"Roy Moore does not speak for Christianity, and he acts in ways that are contrary to our faith."
In the face of mounting sexual abuse allegations, Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore has frequently invoked religion as a defense, politicizing Christianity and using it as a shield against accusations of sexual assault and child sexual abuse.
But religious leaders aren't having it.
On Friday, a group of Christian ministers released a joint letter calling Moore "not fit for office" and condemning him for "cynically [using] Christianity for [his] own goals."
By Friday night, more than 70 Alabama pastors had signed the letter.
"Under ordinary circumstances, we clergy refrain from speaking directly about political candidates, and only speak to issues. But these are not ordinary circumstances," the letter begins.
"Roy Moore does not speak for Christianity, and he acts in ways that are contrary to our faith," the pastors wrote.
Even before the allegations of sexual abuse surfaced, Moore had already proven himself unfit for office, the pastors said, referencing his "extremist values and actions," including his anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim bigotry, anti-choice extremism, and contempt for the rule of the law.
Among other things, Moore has proposed that Muslims shouldn't be allowed in Congress, said homosexuality should be illegal, expressed support for denying civil rights to non-Christians, and suggested that 9/11 was punishment for forsaking God's word.
"It is our belief that in light of Roy Moore's extremist beliefs, his patterns of behavior, and the recent allegations against him, no person of faith can, in good conscience, support him or his religious nationalism," the pastors wrote, adding:
"He has done harm to our government; he has done harm to our Christian witness; and he has done harm to vulnerable people."
The Alabama pastors aren't the only ones speaking out against Moore.
On Saturday, Rev. Dr. William Barber joined the growing chorus of Christian voices condemning Moore, saying "what is happening right now in Alabama matters for the soul of the nation."
"Just like Freedom Summer years ago, we're coming into Alabama," Rev. Barber said.
He continued, urging people everywhere to "get out and vote like you have never voted before."
As these religious leaders made clear, there is nothing Christian about the policies Moore has supported nor the words he has spoken.
And it is beyond indefensible to use religion to shield one's self from allegations of pedophilia and sexual abuse.