How I’d vote in the Alabama senatorial election

I’m completely aware that the title is presumputous!  I don’t live or vote in Alabama–although it is my native state–and in some ways might as well be chiming in on the alderman’s race in Jasper, Alabama.

But a pastor friend in that state sent the question: “How would you vote if you lived here?”

The quandary–for those who live outside the western hemisphere or in some distant future–is that the two primary candidates are Judge Roy Moore, Republican, who has been accused by a number of women of sexual overtures of one kind or other years ago when they were minors and he was an adult of 30 or so, and Doug Jones, Democrat, who espouses the party line in support of abortion and the usual liberal politics.  There are a thousand details, but these two matters cause the ethical dilemma of my friend and many others like him.

The charges and counter charges, accusations and denials, have been swift and many concerning Judge Moore.  Proving something that was merely verbal and occurred forty years ago is next to impossible. This means–unless I’m missing something–Judge Moore can do what Supreme Court nominee (and later Justice) Clarence Thomas did: deny, deny, and deny.  It was Thomas’ word against Anita Hill.  In this case, it’s Moore’s word against a half-dozen women.

The voters become the jury.

Many a voter, I expect, would desert Judge Moore in a heartbeat if the Democrats gave them a good alternative.  But to elect a liberal candidate in a conservative state, one who spouts tired old lines like “a woman has the right over her own body; abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor,” is anathema to most Bible believers.  Alabama rightly boasts a huge percentage of Christian people who take these things seriously.  (The answer to those shibboleths, of course, is merely “We’re not talking about a woman’s body, but the body of another human being inside her.”  And “Anyone who says abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor is forgetting someone: the child.”)

So, what is the faithful Bible-believing, Christ-honoring voter to do?

Here is what I told my friend…

One.  I’d like to see the voter agonize over the decision.

Some voters have been so hasty in dismissing the accusations against Moore as just political smearing that you come to one conclusion and one only:  It hardly matters what Moore has done in the past; they are dead-set on electing him. Period.   At the very least, I’d like God’s people to demonstrate that these accusations matter, that the character of the candidates is important, and that they are truly seeking God’s will in this.

What if it were your daughter who was accosted by some older man?  And she was so intimidated she kept it to herself?  And now that she tells it, people turn on her as though she is the culprit?  Even the possibility of that is enough to make a Christ-follower think twice before dismissing her story.  If she is indeed a victim I want to show mercy toward her and give serious thought to what it means about the candidate.

Two. I’d like to hear some Christian compassion in the conversation.

Some have been quick to brand the accusers as liars and to call candidate Doug Jones a “baby-killer” for his position on abortion.

Are abortionists baby-killers?  An abortionist doctor or nurse, yes, for my money.  No question.  But how about a political candidate who has never hurt a child and is merely spouting his party line?  That doesn’t mean I’d vote for him, but God’s people can do better than call them baby-killers.

You wonder if people realize that harshness and unkindness in their support of a candidate actually turns off the very people they’re trying to persuade.   The thoughtful voter who struggles to decide is less likely to vote for the candidate whose supporters look and sound like a mob, ready to stone anyone who assails their candidate.

Three.  I’d keep reading and listening, and not decide until the last minute unless the Lord said otherwise.  Stay informed.  Read both sides, from negative and positive.  Make an informed decision.

Four.  I’d probably keep my decision to myself. 

In at least two elections in my lifetime, some of us felt we had no other recourse than “to hold our nose and cast our vote.”  We were not proud of whom we elected, but chose the one we considered the lesser of two evils.

When the wife of a pastor friend said to me rather curtly, “You don’t even live in Alabama, so stay out of this,” I replied that while that is true, the entire nation will be affected by the choice they make. “We’re not electing a dog-catcher of Opp, but a United States Senator who will make laws governing all of us.”

We all have a dog in this fight, I’m afraid.

God help us.  God lead us. God bless America.




9 thoughts on “How I’d vote in the Alabama senatorial election

  1. I continue to say we were all once young and naive to the way of the world. I worked for a judge when I was a teenager and heard things I should not have been exposed to. There was more than one lawyer who delighted in explicit detail not needed to be said at times. They loved embarrassing me. I never once thought of telling anyone. Most of these folks are deceased but why in the world would I hold anything against them all these years later?! I know that if we had time to do over these men and the judge who heard them would react differently as would I as an adult. I would vote for Moore .

  2. Pastor, Very wise advice. I appreciate you addressing a difficult issue. As with many of your articles, I’m going to file this one away. I may need to use it in the future. Blessings to you and your family.

  3. Judge Moore has only been accused…he has character witnesses and people who have known him for decades say that these allegations couldn’t be true. He’s God fearing and God believing. We all know that his beliefs are the main reason why he is being accused in the first place. Liberals don’t want him in. Period. Since when did being accused of something make a person guilty? Shame on you, pastor. You’re lumping him in with someone who believes that killing babies is ok. I don’t believe Moore is guilty at all. There are too many women crying wolf and I’m sick and tired of the nonsense.

    • When a prominent Southern Baptist Pastor cannot take a clear stand against a candidate who favors abortion vs. a candidate who has merely been accused of misdeeds (without a shred of credible evidence) over 35 years ago – then there is something sorely lacking in the moral and ethical fabric of the leadership of the Convention.

      Southern Baptists need a revival – but before they will ever have one, they’ll have to fall on their faces in repentance before a Divine and Holy God.

  4. That is a very sensible approach (and one I have definitely tried to be taking).

    The original report by the Washington Post (including Leigh Corfman’s more serious charge as well as accusations that Moore was – at best – kind of a creeper who had an unusual affection for teenage girls while he was in his 30’s) seems pretty solid and corroborated.

    The involvement of Gloria Allred with another accuser rightfully sends up some red flags…but only about that particular accusation.

    In other words, the accusations as a whole should not be so easily dismissed or glossed over.

    I think a lot of folks here are simply stuck in not wanting to believe these things…so they are choosing instead to want to discredit the accusers.

    Jones is a no-go for me as well. So, definitely have a dilemma. I think I know what I will do, just need to keep praying about it.

  5. It is sad that in an entire state these are the best two people that the state can offer. It looks like both are the worst yet no one is howling to the state party that their chosen candidate is bad. When you vote based on only one issue, you get what you deserve and the rest of us believe that you are backward.

    • Unfortunately, with our election process, almost never do we have “the two best people the state can offer.” Those people generally choose not to subject themselves to the scrutiny, pressure, and ordeal of a long candidacy, so we end up with a smaller group who are willing to endure the pain for what they perceive as the gain. Sometimes it works out; often it doesn’t. Sad.

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