The Roy Moore of Moscow

Hangover From Last Year

“The unjust knows no shame.” Zephaniah 3:5

Late last year when Judge Roy Moore endured one humiliating scandal after another (though he proved shameless), I kept noticing similarities between Judge Moore and Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. Here are some comparisons:

Above the Law

Roy Moore and Douglas Wilson reckon themselves above the law. More specifically, each man reckons himself the law. This lawlessness is the chief principle that animates both men. For example, Judge Roy Moore was twice removed from the Supreme Court of Alabama for flouting the decisions of higher courts. He thought himself above the law. Thus Judge Moore defied the Supreme Court of the United States on Obergefell v. Hodges:

“until further decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, the existing orders of the Alabama Supreme Court that Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to the Alabama Sanctity of Marriage Amendment or the Alabama Marriage Protection Act remain in full force and effect.” (Wikipedia)

Likewise, Douglas Wilson instructed his followers to defy the Obergefell decision. He too thinks himself above the law:

“The end game here is not armed revolution. The end game is simply a refusal to cooperate with their revolution. Make them fire or impeach faithful officials. Once removed, such faithful officials should run for office again with a promise to continue to defy all forms of unrighteous despotism.” (Blog & Mablog, In Which I Paint With Some Bright Yellows, Sep. 2, 2015)

Notice that Doug Wilson defines “faithful officials” as those who obey his law, not federal law.

Child Rape

Judge Roy Moore and Douglas Wilson argued for mitigating circumstances to defend the perpetrator in child rape cases. Judge Moore did this a few times. Here is one example:

“Among Moore’s 10 dissents was the case of David Pittman, who had pleaded guilty to the rape of a 12-year-old girl. Moore in September 2015 said that Pittman ought to have been allowed to present evidence to court indicating that the girl had been sexually active and had a sexually transmitted disease.” (The Guardian, Nov. 14, 2017)1

In the following quote, and elsewhere, Doug Wilson implied that a secret relationship justified rape:

“They did this by inviting Jamin to move in with them, encouraging and permitting a relationship between Jamin and Natalie, while keeping that relationship secret from the broader community. They thought (and were led to believe by Jamin) that the relationship was sexually pure, but they did know it was a relationship between a man in his mid-twenties and their fourteen-year-old daughter, and they helped to create the climate of secrecy.” (Statement to Officer Green, Aug. 22, 2005, emphasis original)

“Secrecy” does not justify child rape. Not even in Alabama.

Homeschool Textbooks

Judge Roy Moore contributed to a textbook for homeschoolers:

“Alabama Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore co-authored a study course, published in 2011 and recently obtained by ThinkProgress, that instructs students that women should not be permitted to run for elected office. If women do run for office, the course argues, people have a moral obligation not to vote for them. The course is also critical of the women’s suffrage movement, which in 1920 secured some American women the right to vote.” (ThinkProgress, Nov. 29, 2017)

Similarly, Douglas Wilson is the “General Editor” of the six-volume Omnibus textbook series, which contains cover-to-cover plagiarized text.

Homosexual Red Herrings

Judge Moore and Doug Wilson change the subject to homosexuality when their regular messaging fails. Thus Roy Moore:

During his sermon-like speech Wednesday night, Moore again dismissed the women’s claims as “false and malicious,” blaming the raft of stories about his alleged misconduct on a “conspiracy” cooked up by “Democrats pushing a liberal agenda” who have “tried unsuccessfully” to ruin his campaign.

“When I say they who are ‘they?’” he told the clapping congregation. “They’re liberals. They don’t hold conservative values. They are the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender who want to change our culture. They are socialists who want to change our way of life and put man above God and the government is our God. They’re the Washington establishment . . . who don’t want to lose their power.” (BuzzFeed News, Nov. 29, 2017)

In 2003–2004 Douglas Wilson scandalized the Palouse with his self-described “paleo-Confederate” views of slavery. When his argument failed to persuade locals, he changed the subject:

“But this controversy is not really about slavery at all. It is about the sin of homosexual behavior, and the abomination of homosexual marriages, which the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution is about to impose on all 50 states, courtesy of Massachusetts. As believing Christians resist this monstrosity, they naturally will appeal to the Bible. The response to this from the other side is we surely cannot countenance ancient wisdom from Leviticus, for that book also prohibits mixed fabrics and clam chowder, and allows for slavery. But will we as Christians apologize for any aspect of the word of God? The short answer is no.” (Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Leftist screeching has accomplished little, Jan. 9, 2004)

Contra Doug Wilson, no text of Scripture authorizes race-based chattel slavery just as no verse of the Bible prohibits same-sex marriage.

Opposition to Certain Constitutional Amendments

Here Judge Roy Moore affirms repealing all constitutional amendments after the tenth:

“That [voiding all constitutional amendments after the 10th] would eliminate many problems. . . .” (CNN, Dec. 11, 2017)2

Here Douglas Wilson “laments” the damage caused by the Thirteenth Amendment:

“But who cannot but lament the damage to both white and black that has occurred as a consequence of the way it was abolished? We are forced to say that, in many ways, the remedy which has been applied has been far worse than the disease ever was.” (Douglas Wilson & Steve Wilkins, Southern Slavery As It Was, emphasis original)

You have to read this carefully. When Doug Wilson laments “the way it was abolished,” he refers to the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. When he writes “the remedy which has been applied,” he means freeing the slaves. The “disease” was slavery; the “remedy” was freeing the slaves; and “the way” was the Thirteenth Amendment. Doug Wilson was “forced to say” that freeing the slaves “has been far worse” than slavery.

Politically Factious

Roy Moore and Douglas Wilson polarized the GOP, as well as their respective communities. Here are two headlines on Judge Moore:

“Alabama Senate Race Aggravates Deep Divide in Republican Party” (The New York Times, Nov. 16, 2017)

“GOP Fractures on Roy Moore’s Bid for Alabama Senate Seat” (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 5, 2017)

And here are three headlines on Douglas Wilson:

“Idaho GOP faces the revolt of the dingalings” (Lewiston Morning Tribune, April 15, 1991)

“Idaho conservatives split from the GOP” (Lewiston Morning Tribune, April 16, 1991)

“Community Divide” (Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Oct. 5, 2002)

Pro-Slave Families

Roy Moore and Douglas Wilson hold identical opinions of slave families in the antebellum South. Note Judge Moore’s use of the word “strong”:

“I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another.” (Los Angeles Times, Sept. 21, 2017)

Now notice Doug Wilson’s use of the term “strong”:

“One could argue that the black family has never been stronger than it was under slavery. It was certainly stronger under the southern slave system that it is today under our modern destructive welfare state.” (Douglas Wilson & Steve Wilkins, Southern Slavery As It Was)

Presumably this comment does not include the slave families destroyed by the auction block.

Recalcitrant Jackasses

And here they do a full circle. Both men see themselves as above the law, and both men hold this position like recalcitrant jackasses. Judge Roy Moore lost the Alabama senate election one month ago, yet he still has not conceded:

“Roy Moore is calling for a new special election in Alabama. . . . Moore has refused to concede.” (Fortune, Dec. 28, 2017)

Likewise, when confronted with black-and-white proof of plagiarism, Douglas Wilson refused to admit the obvious, choosing instead to quote Tom Petty:

“And last, rounding things out, do you really think that any of these current tactics are going to get me to back down? Do you not know that I have heeded the exhortations of Tom Petty?” (Blog & Mablog, Plagiarism, Aye, Aug. 4, 2004)

Petty defiance is central to Mr. Wilson’s religion.


Last week one of Judge Moore’s alleged victims filed suit against him for defamation, and the home of another alleged victim burned down — authorities suspect arson. The defamation suit will probably fail and I doubt anyone left fingerprints at the fire. Nevertheless, it’s almost as though Doug Wilson told Judge Moore how to fix the problem: Defame and torch. Works every time.

1 Judge Moore blamed the victims before any women accused him of child molestation.
2 Here are some of the Constitutional amendments that Roy Moore wants voided:

“13th Abolishes slavery, and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime.
14th Defines citizenship, contains the Privileges or Immunities Clause, the Due Process Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and deals with post–Civil War issues.
15th Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on race, color or previous condition of servitude. . . .
19th Prohibits the denial of the right to vote based on sex.” (Wikipedia)


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