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Homo­sex­u­ality is a criminal offense pun­ishable by death in 13 coun­tries — all are Muslim majority. In 74 coun­tries, all of which are in South America, Asia, and Africa, homo­sexual acts are con­sidered a criminal offense.

If Repub­lican sen­a­torial can­didate Roy Moore, who was a chief justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, had his way, he would outlaw homo­sexual acts in the United States, too.

CNN reported in 2005 that when Moore was asked by a reporter whether he thought homo­sexual acts should be illegal in the U.S., he said: “homo­sexual conduct should be illegal, yes.”

Moore has appeared on “Gen­er­ation Radio,” hosted by pastor Kevin Swanson. Swanson is well known for being a strong pro­moter of the death penalty as pun­ishment for homo­sexual acts. Moore appeared on the show at least five times, as recently as Feb­ruary.

Three years ago, Moore con­demned the the City Council of Huntsville, Alabama, for “allowing” cit­izens to exercise their First Amendment rights in a pride parade.

Moore’s views on homo­sex­u­ality aren’t his only con­tro­versial views. He has shared articles on Facebook indi­cating support for a ban on Muslim immi­gration to the United States. This type of ban, unlike Trump’s travel bans, would ban immi­grants based  exclu­sively on religion.

It may be naïve to suggest that should Moore be elected, his views toward crim­i­nal­izing homo­sex­u­ality or banning Muslims would be at the fore­front of his own leg­islative goals. One senator’s views would not nec­es­sarily define the entire Repub­lican Party’s agenda.

Nev­er­theless, sup­porters of a can­didate with such extreme ideas deserve a cau­tionary note:  In America, we don’t choose the policies, we choose the rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

As a member of the Repub­lican Party, Moore’s dis­turbing stances sud­denly call into question not just his imme­diate sup­porters’ views, but all Repub­licans that fail to condemn him.

Former White House strategist Karl Rove raised this point: “Repub­licans will be asked, ‘Do you agree homo­sex­u­ality should be pun­ished by death, do you believe 9/11 was a result of God’s anger?’ He’ll say out­ra­geous things, the media will play it up, and every Repub­lican will be asked, ‘Do you agree with that?’”

Con­trary to former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s sug­gestion, a vote for Moore is not a vote for Donald Trump. Unlike Trump, Moore is a man who believes he is on a moral crusade to purge America of immorality.

“I want to see virtue and morality returned to this country,” Moore said.

CNN reported that when Moore explained why he believed beast­ility and homo­sex­u­ality should be illegal in the U.S., he cited the American Founding.

“It is a moral precept upon which this country was founded,” Moore said.

Moore has also called Islam a “false religion” on several occa­sions, sug­gesting that it deserves no pro­tection under the First Amendment.

Con­demning Moore is not a con­dem­nation of Christian values. It is a staunch defense of their preser­vation. It is one thing to believe homo­sex­u­ality is a sin or to believe solely in tra­di­tional mar­riage. It is entirely dif­ferent to believe gays should be treated as crim­inals and deprived of their First Amendment rights.

Justice comes in dif­ferent forms. The gov­ernment does not judge every aspect of our life. Con­ser­v­a­tives should rejoice over this point. In the end, God is the ultimate judge of morality, not Roy Moore or the United States gov­ernment.

Our nation has always been one where, in the interest of pre­serving indi­vidual liberty, not all acts of immorality con­stitute crim­i­nality. If we did leg­islate morality, then the Con­sti­tution would be a lot longer. When debate sur­faces over when crim­i­nality comes into play,  Moore’s views res­onate so neg­a­tively that they harm the con­ver­sation, rather than help it.

When Moore threatens to jail homo­sexuals, he not only turns middle-minded Amer­icans away from the Repub­lican Party, he turns them away from believing reli­gious moti­va­tions should have a role in pol­itics. Moore does not help Christian con­ser­v­a­tives fight the culture wars, he harms their cause.

Moore is not the only person of concern. Bannon is so engaged with his “global rev­o­lution” to restore sov­er­eignty and bring about “eco­nomic nation­alism,” he does not care about means of getting there.

This is reckless and dan­gerous. It is not enough to simply vote for people who declare that they will restore the Con­sti­tution and tra­di­tional values. Words matter, the details matter, and in this case, the details suggest Moore mis­un­der­stands the Con­sti­tution, which threatens its preser­vation.

Moore might help Repub­licans. He could be a team player and give the extra vote needed to pass Repub­lican leg­is­lation.

But Repub­licans should beware. The bom­bastic rhetoric of Moore may be a breath of fresh air from the swamp, but no freshness changes Moore’s per­verted vision of America. His vision, and perhaps Bannon’s, are both uncon­sti­tu­tional and at odds with the Repub­lican Party of the last 150 years.

They cannot coexist.

 

Ben Diet­derich is a sophomore studying political economy and Rhetoric and Public Address.

  • Jonny-O

    Well put!!!