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Roy Moore: Sexual Predator?

So. I was out of touch all day in Atlanta, gave a talk last night, came back to the house and … well, hello Judge Roy Moore. [1]

Alone with Corfman, Moore chatted with her and asked for her phone number, she says. Days later, she says, he picked her up around the corner from her house in Gadsden, drove her about 30 minutes to his home in the woods, told her how pretty she was and kissed her. On a second visit, she says, he took off her shirt and pants and removed his clothes. He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear.

“I wanted it over with — I wanted out,” she remembers thinking. “Please just get this over with. Whatever this is, just get it over.” Corfman says she asked Moore to take her home, and he did.

Corfman was 14. Moore was 32. More from the Washington Post scoop:

This account is based on interviews with more than 30 people who said they knew Moore between 1977 and 1982, when he served as an assistant district attorney for Etowah County in northern Alabama, where he grew up.

More:

 She says she talked to Moore on her phone in her bedroom, and they made plans for him to pick her up at Alcott Road and Riley Street, around the corner from her house.

“I was kind of giddy, excited, you know? An older guy, you know?” Corfman says, adding that her only sexual experience at that point had been kissing boys her age.

She says that it was dark and cold when he picked her up, and that she thought they were going out to eat. Instead, she says, he drove her to his house, which seemed “far, far away.”

“I remember the further I got from my house, the more nervous I got,” Corfman says.

She remembers an unpaved driveway. She remembers going inside and him giving her alcohol on this visit or the next, and that at some point she told him she was 14. She says they sat and talked. She remembers that Moore told her she was pretty, put his arm around her and kissed her, and that she began to feel nervous and asked him to take her home, which she says he did.

Soon after, she says, he called again, and picked her up again at the same spot.

“This was a new experience, and it was exciting and fun and scary,” Corfman says, explaining why she went back. “It was just like this roller-coaster ride you’ve not been on.”

She says that Moore drove her back to the same house after dark, and that before long she was lying on a blanket on the floor. She remembers Moore disappearing into another room and coming out with nothing on but “tight white” underwear.

She remembers that Moore kissed her, that he took off her pants and shirt, and that he touched her through her bra and underpants. She says that he guided her hand to his underwear and that she yanked her hand back.

“I wasn’t ready for that — I had never put my hand on a man’s penis, much less an erect one,” Corfman says.

She remembers thinking, “I don’t want to do this” and “I need to get out of here.” She says that she got dressed and asked Moore to take her home, and that he did.

Read the whole thing.  [1]

Lo, Alabama’s state auditor thinks this a big to do about nothing: [2]

Asked whether or not the report would upend Moore’s campaign, Ziegler predicted that Alabama voters would be angrier at the Washington Post for “desperately trying to get something negative” than Moore for his dalliances with teenage girls decades ago.

“He’s clean as a hound’s tooth,” Ziegler claimed, before relying on Scripture to defend Moore.

“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist,” Ziegler said choosing his words carefully before invoking Christ. “Also take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

“There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here,” Ziegler concluded. “Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

Where do you even start with that? It’s okay for a 32 year old man to fondle a 14 year old girl because St. Joseph supposedly did it to the Virgin Mary? What a blasphemous cretin that Ziegler is.

Or this cheap pandering to Christian conservatives?

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

David French says allegations aren’t proof, but cautions conservatives not to be too quick to dismiss these. [6]

Daniel Dale called a few of the GOP county chairmen in Alabama. This is the kind of answers he got:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

To which a reader responds:

We have descended to the point where it is better to see a pedophile in office than elect a Democrat. I weep for our country.

I don’t weep. I am still in a state of shock. But I shouldn’t be. If the allegations against Moore are true, obviously he should withdraw from the race. Doesn’t sound like he would — and he might even win. In that event, Democrats will make him the GOP poster child in the 2018 election, and the GOP will deserve it.

Here’s what I don’t get: the eagerness of so many conservatives at this point to double down on defending Moore — this, versus the “wait and see” stance. We already know that credible allegations of sexual predation don’t matter to most Republican voters. In order to believe that Moore is not guilty of something serious in this matter, you have to believe that four women are lying, as well as people those women told at the time what had happened. You have to believe that the woman making the worst allegations — on the record, by the way — is out to get Roy Moore, even though she was a Trump voter in 2016. Again, none of this proves anything, but if Alabama Republican voters put Roy Moore in office, and the Senate seats him, it’s going to be a massacre for Republicans on Election Day 2018.

But: if Moore is elected and the Senate refuses to seat him, think about how vicious the Trumpist base will be in seeking retribution. The White House has called on Moore to step aside if the allegations are true. [9] Alabama voters didn’t listen to Trump during the primary, choosing Moore over the candidate Trump endorsed. So we’ll see.

I think Mitch McConnell must have one of the world’s worst job.

Look, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care if the accusations against Roy Moore are true, that all that matters is defeating the Democrat, then you have allowed tribalism to destroy your moral sense. That’s not something you can recover from easily.

325 Comments (Open | Close)

325 Comments To "Roy Moore: Sexual Predator?"

#1 Comment By pepi On November 13, 2017 @ 10:37 am

[VikingLS says: November 12, 2017 at 8:36 pm
conservatives aren’t trying to force anybody to be protestant anyway.
WHEN you are asked to choose between your political allies and your church, which matters to you more?]

Just FYI, the only religious groups in the US with a majority party affiliation as GOP/LeanGOP are Evangelicals (56%) and Mormons (70%) according to Pew Polling. Orthodox Christians come in at 34%, Catholics at 37% and Mainline Protestants at 44% (Whatdayaknow!). So can we please quit with the whole Republicans = Christians and Christians = Republicans much less RealChristian = Orthodox/Catholic and Orthodox/Catholic = RealChristian now?

[10]

The fact is that there are Christians who are Democrats because they believe that things like our stewardship of the earth, our social safety net and other things are of great importance from a standpoint of their faith, perhaps more important than LGBTQ and abortion. You don’t have to agree with them but I really get tired of the idea that you aren’t a Christian unless the only things you care about are LGBTQ rights and abortion.

[VikingLS says: November 12, 2017 at 8:52 pm
The national inability of Democrats to comprehend the pro-life position seems to have penetrated down to the state level.]

You seem to have mixed up the terms “comprehend” and “agree with”. One does not guarantee the other.

I do get a bit tired of the constant assumption here that those Christians who are Republicans are so because of gay rights and abortion but don’t necessarily support all of the Republican agenda but Christians who are Democrats must all and always be supporters of every last item of the Democratic agenda.

#2 Comment By pepi On November 13, 2017 @ 10:37 am

For those who might be interested, Pew has a breakdown of how warmly Americans view various religious groups. They break it down by generation as well which provides some interesting insights.

[11]

#3 Comment By pepi On November 13, 2017 @ 10:47 am

I’m going to lay out a TRUE scenario in order to challenge assumptions here. I swear that all that I am going to say about this situation is 100% true.

I have a niece who is married to an Orthodox Priest who makes very little money. She is has a degree and a job in social work. As faithful adherents, she has never used birth control. Their first child, a son, is severely autistic and non-verbal, now 12. The have 3 other children, the youngest of which is less than 1. Obviously, as a social worker, she doesn’t make much money either. They had to move where he could have a position and it is more than 12 hours from either of their parents homes so they can’t get much help babysitting and such. Those parents do what they can to help financially but it isn’t much. The mom, one of the sweetest most loving people I have ever known, works a second job and sometimes adds a third. The father often watches the kids since he does his studying and preparation at home. They barely get by and their son’s necessary care is paid for by the state. I don’t know about the Dad but the Mom in this situation votes Democrat in large part because of her kids and the fact that the GOP wants to cut funding for schools and programs that they depend on and because as a social worker, she sees the need for social programs and has a heart for the people she helps. Of course, my GOP aunt says that their difficulties are a result of their poor life choices.

#4 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 13, 2017 @ 11:00 am

Ginger,

Since I, again, think you’re a very thoughtful and smart commenter I thought you deserved a more well researched response from me. I had some down time while running an experiment yesterday so I trawled Google Scholar for whatever I could find on impacts of age-discordant relationships (i.e. with much older individuals) on young adults above the age of consent, 18 in America, to see what I could find.

There actually isn’t a lot (as one of the articles stated, these sorts of relationships aren’t typically considered a public policy issue, unlike the statutory-rape with underage teenagers, so there isn’t that much research interests). There are a few studies I could find though where they actually do differentiate between older and younger teenagers, so here goes (and I’m including the one semi-negative one I found so you know I’m trying to be fair).

Let’s start with one that looks at generalized ‘problem behaviours.

“Much older male partners were associated with greater problem behaviors for girls who first had intercourse in very early adolescence (11–12), but less so for those who first had intercourse between age 13 and age 15 (truancy only) and not at all for those who first had intercourse at between 16 and 18. Regardless of partner’s age disparity, earlier age at first intercourse during adolescence was associated with a greater number of other problem behaviors. The implications of these findings for recent calls to enforce statutory rape laws more stringently to reduce teenage pregnancy were discussed.”

Leitenberg and Saltzman, 2000. “A Statewide Survey of Age at First Intercourse for Adolescent Females and Age of Their Male Partners: Relation to Other Risk Behaviors and Statutory Rape Implications”. Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 29: 203-215.

This is on STI transmission, and the takeaway is (from the tables), the risk of acquiring an STD by young adulthood were higher among young teenage women who had sex with an older partner, but among teenagers over 16, the STI risk was the same whether they were involved with an older partner or with a same age one.

“The contrast analyses show that when all other measured factors are controlled for, the combination of age and age difference matters only for STDs among females. The odds of acquiring an STD by young adulthood are higher among those who have sex at an early age with an older partner than they are both among those who have early sex with a similar-aged partner and among those who have delayed sex with an older partner.”

Ryan S, Franzetta K, Manlove J, Schelar E. 2008. “Older Sexual Partners During Adolescence: Links to Reproductive Health Outcomes in Young Adulthood.” Perspectives on Sexual Behavior, 40: 17-26

Let’s look at depression.

“When comparing early adolescent girls (13–15) and late adolescent girls (16–18), the younger girls are no more likely to have depressive symptoms before entry into the age discordant relationship, yet have greater depressive symptoms shortly after the relationship onset and 5 years later. Older adolescent girls in age discordant relationships, however, have similar levels of depressive symptoms at any time point relative to their peers. These data suggest that a girl’s developmental stage influences whether or not she experiences emotional distress as a result of being in an age discordant relationship.”

Loftus J, Kelly BC, Mustillo SA. 2011. “Depressive Symptoms Among Adolescent Girls in Relationships with Older Partners: Causes and Lasting Effects?” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 40: 800-813.

Another study on STIs, this is entirely focused on young adults (18-28) with older partners. They found no significant difference in three STIs between 18-28 year old women with “age discordant” partners and with same-aged partners (7.5 vs 6.5%).

Hess KL, Javanbakht M, Brown JM, Weiss RE, Hsu P, Gorbach P. 2012. “Intimate Partner Violence and Sexually Transmitted Infections among Young Adult Women.” Sexually Transmitted Diseases 39(5).

There’s the one I cited you before, from Guttmacher, which finds that girls 17 and under with 7+ year old partners were more likely to report being pressured into sex than girls with same age partners, but 18-year olds with much older partners were no more likely to be pressured than girls with same-age partners, and 19-year olds with much older partners were actually less likely then 19 year olds with same-age partners to be pressured into sex.

Abma J, Driscoll A, Moore K. 1998. “Young women’s degree of control over first intercourse: An exploratory analysis.” Family Planning Perspectives, 30: 12-18.

This is the only one which is somewhat negative/equivocal, based on a huge British study. Mercer et al., 2006 find that men whose first sex partners were 10+ years older, and who were surveyed 20 or 30 years after the fact, were somewhat more likely to report that they had sex to please their partner or for other “non autonomous” reasons. However, they weren’t more likely to regret the sex than women with same age partners, in retrospect. If you omit women whose first sexual experience was prior to 16 (as we should, since we’re interested in specifically young adults here) women with 10+ year older partners were not significantly likely to say that “my boyfriend wanted sex more than I did”) with same age partners.

Interestingly the authors of this study draw conclusions from their data that are more negative than I would, primarily on the basis of the “non autonomous” thing and some data about sex education, but even they don’t say that age discordant relationships are a bad thing or should be discouraged, their solution rather is to teach better communication strategies to empower young women in such relationships.

Mercer CH, Wellings K, McDowall W, Copas AJ, McManus S, Erens B, Fenton KA, Johnson AM. 2006. “First Sexual Partnerships—Age Differences and Their Significance: Empirical Evidence from the 2000 British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (‘Natsal 2000’)”. Journal of Adolescent Health 39: 87-106.

All of which to say, there are excellent moral and empirical reasons for barring adults from any sort of sexual contact with young teenagers, and you can even make a plausible case for barring them from sexual contact with 16 and 17 year olds, especially where there’s any sort of relationship of authority. This should not be broadened into a kind of general principle that disparities in age (or for that matter power, wealth, life experience, social status) are a bad thing in sexual relationships in general. Often it’s exactly the power disparity that attracts people to these sorts of relationships: one party is eager to share their power/experience/income/whatever and the other is eager to get access to it. The reason sex with people in their mid-teens is wrong is because these sorts of power disparities are harmful for especially vulnerable people. Any of those harmful effects, however, seem to mostly or entirely wash themselves out by the time the young person is 18 (maybe even slightly earlier).

I’m not interested in advocating for a lower age of consent or for minimizing the principle that people under that age must be regarded as inviolable. And because sex is such a strong human motivator, we need especially strong social and legal pressure to enforce the laws we do set. I am strongly interested though in defending the idea that adult means adult, that ‘barely legal’ is still, well, entirely legal, and that declaring that one class of adults isn’t really adult (as we already do with the drinking age, unfortunately) is an extremely bad idea.

#5 Comment By DRK On November 13, 2017 @ 11:32 am

Hector St. Clare, a 2015 study at Emory University concluded that the larger the age gap, the greater the likelihood of divorce. In your hypothetical pairing of a 50 year old man and an 18 year old woman, the likelihood of divorce be over 95%.

[12]

And this makes sense. Two people raised in two entirely different times will have few cultural touchstones in common. A man who is nearing the age of diminished sexual function and a woman who is at the peak of hers is not the optimal pairing. Here is a man who, for whatever reason, finds women whose brains have finished forming less attractive than young women whose brains are still not fully adult. (Human brains do not fully mature until age 25). But the the thing is, 18 year olds grow up, and when they do, they might not want to be in the same kind of wise mentor/ eager pupil relationship that so many of these May-December pairings seem to be. In my own extended family, such a marriage ended in divorce because the older man couldn’t accept that his younger wife no longer wanted to be “taught” and controlled by him; she wanted to be an equal partner in the marriage.

#6 Comment By VikingLS On November 13, 2017 @ 12:22 pm

“Sure. There are pro-choice Democrats. News at 11”

@Jay

I do not believe you missed my point.

The issue is not “there are pro-choice Democrats.”

You KNEW I wasn’t even suggesting that.

The issue is that the Democrats are pushing out pro-life Democrats.

Jay you KNEW that was my point.

Why did you distort it?

Is anything you do in the name of politics moral and right to you because of the ends?

I suspect that’s it.

#7 Comment By JonF On November 13, 2017 @ 12:48 pm

Re: If the battles were about tax cuts and the like, I’d gladly say that Roy Moore should step aside.

Perhaps you have not been following the doings in DC of late– but that is exactly and precisely what the “battle” is about: tax cuts. And before that, an attempt to junk the ACA in order to facilitate a large tax cut for Certain People (whom I doubt are “your people” though maybe I’m wrong.) Please pay some attention to things happening in the real world.

Re: Besides, if he were guilty, I would not support him being Senator – as I said, once elected, the Senate can remove him.

One problem here is that there’s a Supreme Court decision (a very bad one IMO) which denies the power of Congress to refuse to seat a duly elected member on any but the narrowest technical grounds.

#8 Comment By DRK On November 13, 2017 @ 3:08 pm

Sorry, I need to correct my comment slightly –

“…likelihood of divorce be over 95%”

should read

“likelihood of divorce be 95% over the average rate.” So a marriage of a 50 year old and an 18 year old would almost twice as likely to end in divorce that a marriage of two people with a three year age gap.

#9 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 13, 2017 @ 3:53 pm

Gloria Allred just produced a second accuser, so the likelihood that Moore didn’t do anything wrong just got even smaller.

#10 Comment By TA On November 13, 2017 @ 4:45 pm

@JonF: One problem here is that there’s a Supreme Court decision (a very bad one IMO) which denies the power of Congress to refuse to seat a duly elected member on any but the narrowest technical grounds.

I believe that decision is narrowly targeted to seating a Senator vs. expelling a Senator – which is a separate process. Specifically, they could still get rid of Moore by voting to seat him and then voting to expel him 5 minutes later.

#11 Comment By Jay On November 13, 2017 @ 5:21 pm

One problem here is that there’s a Supreme Court decision (a very bad one IMO) which denies the power of Congress to refuse to seat a duly elected member on any but the narrowest technical grounds.

Why is this bad? Moore hasn’t committed any crimes (b/c of the statute of limitations) that he can be prosecuted for. He is an awful person but anyone who is normal knew this before all this came out. If Alabama elects him anyway then it will show that a large segment of the state is deranged and debased, but they are entitled to have the guy who represents their values.

#12 Comment By Jay On November 13, 2017 @ 5:25 pm

The issue is that the Democrats are pushing out pro-life Democrats.

Nonsense. Which pro-life Democrats are being pushed out, exactly? Harry Reid? Tim Ryan? Joe Manchin? Jon Bel Edwards? Jim Langevin? Joe Donnelly?

In this specific case, which pro-life Democrat did Jones elbow out of the race?

#13 Comment By Jay On November 13, 2017 @ 5:29 pm

[NFR: That’s stupid. “If you don’t vote for Jones, you are for the Klan!” — RD]

Why is that stupid? The guy is a genuine hero. In a civilized part of the country, 80% of the electorate would crawl across broken glass to vote for the guy who successfully prosecuted KKK domestic terrorists when nobody else could. The fact that there are so many people who won’t speaks for them and their preferences.

And that’s before the other guy was a child molester. That these people prefer the pedophile says it all about their basic decency.

#14 Comment By Hector_St__Clare On November 13, 2017 @ 11:58 pm

DRK,

Yes, I was aware of that interesting study. (I didn’t mention it since it wasn’t about late teenagers or young adults specifically, but about age discordance more general).

I think you’re probably right, descriptively speaking, and I also think you have an insightful explanation as to why divorce risk is greater. Specifically, I think this is both a great example of why (some) people are drawn to age discordant relationships, and also why people might ‘grow out’ of them:

Here is a man who, for whatever reason, finds women whose brains have finished forming less attractive than young women whose brains are still not fully adult…… But the the thing is, 18 year olds grow up, and when they do, they might not want to be in the same kind of wise mentor/ eager pupil relationship that so many of these May-December pairings seem to be.

That isn’t an implausible argument to me, on its own. Where I would strongly disagree with you is that I don’t think “How likely is this relationship to be lifelong?” is a good test of whether a relationship is moral, legal, advisable, ‘creepy’ or so forth. There are lots of very, very happy relationships that leave both people better off, but that don’t last the length of a lifetime. Some such relationships last for months, some for years, some for decades, but since I’m not a believer that ‘monogamous permanent marriage’ is the only ideal for romantic and sexual behavior, I don’t find it problematic that some relationships might have greater risk of divorce, while also being perfectly moral and healthy.

After all, there are plenty of other risk factors for divorce besides age discordance. Interracial marriage, for example. (Specifically, a marriage between a Black man and a white woman has twice the risk of divorce as between two white spouses, which is even bigger than your postulated 18 year old and 50 year old; marriages between Black women and white men are actually more stable than the norm: [13]).

Lesbian relationships also have a much higher divorce risk than the average marriage. So do marriages where the wife had a lot of sexual partners before marriage. None of that means, intrinsically, that lesbianism, premarital sex, or interracial relationships are a bad idea. Maybe a genuinely happy relationship is worth it even if it doesn’t last forever, or even if it has a higher risk of not doing so.

The best ways to judge whether a relationship between consenting adults is morally healthy is, to me, to ask 1) does it contribute to the flourishing and growth of the people involved, 2) are the people involved likely to regret it in the future, and 3) are they genuinely happy right now?

The first question is subjective so can only have a subjective answer: maybe I’ll get into my thoughts on that later, but I think age discordant relationships can actually have a very high potential reward in terms of personal growth (for exactly the same “mentor” and “pupil” stuff you mention above). Regarding 2), I think the Mercer paper I cited establishes that women are in general not particularly likely to regret these relationships when you survey them about it 20 or 30 years later. And regarding the last one, there’s an interesting study (by one Lehmiller, I think), that indicates that people in culturally unusual relationships (interracial as well as age-gap relationships), actually tend to have greater levels of commitment and care for each other than standard marriages do (the idea is it’s a way of compensating for less support from the broader culture). This response to you is longer than it should be, but I’ll see if I can dig up that paper, because it was very interesting.

#15 Comment By Hector_St__Clare On November 14, 2017 @ 12:02 am

DRK,

I don’t have access to the full text articles at home, but I’ll get back to you when I’m at work tomorrow.

#16 Comment By VikingLS On November 14, 2017 @ 12:14 am

@Pepi

Look I can undertand you presuming I was saying that real Christians are Republicans, I wasn’t, but you’re probably accustomed to hearing that argument.

All Christians are not Republicans. All Democrats are not SJW progressives. I think most Democrats do not hate Republicans, they just think they’re wrong. When it comes to the welfare state personally I think, flawed as it is, the right has no good answers as to what we would do without it, and in most cases have ignored the facts on the ground.

My problem here is with Hound of Ulster and his rhetoric, not all Christians who vote for Democrats.

BTW unless you are Orthodox yourself, you might want to think carefully about what Hound of Ulster said about heretics.

#17 Comment By VikingLS On November 14, 2017 @ 12:32 am

“The fact is that there are Christians who are Democrats because they believe that things like our stewardship of the earth, our social safety net and other things are of great importance from a standpoint of their faith, perhaps more important than LGBTQ and abortion.”

@Pepi

BTW I am pretty sick and tired myself of people who treat these as either/ors.

The Russian Orthodox Church, which is treated as such a villain in the USA, supports a strong social safety net, actively works with the poor, immigrants, and drug addicts, the environment, and even animal welfare. (While I was living in Russia in 2001 Patriarch Alexy worked with animal rights groups to prevent a bullfight in Moscow as part of a Portuguese cultural festival.) The Russian Orthodox Church also opposes (and this is an uphill battle in Russia) abortion and (too much I think) the LGBT agenda.

So don’t try and tell me you just have different priorities. It’s only necessary to do that if you’re letting your political party dictate your priorities. Almost every church organization in the USA is at least nominally prolife. Pro-Choice Christians are ignoring the teachings of their own church on this. Pro-Death Christians are very likely to be doing the same thing. I am a Republican, but I stand with the Orthodox Church against the death penalty and torture and if that makes me a bad Republican, I could care less. (I voted for Obama, if being a good Republican saved you I’m going to hell anyway. )

Remember also you’re commenting on the page of the guy who wrote crunchy cons.

#18 Comment By VikingLS On November 14, 2017 @ 12:33 am

That should be “Pro-Death Penalty Christians”.

#19 Comment By Lo On November 14, 2017 @ 3:57 pm

Actually they can’t refuse to seat him or it would be adding an extra-Constitutional requirement which only requires he be 30 yrs old and a resident of Alabama, which Moore is. They also cannot expel him because of having credible or not credible accusations against him. This is NOT how our representative Constitutional republic works. It’s up to the Alabama voters to decide whether they believe the allegations, which is what they are, or not. If he wins the GOP is stuck with him. Stop trying to turn us into a Banana Republic and setting a dangerous precedent.

#20 Comment By pepi On November 14, 2017 @ 9:11 pm

[VikingLS says: November 14, 2017 at 12:32 am
So don’t try and tell me you just have different priorities. It’s only necessary to do that if you’re letting your political party dictate your priorities.]

I don’t see your logic in this at all. As the Pew Polling stats show, only Evangelicals and Mormons have a majority who are GOP/leanGOP. All forms of Christianity have a large number who are democrats and independents. Why in the world would this indicate for any particular person whether their faith was dictating choice of party or the reverse? I think there are plenty of people who would find things to object to politically about Jimmy Carter but there are few who would doubt the sincerity and commitment that he has with regard to his religion.

#21 Comment By VikingLS On November 14, 2017 @ 10:36 pm

@Jay

[14]

Just because some well established Democrats aren’t in danger doesn’t mean there isn’t pressure on pro-life Democrats to change their minds or change their parties.

Look, if you like losing half the country in national elections, by all means keep pretending this isn’t a problem for Democrats.

#22 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 14, 2017 @ 10:47 pm

Actually they can’t refuse to seat him or it would be adding an extra-Constitutional requirement which only requires he be 30 yrs old and a resident of Alabama, which Moore is. They also cannot expel him because of having credible or not credible accusations against him.

This is true. If a majority of Alabama voters elect Roy Moore, they are entitled to be represented by Roy Moore.

#23 Comment By Jay On November 15, 2017 @ 4:43 am

Just because some well established Democrats aren’t in danger doesn’t mean there isn’t pressure on pro-life Democrats to change their minds or change their parties.

Name one, specifically, that is under pressure that is more serious than just some disapprobation from nobodies.

I concede that there is some tension between pro-choice and pro-life Democrats, but Ben Lujan, the person in charge of recruiting congressional candidates, just told them to shut up, that there is no litmus test, and he was backed up by Tom Perez, the head of the DNC. So the national party very publicly welcomes pro-life members and candidates and gives them money and support.

The Democrats will probably not have a pro-life platform in the foreseeable future, but since more than half the country *is* pro-choice it stands to reason that one of the two major parties would have a pro-choice platform and run mostly pro-choice candidates.

If you, yourself, cannot bring yourself to join such a coalition then that is your prerogative. But don’t propagate the myth that you and your pro-life brethren were *driven* out.

#24 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On November 15, 2017 @ 4:32 pm

More citations. This one was pretty interesting (from Carolyn Agurcia et al., 2001). It’s not a great study since I’m really interested in young adults here, and they looked at a sample of mid to late teenage mothers (which included some under the age of consent). That said, the median age was almost 18, which means it’s probably not uninformative about how 18-20 year olds deal with relationships with older people. (Age of the fathers in the study ranged from 20-50, median of 26). They didn’t find any statistically significant differences in domestic abuse, drug / alcohol use, relationships with friends or contraception use by the girls in question. (They did find that the girls in relationships with older partners were somewhat less likely to use condoms and had poorer relationships with their families / less financial support from their families, but it’s hard to know what way the causality goes).

[15]

Lehmiller and Agnew cite this other paper, unfortunately it’s not accessible to me through Google Scholar:

“For instance, age-gap partners appear to
be more trusting, less jealous, and less selfish in their relationships compared to
persons who are more similar in age to their romantic partners (Zak, Armer, Edmunds, Fleury, Sarris, & Shatynski, 2001).” (That was a study of college students in relationship with people at least 4 years older).

Lehmiller and Agnew, themselves, in a 2008 paper found that women in relationships with much younger men were the happiest, but partnerships between young women and older men were not different (in terms of overall satisfaction or commitment to the relationship) than relationships of same-age partners.

[16]

Finally there’s some reason to think that the fact that some people disapprove of age-discrepant relationships *in itself* makes them more likely to end due to lack of social support. (Rather than the reasons you cite). The reason this might be plausible is because other socially disapproved relationships (Black men and White women, gay and lesbian relationships) also have a high likelihood of divorce (comparable to strongly age discrepant relationships in the first place, much higher in the second). Seems reasonably parsimonious explanation to me.

#25 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 16, 2017 @ 1:28 pm

So the national party very publicly welcomes pro-life members and candidates and gives them money and support.

This is pragmatically sensible, and would be for a libertarian, socialist, constitutionalist, or any other party that developed a real national scope.

There are districts and states where a majority of voters will not support a pro-choice candidate, but will support a pro-life candidate who also supports a $15 an hour minimum wage. That’s a better outcome than a pro-life Republican who opposes a $15 an hour minimum wage. Likewise, there are districts and states where a pro-life candidate cannot win, but votes are more evenly divided on other issues.