Alabama Republican candidate for Senate Roy Moore has been silent in the weeks following the bombshell report from the Washington Post that accused him of sexual misconduct with underage girls, accusations which he has made clear he believes to be completely false.
Moore, however, made an exception for conservative radio host Bryan Fisher, appearing on his show American Family Radio on Monday.
The interview comes just days after ThinkProgress report that Moore co-wrote a textbook in 2011 that argues women shouldn’t run for public office. His campaign later insisted that the embattled Senate candidate does not think women should be barred from politics, but if Moore was hoping to avoid the issue, Fischer may not have been the best choice: Fischer has made it clear that he believes women should not hold public office, and argued against women holding leadership positions in church just hours before he spoke with Moore.
Fischer began his show by comparing accusations levied at Jesus Christ ahead of his crucifixion to those recently made at Roy Moore, saying people should “live lives with such integrity that any attacks on our character and reputation will clearly be seen to be false.”
Fischer then moved on to implicitly compare himself to Jesus, saying he, too, was falsely accused. He recounted a story from “decades ago” when leaders of a church he served lobbed accusations at him that he suggests were false, before ultimately recommending he seek mental health counseling.
The issue, he insists, was his opposition to women teaching in church.
“The problem was that this church was embracing feminism,” he said. “I had resisted it to the degree that I could. I didn’t get belligerent. I didn’t get obnoxious. I didn’t lead some kind of revolt. I said, ’Here’s what I understand the scriptures to teach, and I cannot go along with this policy. I can’t support this policy. Even though I’m on the staff of the church, I can’t support this policy, because it permits women to teach men when the congregation is gathered together—mixed genders. And that, to me, is contrary to clearly what Paul said in 1 Timothy 2:12.”
Fischer later claims that he did, in fact, attend the two-week long “pyschotherapy” program, during which he says officials tried to “emasculate” and “feminize” him to “remove any trace of masculine strength or masculine stand for the word of God.”
This echoes a similar line of thinking espoused in a textbook Moore co-authored. The textbook, recently obtained by ThinkProgress, states women should not be permitted to run for elected office and if they do, people have a moral obligation not to vote for them.
Moore’s campaign disputes he doesn’t hold these beliefs releasing a statement that reads:
“Judge Moore has never stated or believed that women are unqualified for public office. Judge Moore believes that men and women are created equal and he would absolutely confirm qualified, constitutionally conservative judges—men or women.”
ThinkProgress, however, could not find any record of Moore endorsing any women for office and Moore’s campaign has not provided any examples in response to repeated requests.