A pastor supporting Roy Moore appeared to dismiss the allegations of sexual misconduct levied against the Republican nominee for Alabama's Senate seat as part of a greater "war on men." In voicing his support for Moore, South Carolina pastor Franklin Raddish also claimed women were more likely to be sexual predators than men.
"More women are sexual predators than men," Raddish, who serves the Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries, said, according to local Alabama news outlet AL.com. "Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don't hear about that because it's not PC."
According to the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, Raddish's claim is completely false. While the statistics are dated, a report from 1997 stated that the majority of sex crimes are committed by men. "Nearly all arrestees for forcible rape in 1995 were male (99%), while about 8% of arrestees for other sex offenses were female," it read. Statistics from 1999 echoed that, stating that 96 percent of sexual assaults were committed by men.
More recent statistics on offenders are difficult to find, but the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey from 2010 found that women are more often the victims of sexual assault, with nearly one in five women and one in 71 men reporting having been raped in their lifetime.
Raddish also argued the accusations levied against Moore this month were part of a "war on men" as evidenced by the number of accusations being brought against other men in Hollywood, Washington, D.C., and the business world.
In less than two weeks, nine women have levied allegations of sexual misconduct or unwanted romantic advances against Moore, a former judge. Among the allegations are claims Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl and either pursued or attempted to pursue additional girls when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s. Another woman accused the Republican Senate nominee of sexually assaulting her when she was 16. Moore, who is now 70, has denied all of the allegations against him.
In comments to AL.com, Raddish questioned why the families of the women speaking out against Moore now hadn't spoken out when the alleged incidents first happened.
Also, why did the mothers of these women not come forward. The mother knew, the family knew, and not one of them did anything. Any mother with red blood that found out her daughter had been violated would have kicked down doors. ... Why didn't they tell the state police, the FBI, the local sheriff? Because it's not true.
Members of some religious communities have also, like Raddish, remained supportive of the embattled Senate candidate. According to AL.com, Raddish was one of 19 pastors who said they still supported Moore, despite the allegations of sexual misconduct.
But Moore isn't enjoying complete support from Alabama's religious community. In an open letter published Friday, more than 50 faith leaders claimed Moore had "demonstrated that he was not fit for office."
"Roy Moore does not speak for Christianity, and he acts in ways that are contrary to our faith," the letter stated. "His extremist values and actions are not consistent with traditional Christian values or good Christian character. He and politicians like him have cynically used Christianity for their own goals."
It should be noted, however, that the undersigned faith leaders emphasized they'd opposed Moore's Senate campaign prior to the recent allegations brought against him, citing his views on immigrants, religious liberty, and LGBTQ rights:
He opposes the expansion of Medicaid which would provide basic healthcare for over 400,000 poor and working poor Alabamians. He seeks to deny the most basic civil rights of our fellow citizens. He has used racial slurs and casually referred to state-sponsored violence against lesbian and gay families. He has sought to deny children without parents access to loving families on the basis of sexual orientation. Kindness and justice toward widows, orphans, and foreigners are priorities in the Bible but they are not priorities for him.
In Washington, several prominent Republicans have called for Moore to step aside in the race for Alabama's Senate seat. In Alabama, however, the state's Republican Party has opted to stand behind their nominee. But it will be a few more weeks until voters have their say on Moore's fate — Alabama voters are expected to head to the polls Dec. 12.