Read

Search form

Evangelical Christians May Be Deciding Factor in Alabama Senate Election

Evangelical Christians May Be Deciding Factor in Alabama Senate Election
Mon, 12/11/2017 - by Matt Higgins

As Alabamans go to the polls Tuesday for a special election to replace former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, the contest could be decided by a diverse group of residents who identify as evangelical Christians – a body that makes up 49 percent of the total population.

Roy Moore’s well publicized history of sexual misconduct when he was an assistant district attorney in the 1970s have produced an election that even the renowned elections prognosticator “Sabato’s Crystal Ball” deems a "toss up".. Under normal circumstances the election would have been a sure win for the Republican candidate in a state where Donald Trump won 62 percent of the vote last fall.

But in the days following the wave of accusations against Moore, Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones surged ahead in the polls. Since Thanksgiving, Moore remains ahead of Jones in most polls with a slim margin of error. The candidates couldn't be more different on the issues: Jones’s platform includes a staunch support of Obamacare, an increase in the minimum wage, equal pay for women and abortion rights.

His pro-choice stance, especially, could sway many Alabama voters toward Moore. A Pew Research Center poll found 58 percent public support for making abortion in all or most cases illegal in the state.

Moore has accused Jones of supporting full-term abortion and has made the issue a driver of his campaign in recent weeks, using the hashtag #AbortionJones in social media.

The accusations against Moore that he dated or attempted to date underage girls in Alabama may lead many hardcore conservatives to stay home on election day, vote for write-in candidate Lee Busby, or vote for Jones. Moore’s combative style of politics, twice removal from the bench as judge, and far-right positions have already alienated many Christian evangelicals.

Organizations such as Christian Democrats of America, which claims around 135,000 members, with some 2,500 in Alabama alone, have sought to change the paradigm of evangelical Christians equaling support for Roy Moore or other candidates with similar positions.

“Democrats have to realize that if we get candidates who can win and will be with us on tax reform, on things like Obamacare and the minimum wage, but might be more conservative on abortion and other issues, we have to accept those candidates -- or continue to allow the alt-right to gain more ground,” Christina Forrester, founder and director of CDA told Occupy.com.

CDA recently started a petition on its website protesting Roy Moore, which states, “Child molestation is not a Christian/family value.”

In this Deep South state, many African-Americans identify themselves as evangelical Christians. Since the 2016 election, however, there has been a divide among members of this group over support for Donald Trump. White evangelicals overwhelmingly supported his candidacy while the opposite was true for black members.

African-American congregations in Alabama historically have been at the epicenter of civil rights, particularly the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s led by Martin Luther King.

For Tuesday's Senate election, the Alabama NAACP has urged pastors to mobilize their congregations to action. While the NAACP doesn't endorse a specific candidate, it takes a clear stance on political matters it finds concerning.

“Churches are one of the entities we depend on to get the word out to the community,” said Alabama NAACP President Bernard Simelton. One of the group's primary concerns is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

“Many people depend on the Affordable Care Act (in Alabama), and if the wrong person is in there when there is a vote to take away the ACA, many people would lose health insurance,” he said.

Last month, NAACP member and outspoken activist leader Reverend William Barber II led a news conference of religious figures in Alabama, where he described Moore’s position as an “extreme Republican form of religionism contrary to the real values of Christian evangelicalism.” Barber announced that he and other ministers had signed a letter denouncing Moore’s stance on issues such as Medicaid expansion, religious liberty and his response to those who accuse him of sexual abuse.

Some evangelicals see the accusations against Moore as a lesser evil than electing a Democrat to the Senate – something Alabama hasn’t done since 1992. Governor Kay Ivey says she believes the accusers, but will still vote for Moore.

“We need to have a Republican in the United States Senate to vote on things like the Supreme Court justice,” Ivey said.

A recent CBS News poll showed a majority of Alabama Republican voters simply don't believe Moore's accusers.

For Jones to win on Dec. 12, he needs to convince voters he has embraced the economic and civil rights stances of Democrats while at the same time distancing himself from the party's positions on abortion, gun control and national leadership. In other words, for him to possibly be the first in a new wave of Democrats winning national office, he must resort to the old ways of making local connections – with national Democratic considerations taking a back seat.

 

Sign Up

Article Tabs

Twenty states, backed by Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, are trying in the courts to dismantle the law by attacking what they see as its Achilles heel: the individual mandate.

occupy, creative activism, activism, act out e165

A backlog that's symptomatic of a patriarchal system that not only devalues women but devalues survivors of sexual assault.

E.U. trade, U.S. trade war, aluminium tariffs, steel tariffs

“These tariffs aren’t even legal under U.S. law, let alone World Trade Organization laws. It seems rather odd to be citing national security and targeting countries including your closest allies.”

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.

Dodd-Frank act, Volcker Rule, bank deregulation, Wall Street lobby, proprietary trading, SEC

By revising the Volcker Rule, a centerpiece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank act, the feds are pushing financial regulation in a direction that should worry everyone.

The Trump administration has backtracked on its policy but offered no immediate plan for reuniting families. Photograph: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

NGOs say bringing parents and children back together is an enormous puzzle with no clear system from the administration.

EPA, pollution deaths, pollution risks, Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, respiratory illness

The authors used EPA’s own risk assessments to estimate the number of illnesses and early deaths prevented by clean air and water rules Trump is now trying to erase.

The Associated Press reports that young migrant children forcibly separated from their parents are being sent to facilities that critics described as "prisons for babies." (Photo: @NIJC/Twitter)

Those who have visited the facilites describe "play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis."

Twenty states, backed by Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, are trying in the courts to dismantle the law by attacking what they see as its Achilles heel: the individual mandate.

wage theft, corporate crimes, CEO pay,

An eye-opening new report has documented billions of dollars of corporate theft from workers. The government is turning a blind eye.

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
E.U. trade, U.S. trade war, aluminium tariffs, steel tariffs

“These tariffs aren’t even legal under U.S. law, let alone World Trade Organization laws. It seems rather odd to be citing national security and targeting countries including your closest allies.”

Posted 4 days 13 hours ago
U.S. Border Patrol agents take into custody a father and son from Honduras near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018, near Mission, Texas. The asylum seekers were then sent to a processing center for possible separation. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

A new report confirms that Trump and his advisers had been considering the brutal policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border for as long as they’ve been in power.

Posted 5 days 18 hours ago
family separations, ICE, immigrant deportations,

The size and brutality of this particular raid in Ohio, along with the use of military tactics, have shocked even the most seasoned immigrants’ rights activists.

Posted 4 days 18 hours ago
occupy, creative activism, activism, act out e165

A backlog that's symptomatic of a patriarchal system that not only devalues women but devalues survivors of sexual assault.

Posted 3 days 11 hours ago
occupy, creative activism, activism, act out e165

A backlog that's symptomatic of a patriarchal system that not only devalues women but devalues survivors of sexual assault.

The Trump administration has backtracked on its policy but offered no immediate plan for reuniting families. Photograph: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

NGOs say bringing parents and children back together is an enormous puzzle with no clear system from the administration.

The Associated Press reports that young migrant children forcibly separated from their parents are being sent to facilities that critics described as "prisons for babies." (Photo: @NIJC/Twitter)

Those who have visited the facilites describe "play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis."

wage theft, corporate crimes, CEO pay,

An eye-opening new report has documented billions of dollars of corporate theft from workers. The government is turning a blind eye.

public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, public financing, financing infrastructure, Wall Street influence, private-public investments

Private interests’ influence over banking consumes, rather than sustains, the public good.