An anti-LGBTQ hate group has defended Senate hopeful Roy Moore amidst numerous allegations of sexual assault by comparing him to Jesus Christ.
Sandy Rios, governmental affairs director for the American Family Association, claimed in a Tuesday broadcast of her radio show that Moore was being persecuted for his religious beliefs. The 70-year-old has been accused by five women of sexual misconduct, one of whom was just 14 years old at the time of the encounter.
“His opinions on marriage, the sanctity of marriage, and the rule of law and the Ten Commandments are so unpalatable to the Washington establishment,” she claimed on the eponymous Sandy Rios in the Morning. “They’re revulsed by that.”
“This is a larger issue,” Rios added. “The focus is on Justice Moore but really he is a proxy for all of us that are believers in Jesus. Now I’m saying in terms of the hatred and vitriol coming his way and the delight, really, in destroying him if they can. It’s what the darkness always does to the light.”
Since the Washington Post first broke the story on Nov. 9, several prominent lawmakers have called upon Moore to drop out of a runoff election against Democrat Doug Jones. The two are currently facing off in a race to fill Jeff Sessions’ vacated Senate seat. Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John McCain (R-Texas), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) urged him to resign, while Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) claimed Congress should vote to “expel” Moore should he be elected.
Rios claimed that there are Biblical parallels to the mass exodus away from the anti-LGBTQ official’s campaign.
“Remember that Jesus himself was accused, but he was completely innocent,” she argued. “Remember that they paid guards to come and lie about whether the stone was rolled away and the body was not there. This is not new.”
A nearly identical argumentthat Moore was experiencing a Christ-like passionwas trotted out by several other of his most ardent defenders on the right.
Alabama state auditor Jim Ziegler claimed that the embattled Republican’s relationships with women decades his junior were comparable to the love between Joseph and Mary: “a teenager and an adult carpenter.” After invoking the Christian lord and savior, Moore’s brother, Jerry, added that his accusers would “have to answer to God for these false allegations.”
The Washington Post report, in which four women publicly went on the record to say that Moore propositioned them as teenagers, was backed up by more than 30 sources.
Leigh Corfman told the paper that in 1979, she was seated with her mother outside of an Alabama courtroom when Moore, then a district attorney, offered to supervise her. When the 32-year-old had Corfman alone, he gave her his number and asked her out. On their second date, he stripped her down to her bra and panties and fondled the 14-year-old over her undergarments.
Following those well-sourced allegations, another woman came forward Monday to claim that Moore attacked her in a parked car and attempted to force her to have sex with him. Beverly Young Nelson, who worked as a waitress, was 16 at the time.
The American Family Association, who led a boycott of Target’s trans-inclusive restrooms last year, isn’t the only anti-LGBTQ entity to stand by its man.
Liberty Counsel, the advocacy group which represented Kim Davis in court, referred to Moore as “a man of integrity who respects women.” Matt Barber, a former vice president for the Florida based-firm,has claimed that the allegations are a “hit job.” Talk radio host Bryan Fischer claimed that Corfman had created a “cottage industry out of making false and slanderous accusations of sexual impropriety against Christian leaders.”
Photography: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call