Right on time, The Washington Post published its hit piece on Judge Roy Moore. A hit piece is what it was, but that doesn’t discredit the content inside. Roy Moore did an interview with Sean Hannity giving a bizarre and uninspiring defense against his sex abuse allegations. In this interview, he claims he dated a lot of young ladies once he returned from the military. He also doesn’t firmly deny dating teenagers and gives a conflicting account of whether they were adults. This especially shows when he claims to always have their mother’s permission. Perhaps Roy Moore is a true gentleman in that regard, but chivalry goes out the window if these allegations are true.
Half Your Age Plus Seven
Society has a lot of ambiguities with the rules of dating, these days. Many we as Christians do not agree with. Whether Roy Moore molested Leigh Corfman or not, his life shows a pattern of being in violation of a widely known dating rule designed to establish appropriate boundaries between two adults. A man or woman should not be in a romantic relationship with someone who is younger than half their age plus seven. I started dating my wife when I was 19 and she was 18. Half my age(always rounding down), 9+7=16. See it gets a little tricky below the age of majority, but let’s keep this discussion in the context of adult dating.
In many ways this rule works to keep people who are in similar stages of life. For instance, a 30 year old and a 20 year old, while both adults are in completely different stages of life. However the differences become far less pronounce for a 90 year old to date a 52 year old. Still a little odd, but not all that inappropriate like a 25 year old dating an 18 year old.
Roy Moore and dating
The biggest supporting evidence for Roy Moore sex allegations, outside of what The Washington Post wrote, is the pattern in his life of disregarding the Half Your Age Plus Seven rule. Roy Moore was 32 when accused of abusing Corfman. Clear violation. The accusations made by Gloria Thacker Deason weren’t abusive in any way. Roy Moore recalls her as 19 or older and let’s for the sake of the argument, assume it’s true. While this in no way is sexual misconduct, Roy Moore is admitting to a violation of the rule.
If Roy Moore did not have the normal boundaries for dating that would deem the relationship with Deason unappealing, then what is to make the accusations made by Miller and Gibson less believable. While Corfman’s accusation is outside the behavior of what we can observe about Roy Moore, the other three(really two) accusers aren’t.
Roy Moore does go on to have a successful marriage even without the rules. In 1985, at age 38, he married Kayla Kisor, who was 24. The two are still married. Now this was a violation of the Half Your Age Plus Seven rule. But if 14 years wasn’t too much of an age difference for Roy Moore, then was 11 years (Deason), 16 (Miller), 17 (Gibson) to much of a difference? Most of us could easily show that we don’t romance people with profound age differences from ourselves. Roy Moore cannot and his marriage is evidence for this.
The consistency of Roy Moore’s actions
Moore’s dating track record is the biggest piece of evidence that shows that two of the misconduct allegations are believable. However this track record does not suggest what Leigh Corman accuses him of doing is more believable than what The Washington Post presents. That is a much more severe case with actions out of the ordinary from the other two allegations. In fact, the other three women say that the physicality of their relationship never went beyond kissing and hugging. The more physical people are when dating, the harder it is to simply stay at kissing and hugging which is what Gibson says was all that happened. Her affiliation happened after Corfman’s alleged incident. So while, Moore’s track record serves to condemn him with romancing late teenagers, it can also provide context that suggests anything beyond first base was outside of his playbook in dating. However, I’ll end this thought by saying it’s hard to imagine a 38 year old man staying pure until his wedding day.
Nature of sin
No one randomly wakes up and says they want to grope a 14 year old. This isn’t “one mistake” but a process, a series of “one mistakes” that cumulated into pedophilia. People aren’t born pedophiles, they become them. Often times that first step is pornography. They choose teen porn, then child porn, and then graduate to pursuing prepubecent minors. If Roy Moore was a pedophile, then I’d wager there are other victims, especially since he seems to have dated quite a bit before marriage. Hopefully if there are other victims, they come forward.
Roy Moore confirms that he has an interest in younger women, even, or especially, those outside of the normal confines of adult dating. The question we are asking is whether Roy Moore was a man looking for love with no regards to the Half Your Age Plus Seven rule or was he a predator dating children. Until we know for sure, we eagerly await.
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