It’s the ultimate “Gotcha” question.
It’s hard to imagine, given all we’re learning about the horndog behavior of thirtysomething Roy Moore, when he hung around malls propositioning teenage girls, that he was a virgin when he married in 1985 at age 38.
Someone — a journalist perhaps, or an Alabama voter — needs to ask the oh-so-pious judge: “Do you think premarital sex is wrong?”
It’s a no-win question for Moore, the Republican nominee for Senate from Alabama.
He cannot give his blessing to premarital sex without alienating much of his Evangelical base. Even candidates known to have been unfaithful (think: President Trump) don’t make excuses for their behavior by saying there’s nothing wrong with it. No matter how hard Moore twists Bible verses, trying to justify the morality of sex out of wedlock would be a non-starter for the candidate.
But Moore almost certainly can’t condemn premarital sex, either. The man, back in his thirties, wasn’t hanging around Gadsden Mall hitting on cheerleaders because he was shopping for a wife. He’s certainly aware that who-knows-how-many women could rebut any falsehoods. Think about it: Women who had consensual sex have no incentive to #MeToo a politician — unless he tells a blatant lie. Thus, for Judge Moore, denouncing premarital sex is also a no-go.
There’s only one option left, and it’s hardly better for the father of four: to refuse to answer the question, and perhaps to denounce the media for asking it. If that happens, journalists and citizens can pester him like a lech at a mall with delicious follow-ups:
In April, your wife Kayla wrote that a lesbian serving in public office disregards “the fundamental moral order established by God.” Should a man who had premarital sex be allowed to serve in public office?
In your opinion, is homosexuality worse, the same, or not as bad as premarital sex? Can you explain?
You ruled in a 1996 custody case that parents who engage in “homosexual conduct” can reasonably be denied custody of their children based on that fact alone. Would you apply that policy to parents who have engaged in premarital sex? What about parents who have had sexual contact with a minor? If you apply different standards, why?
The word “hypocrisy” gets thrown around, well, promiscuously. It doesn’t mean “inconsistent” or “two-faced.” It very specifically refers to someone who applies rules to other people that he does not apply to himself.
We’re learning this week that Roy Moore may very well be that rare breed: an actual, egregious hypocrite:
He has castigated people from the bench and in his writing for their sexual proclivities.
He has used government power to restrict the rights and break up the families of people whose sex lives he condemns.
He avowedly supports criminalizing consensual sexual conduct. I mean please, watch this video in which he demurs when asked directly whether gays should suffer the death penalty: “Well, I’m not here to outline any punishments for sodomy.”
Fundamentalist Christians believe sex out of wedlock is profoundly un-Biblical (1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Corinthians 7:2). If Judge Moore was a virgin on his wedding night, he should tell us. If he wasn’t, then the candidate sure has some ‘splainin’ to do.
David Benkof is a columnist for The Daily Caller. Follow him on Twitter (@DavidBenkof) or Facebook, or E-mail him at DavidBenkof@gmail.com.