In Defense of Judge Roy Moore
If one reads the original Washington Post article on Judge Moore’s supposed harassment of underage “girls” with an open mind, one will conclude that Judge Moore is completely innocent, and that he is the victim of Fake News.
First, a few definitions. I shall call a human female who is under the age of consent, a “girl.” I shall call a human female who is of the age of consent, a “woman.” I shall also define the “age of consent” to be what the legal code of the state of Alabama, both in the 1970s and today, to be the age of consent: 16. This age is above the biological age of consent, which is puberty: menstruation for a woman, pubic hair for a man. In medieval canon law, a woman was thus of the age of consent around 12. In most of current-day Mexico, this is still the age of consent. I am a 70-year-old college professor, and to me, a woman under the age of 30 seems like a young girl. I personally regard none of my female students as women; all are children in my eyes. But I shall reject both the biological age of consent, and my own personal view of the age of consent, and adopt Alabama’s age of consent.
Now read the Post article and assume that the reporters wrote the exact truth about what four human females told them (a big assumption, I grant). Then three of the four claim that Roy Moore dated them when they were women, not girls. And not only did they themselves consent to dating Moore, their families consented to their dating Moore. (Actually, according to one, her family withdrew consent, after which Moore ceased to date her). Furthermore, according to these three women, Moore never went beyond kissing and hugging. Which are the only acts a Christian man is permitted to engage in with a woman not his wife. According to these three women, Moore consistently acted as the Christian he claims to have been, and claims to be now.
The fourth human female told the Post reporters a completely different story. She claims that not only did Moore date her when she was a girl of fourteen, but that he also undressed her, and exposed himself. Notice the differences between this single claim and the other three reports: In a single case, Moore, a trained lawyer, dated jailbait. In this single case, Moore behaved in a dishonorable manner to a girl, not a woman. In this single case, we have reasons, given in the Post article, to doubt the claim: the accuser has been married three times, and has been in bankruptcy twice.
A commonsense view of human behavior is that bad guys repeat their MOs. Willie Sutton did not stop with a single bank robbery. Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, and Bill Cosby have numerous rape accusers, not just one. Yet we are asked to believe a single report of mere sexual misbehavior, which is not even a claim of statutory rape.
On the basis of the Post article alone, I would have no doubt that Judge Moore dated young women when he was a young man in his early 30s. It is irrelevant that these women were in their late teens. They were of the age of consent, and hence women, not girls. It was my own experience in my thirties that women preferred older men. My own wife is six years my junior. Judge Moore’s wife is fourteen years his junior. (Judge Moore was 38 when he married his wife of 24, which an indication that he preferred younger women -- and that his wife preferred older men.)
Disregarding the single dubious accusation, Judge Moore is accused of behavior which has been considered completely moral for almost the entirety of human history: courting a young women in her teens while being more than ten years older. In contrast, John McCain, who has demanded that Judge Moore resign from the senate race, committed adultery, and divorced his wife to marry the woman with whom he committed adultery.
Notice that I don’t have to write “alleged to have committed adultery.” McCain admits it, because adultery is not only no longer illegal, it is now not even immoral. But for the entirety of human history, adultery has been, not only immoral, but a capital offence (Leviticus 20:10). “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is the Seventh Commandment. No doubt this is real reason the federal judges object to Judge Moore placing the Ten Commandments in his courtroom.
Democrat Doug Jones, Judge Moore’s opponent in the senate election, supports partial birth abortion, which is to say, infanticide. In earlier times, Jones would have been considered not merely immoral, but a homicidal psychopath. Jones, should be elected, fully intends to continue supporting infanticide. Judge Moore will support pro-life Christian morality.
The Alabama voters have a choice. I hope they make the only moral choice.
Frank J. Tipler is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Tulane University. He is the co-author of The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford University Press) and the author of The Physics of Immortality and The Physics of Christianity, both published by Doubleday.