At least four pastors have asked AL.com to remove their names from a letter published on Sunday that affirmed their support for Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, accused last week of sexual misconduct with at least four teenage girls.
The reason? The pastors told AL.com that the letter was written and published in August — long before the allegations against Moore went public — and had been reposted without their permission.
According to AL.com, the original letter was written during the primaries and posted on Moore’s campaign website. Then on Sunday, a shortened version of the letter was posted on Facebook by Kayla Moore, Roy Moore’s wife. The post implied that all 50 signatories supported Moore despite the recent accusations of sexual misconduct. AL.com published an article about Moore’s post on Sunday.
"I was not asked about this story or allegations," said Tijuanna Adetunji, one of the pastors whose name was attached to the letter, in an article on AL.com.
The letter, published on Facebook before the latest accusation (which bumped the number of allegations up to five), referred to Moore as an “immovable rock in the culture wars,” and stated, “It’s no wonder the Washington establishment has declared all-out war on his campaign.”
According to several pastors, the letter was posted without their permission. Pastor Thad Endicott of Heritage Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama said that they had not been contacted about the allegations against Moore, and that nobody had asked their permission to repost the letter. Another pastor, Dr. George Grant of Parish Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, told reporters that he had not even been consulted regarding the earlier letter, and that his name had been used in both instances without his permission.
However, some pastors named in the letter reaffirmed their support of Moore. Rev. David Whitney of Cornerstone Free Evangelical Church in Pasadena, Maryland, told Jezebel’s Ellie Shechet that although he had not been consulted before Moore reposted his endorsement, he still supported Moore and doubted the allegations against him.
It remains to be seen how much of Moore’s original evangelical base will continue to back him. However, there are reasons to think he might hold on to their support. Plenty of his supporters have stated that they believe the accusations are “fake news,” or else that they happened too long ago to be relevant to a current campaign.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the post remained active on Kayla Moore’s public Facebook page, with all original names intact.