A former Southern Baptist Convention executive and current adviser to President Trump says a lie detector test would clear up any questions in the public’s mind about whether multiple claims of sexual abuse being made against U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore are true.
Richard Land, former president of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, offered advice to the fellow Southern Baptist under pressure to withdraw from a race for the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a Christian Post column Nov. 18.
“Judge Moore, as a brother in Christ, I implore you, for the sake of your family and your supporters, but even more importantly, for the sake of our Savior and his reputation, to arrange as quickly as possible to take a polygraph test concerning these accusations,” Land advised.
Land, now president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews, N.C., shared platforms with Moore over the years in addressing social issues: Land as top public policy spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention and Moore as a Ten Commandments activist and founder of the Foundation for Moral Law.
While they sometimes disagreed over issues related to religious liberty and the separation of church and state, Land said he always admired Moore’s “tenacity in defending your convictions, often in the face of withering criticism.”
Land, a member of President Donald Trump’s unofficial evangelical advisory board, said he understands that polygraph results are not admissible in a court of law, but the accusations threatening to derail Moore’s political campaign are being made in the court of public opinion.
Unfortunately, Land said, the standard in that tribunal is often presumed guilty unless proven otherwise.
“I am very much aware of the hypocritical double standard applied by the secular media in how harshly they treat conservatives contrasted with their kid-glove treatment of liberals,” Land said. “However, when we publicly profess ourselves to be ‘traditional values’ Christians we are asking to be judged by a different, higher standard than people who make no such claims.”
Land said passing a polygraph would put an end to both attacks on Moore’s candidacy and collateral harm to the Christian witness.
“There is no defense quite as effective as the truth, especially when it is accompanied by the demonstrable proof of the type a successful polygraph test would irrefutably provide,” Land said.
Land is executive editor of the Christian Post, an evangelical news website launched in 2004, but a disclaimer says the views expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the publication’s editorial opinion.
At least six women have accused Moore, 70, of inappropriate advances when he was in his 30s and they were in their teens. Moore denies wrongdoing and blames the scandal on political opponents and media bias.
Moore, winner of a Sept. 26 Republican primary over incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, led Democrat Doug Jones by six percentage points before the Washington Post carried a story Nov. 9 quoting a woman who claimed Moore disrobed and fondled her when he was a 32-year-old district attorney and she was 14.
While some SBC leaders are critical of Moore’s refusal to drop out of the race, the former Ten Commandments Judge continues to find supporters among his evangelical base.
Earl Wise, pastor of Hunter Station Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., who signed a letter endorsing Moore during the GOP primary, told the Boston Globe he would still vote for Moore in the Dec. 12 special election even if the allegations are true, because “there ought to be a statute of limitations on this stuff” and “there are some 14-year-olds, who, the way they look, could pass for 20.”