“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
This morning there is an obvious answer, yes! But, should it be enough? That is a different question altogether. I know people in my profession (Pastor) who have lost their jobs because someone accused them os sexual misconduct who were later exonerated. Of course, I also know some who were guilty and lost their job. Roy Moore lost the senate election last night to a democrat in a heavily republican state because of such allegations. The question of guilt is a question that has not been answered in the court of law or by any other official body of which I am aware.
I didn't follow the election in Alabama very closely because I can't vote in that election. My feelings about the election this morning are rather indifferent, but the election raises a moral question that is worth exploring. If all it takes is allegations of misconduct against an opponent then we are in big trouble. How many false allegations are in the future? On the other hand, if these allegations are true in Roy Moore's case then God forbid that we should elect him to public office. How should we see this election?
The election itself was not a trial. Roy Moore is not found guilty because he lost the election. I suppose it is possible that he is innocent of all the allegations. There are certainly some questions about why these allegations were not brought up years ago, why aren't there more recent allegations, etc. Roy Moore's political career is probably over, but then again, there have been some real slime-balls who have had long political careers, even after something like this. It is also quite possible that he is guilty as sin.
An election is not the court of law and it shouldn't be seen that way. Just as Roy Moore is not guilty simply because he lost an election, so to he would not have been declared innocent in any legal manner if he had been elected. Voters don't declare innocence or guilt, thankfully; voters do make decisions based on what they believe the character, competencies, and worldview of a candidate are and how that would impact the city, county, state, or country they live in. The voters of Alabama made that decision, I hope they made the right decision. To knowingly elect a sexual predator to congress would set a dangerous precedent, just as refusing to elect someone simply because allegations were made would be equally as bad. Fortunately, that is not what was done; the voters of Alabama made a judgment call about Roy Moore's character based on the information they had. Whether they got it right or wrong, they did their job, they made a judgment call.
That's what we do in elections, we make judgment calls about whether a person has the character, competencies, and right world view to effectively lead in a particular capacity.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.