Since allegations of Harvey Weinstein's predatory conduct toward women were reported in early October — touching off an ongoing series of public accusations against numerous actors and entertainment executives — some of our letter writers have wondered why politicians long believed to have harassed and assaulted women have not similarly been held to account. Men in Hollywood are losing their careers after being exposed, they say, and yet Donald Trump went on to be elected president weeks after the "Access Hollywood" tape was made public in October 2016.
Comes now Roy Moore, the far-right GOP nominee for U.S. senator from Alabama, who is accused of having a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl in 1979, when he was 32, and of pursuing relationships with other teenage girls. Many prominent Republicans have called on Moore to step aside "if" the allegations are true; a few others are coming to the former Alabama Supreme Court justice's defense, saying no less than Joseph, the father of Jesus, engaged in similar conduct that would be found questionable today.
Moore's fellow conservatives may be debating what to do with him, but many of our readers have made up their minds. Here is what they have to say.
Lon DeYoung of Chatsworth detects some religiously motivated hypocrisy:
At the end of your article about Moore is a defense of his actions by Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler: "Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus."
The hypocrisy of the religious right is appalling. To protect one of their own and to justify a possible sexual predator in their midst is typical of their cherry-picking of the Bible to justify their slanted views of society in the 21st century.
Let me point out that in all my 66 years on this Earth, I was taught that the birth of Christ did not involve sex. Did Zeigler miss that in his Bible studies, or did it just not fit this particular narrative?
Burbank resident Jen Tait notices a difference between Hollywood and politics:
As a former writer of television, I feel qualified to speak on this matter.
As a battle-scarred veteran of Hollywood's war against women (which often, but not always, manifests in pronounced sexual harassment), it interests me to see that Hollywood seems to be responding to its own bad conscience regarding the long-term and systemic sexual abuse of women and is self-monitoring. This is happening as an accused serial sexual abuser sits in the White House, and Alabama's current candidate for a seat in the U.S. Senate declares his intention to hold tight, despite calls for him to abandon his candidacy "if the allegation is true."
I notice no such "if the allegation is true" condition has been applied to either Louis C.K. or Kevin Spacey in the wake of the allegations against them, yet executives immediately delayed, abandoned or significantly changed the projects they were working on.
Sally Holloway of San Diego makes a similar point about different standards:
Spacey's show business career has more than dimmed — it's gone. If only he was straight; he could move to Alabama, where he could have a real future in Republican politics.
Bob Ory of Elgin, Ill., wonders about the people who still support Moore:
I watched in utter amazement the reaction of some Alabamans who still supported Moore after the allegations of his pursuit of teenage girls were made public. Some even went so far as to say they would support him even if the accusations are proved true.
For anyone to back a child predator after learning of his conduct is to deny your membership in the human community.
President Trump may be worried about keeping out immigrants, but I'm more concerned about the people in this country with such a twisted state of mind.