Source: The New York Times
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — It was a trying week for the people of Alabama, a week of dueling pastoral statements, sinful allegations and claims of religious persecution. And so, on the seventh day, their preachers gave it a rest.
The pastor at the Freedom Church in Gadsden, Ala., who has been friends with the embattled Senate candidate Roy S. Moore for more than 20 years, spoke to his congregation about how God can use one who has failed. At the Living Stones Temple in Birmingham, the black pastor spoke of thanksgiving; at a campus of the Church of the Highlands across town, the white pastor talked of being lost but found by God. But from none of those pulpits was Mr. Moore’s name heard on Sunday morning.
Mr. Moore, one of the loudest and hardest-line voices on the religious right, has been battling a host of allegations that he hounded, harassed or sexually assaulted women as young as 14 when he was in his early 30s. He has denied all the accusations, and insisted that he was being attacked for his faith. In a statement on Saturday he called for his supporters to fight back against “the forces of evil who are attempting to relegate our conservative Christian values to the dustbin of history.”
But Mr. Moore’s claim that the Senate race has become a religious war, and a Christian one at that, has put one group in an awkward position: Christians.