A letter re-purposed Sunday from Roy Moore’s website falsely indicated that 53 Alabama pastors supported Moore, despite recent allegations of sexual misconduct.
The names of the 53 Alabama pastors originally appeared in an endorsement letter posted to Moore’s campaign website in August. Kayla Moore, wife of the Senate candidate, posted an altered version of the letter Sunday to Facebook, which Alabama.com then reported as a letter of support from the pastors for Moore against the allegations of sexual misconduct. Three pastors commented after the AL article that they had not been contacted about the repurposed letter, and that one of them had not given their permission for their name to be used in the letter at all, after which AL updated its article.
“The list that has recently circulated was evidently copied and pasted from the August endorsements without checking to see if I still endorsed Moore,” said Pastor Thad Endicott of Heritage Baptist Church, who asked that his name be removed from the endorsement.
Tijuanna Adetunji of Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery was the first to contact AL after the article was initially posted, saying “I was not asked about this story or allegations.”
Another pastor named in the letter, Dr. George Grant, is not from Alabama and pastors Parish Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tenn. Grant told WSMV that not only was he never contacted about the letter in any of its forms, but he also had not spoken to Moore in 10 years and did not wish to be embroiled in Alabama politics.
“Not my state. Not my issues,” Grant said.
Five women have accused Moore of initiating inappropriate sexual contact with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. One woman, Leigh Corfman, was 14 years old at the time of her alleged sexual encounter with Moore. Corfman alleged that Moore kissed her on one occasion and then on a second occasion removed both her clothes and his, kissed her, and made her touch his genitals over his underwear. Three of the other women allege that Moore made advances toward them and, in some cases, kissed them, but did not engage in sexual intercourse. A fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, came forward Monday, and claims Moore attempted to have sex with her one night just after her 16th birthday in 1977.
Three of the pastors named in the letter — Frank Raddish, Bruce Word, and Paul Hubbard — nevertheless doubt the allegations and stand by the the letter, which says Moore is the candidate who will stand up against “dishonesty, fear of man, and immorality” as affronts to their “convictions and our Savior.”
The letter claims Moore has demonstrated “his unwavering faith in God and his immovable convictions for Biblical principles” by starting the Foundation for Moral Law, opposing gay marriage, and garnering a slew of liberal enemies. Those who support Moore, the letter says, do so because of Moore’s commitment to American values.
“They know him as a father, a grandfather, a man who loves God’s Word and knows much of it by heart, a man who cares for the people, a man who understands our Constitution in the tradition of our Founding Fathers, and a man who deeply loves America. It’s no wonder the Washington establishment has declared all-out war on his campaign,” the letter reads.
Moore has flatly denied the allegations. Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler also defended Moore, comparing his advances toward underage girls to the marriages between the Biblical Joseph and Mary and of Zachariah and Elizabeth.
Editor’s Note: The Alabama.com article in which the letter was originally published did not indicate that the letter was re-purposed or that pastors had not been contacted for comment as to whether they truly supported Roy Moore. This article has been updated to reflect those changes.
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