Why evangelicals might vote for Roy Moore, despite sexual abuse allegations

To many onlookers, evangelical support for Roy Moore is simply a matter of politics.

The U.S. Senate candidate, accused of making unwanted sexual advances to nine women when they were teens and he was in his 30s, is seen by many evangelicals — who are overwhelmingly Republican — as one of them.

“He is nothing but a godly man trying to make this country come to its senses because of liberals and the other side of the fence trying to protect their evil ways,” an evangelical supporter of Moore recently told a reporter at Jackson, Ala.’s Walker Springs Road Baptist Church.

But political experts, historians and religion scholars say there are deeper explanations for why the former judge appears poised to become the next senator from heavily Republican Alabama during Dec. 12’s special election. Yes, politics is a big part of it, but so, too, is a particular way evangelicals engage with the world around them.

Conservative Christians, said Molly Worthen, a historian of American religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have developed an intellectual strategy for engaging with the public called “presuppositionalism.”

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