thinks Grown Men “Courting” Teen Girls Is Natural? Fundamentalist Home-Schoolers.

No surprise here. Morality in the world has progressed over the past two millennia; those who adhere to Biblical morality have not. (Much evidence in Steven Pinker’s history of the world The Better Angels of Our Nature, which I’m still working my way through.)

Joe.My.God: Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks Stands By Moore: The Right Wing Agenda Is More Important Than Sex Charges

The hypocrisy of the right.

Slate: We’ve Always Known Roy Moore Is Lawless: “It’s why Alabama Republicans voted for him.”

Via Morning Heresy, Max Boot in USA Today says the Moore episode has to be the last straw for the Republican Party, which just needs to die now:

In the final analysis, no indictment of their candidate will convince the faithful. As Trump once said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Or, more to the point, Roy Moore could molest a 14-year-old girl and not lose votes. Because for Republican partisans, their opponents are “the forces of evil,” and anything is preferable to that. Even Donald Trump. Even Roy Moore. So in ostensibly fighting evil, Republicans have become complicit in it.

This is a party that does not deserve to survive.

More to the point– Valerie Tarico at Alternet: Alabama Conservatives Are Right: Roy Moore’s Behavior Is Perfectly Biblical—and That Is the Problem

Citing Biblical passages about the ownership of women, how rape is a violation not of the woman but of her male owner, and so on.

Another example of primitive morality, that has been overcome in the modern world.

The Bible contains fragments that are uplifting and beautiful—verses that contain timeless wisdom and elevate humanity’s shared moral core. But that’s not all it contains. When it comes to relationships between women and men, the contents of the Bible confront modern Jews and Christians with a difficult choice. Believers can treat the “good book” as the literal and perfect word of God or they can embrace an egalitarian view of men and women, one in which sexual intimacy is rooted in shared desire and consent. These two options are mutually exclusive, and people who say otherwise are engaged in a desperate attempt to protect the Bible from itself.

Roy Moore has made his choice. You can call him disgusting or vile or sexist, but don’t use the word hypocrite. Moore is living the script.

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