The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been roundly criticized for a policy that requires elders to take seriously allegations of abuse within the faith only if two people were witnesses to it. The Two Witness rule is an absurd standard because, obviously, a lot of abuse takes place in private, with only the abuser and victim in the room. The abuser’s not going to implicate himself. That leaves the victim and… no one else.
Now Christian Right activist Bryan Fischer is informally adopting the same standard when it comes to Roy Moore‘s accusers, saying they aren’t meeting the biblical standard for evidence.
“Until there is a second witness, then we have to say that, biblically, the standard of proof has not yet been met,” he added. “If the standard is innocent until proven guilty, then Roy Moore has to be considered, conceived of in our minds, as somebody who is being falsely accused.”
“These five accusers now, all of them have no corroborating witnesses,” Fischer continued. “What it means, from our standpoint, [is] we don’t have enough evidence yet to be able to reach a conclusion about whether they are telling the truth or not, which means we must withhold judgment.”
One of the victims said, through tears, during a press conference yesterday that Moore once drove her 16-year-old self to a dark, deserted area and tried to “force my head into his crotch.”The only way Fischer will take that allegation seriously is if someone was in the back seat watching the whole thing happen. By his logic, any harassment in an office between employer and employee or any assault that occurs in a bedroom must be summarily dismissed unless there was an audience.
It’s true that there’s a high bar to meet for any legal punishment to be taken against Moore, but the victims aren’t saying Moore should be locked away (even if they believe he should be). They’re sharing their stories to give voters a better sense of a man they know all too well, because he’s conned voters into thinking he’s a man of deep faith and untarnished ethics.
The women know better. They all saw the other side of him. It scared them, traumatized them, and stayed with them for decades as they watched their alleged abuser ascend to incredible positions of power, then lose it, many times over. He’s more powerful now than ever before and one election away from a Senate seat that would have ramifications far beyond Alabama.
As some women speak publicly about their experiences with Moore, others are getting the courage to do the same. They’re using their real names. They’re going in front of the cameras. They’re exposing themselves to further harassment in a state where men like Fischer dominate the landscape — people who don’t take these kinds of allegations seriously because the goalposts in their mind keep moving.
Fischer is relying on a “biblical” standard that the women can never meet. He’s doing that on purpose. He’d rather see an accused pedophile in the Senate than a Democrat who won’t vote in lockstep with white evangelicals.
(via Right Wing Watch)