…the issue is not what words these candidates deploy… the issue is whether common sense and reason permit us to trust them. (It’s a Matter of Trust))
So how can we know that a tree is bad; by judging its fruit in light of God’s word, rather than relying on information derived exclusively derived from our own faculties. Using Obama as an example, one of his fruits appears to be making sure that abortion and infanticide are sanctioned as right and lawful. God’s will for us condemns the taking of innocent life. Obama’s fruit is contrary to God’s will. (How to tell a bad tree)
Because of a story in the Washington Post, allegations of sexual misconduct with an underage teenage girl have been deployed to defame the character of Roy Moore in the special election for the United States Senate seat in Alabama. 53-year-old Leigh Corfman alleges that, when she was 14, Moore, who was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney at the time, took her to his home and made sexual advances, short of sexual intercourse.
In a statement issued by his campaign, former Alabama Chief Justice Moore emphatically described the report as a “completely false and desperate political attack” and “the very definition of fake news. The report also says that “three other women interviewed by the Washington Post in recent weeks say Moore pursued them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18, when he was in his early 30s…. None of the three women say that Moore forced them into any sort of relationship or sexual contact.”
The Washington Post is well known for its bias against public figures like Judge Moore, who bear unwavering witness to God’s authority over just human governments and politics. Therefore, it makes sense to think through the possibility that the content and timing of the WP story have been engineered to demoralize and intimidate Christian voters, whose goodwill makes them the solid core of Judge Moore’s political supporters.
Perhaps it is simply a coincidence that, in recent weeks we have seen a cascading torrent of reports about the culture of coercive, exploitative pedophilia and sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. This cascade has generated a corresponding wave of passionate moral indignation. The Post’s story is, as it were, a turbine, engineered to capture, direct and focus that indignation into a force capable of disrupting the very foundation of Judge Moore’s US Senate campaign.
Only one charge against Judge Moore involves criminal behavior. When made pursuant to law, any conclusion about the truth of the charge is subject to due process of law, which includes the presumption of innocence. Of course, allegations published during a political campaign, and tried in the court of public opinion are, de facto subject to no such constraint. Election is an exercise of sovereign power, in which the voters end up being judge, jury and executioner, at least insofar as the outcome of the election is concerned.
Given the time and circumstances of an election campaign, the presumption of innocence would require judgment against the plaintiff, since no proper trial can take place. But if that presumption is denied, the burden of proof shifts to the accused, who may therefore be required to prove a negative, not just once but in respect of a multitude of accusations. Furthermore, the judge cannot be impartial, nor the jury strictly charged to judge according to the evidence and the law, not when the whole framework of the election is predicated on partisan division. This would require unbiased partisanship, and partisan objectivity— which is plainly oxymoronic.
Due process exists so that criminal accusations can be justly tried. But politically damaging allegations made in the heat of political battle make due process impossible. Moreover, when exercising their sovereign power to choose governmental officials, it is not just for voters to take no account of the public interest, the common good, since the sovereign is, above all, accountable to serve and preserve them both.
With all this in mind, what should a conscientious voter do? In the limited time available, between the publication of a charge and Election Day; and given an environment inevitably charged with partisan bias, that extends to the voters themselves, no judgment “beyond a reasonable doubt” is likely, nor even one based on the preponderance of the evidence. In cases of allegations of sexual misconduct, much of that evidence usually consists of conflicting witness testimony. Like the political decision involved in the election, the evaluation of evidence comes down to the simple question “Who do who trust?”
There was a time when a public figure who was well and favorably known to the people, would be more trusted on that account. But in recent years, confessed sexual misconduct from people in that position—including elected officials as high as the President; actors and actresses held in great affection; as well as spiritual and religious figures implicitly trusted for their wisdom and good faith—have all disappointed people who presumed to trust in them.
Does this growing distrust mean that voters will reflexively back away from anyone accused of misconduct during an election? If so, instead of a government of, by and for the people we will have government by calumny, which is to say, by lies brazenly asserted and widely dispersed. Such a government favors the rule of the elitist few, who usually wield superior power over the means of public communication; and the resources need to purchase the props and testimony required to make and widely disseminate allegations that seem plausible enough to stampede voters in the late stages of an election.
The Washington Post’s story has the air of just such a stampeding ploy. The core allegation of criminal behavior is plausible enough, though it never escapes the “he said, she said” dilemma of conflicting testimony about allegedly intimate activities, viewed through the lens of decades of time, and possibly suspect present motives. The one plausibly criminal charge is set is in a frame of supposedly corroborating testimony, none of which involves any actual crime. Even their impropriety is a matter of widely variably subjective judgments, since not sexual contact is alleged, only old-fashioned romantic interest.
It’s doubtful that any of these allegations have much—if any—evidentiary weight. One concludes that the elitist faction powers-that-be are depending on a prejudiced environment, and the skillful arrangement of facts that don’t even involve misconduct, to carry the day against Roy Moore at the polls. But Christian voters are admonished by Christ not to judge matters of character simply by words, however skillfully manipulated. Nor even by deeds, however plausibly portrayed. We are to judge by fruits, good or bad. By this measure, Roy Moore’s life hangs heavy with good fruit of his sacrificial witness to God’s authority, and its consequences for human justice and rights, including liberty. Christ was condemned by the testimony of false witnesses to hang upon a cross intended for shame. But that calumny itself served to reveal the evidence of God’s power in Him, for truth
Roy Moore’s life gives just such evidence as Christ requires of faith bearing fruit, in sacrificially enacted testimony, which has brought increase to the harvest of God. Judge Moore’s consistent witness thus impels me to trust that he was good seed, even in his youth. In any case, encroaching thorns did not choke off the promise of that youth, which, it seems, was evident to the Lord he even then professed to serve. So, if I lived in Alabama, I would cast my vote for Roy Moore, trusting more in God’s witness than that of the Washington Post. I would do so with absolute confidence that He means to finish what, the work of his Kingdom in Moore’s life.