An ally of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is combating allegations that he had sexual contact with underage women, defended Mr Moore by noting the age gap separating the parents of Jesus Christ.
The Washington Post reported that Mr Moore allegedly initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old and made advances over three other teenagers when he was in his 30s, with the paper having interviewed all four women. The Alabaman has been in the national spotlight after defeating a more moderate Republican, Luther Strange, to win a spot in the general election.
Mr Moore has denied the allegations - saying: “These allegations are completely false and are a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post on this campaign”
However, Mr Moore, 70, is already facing mounting political fallout. Republican Senators distanced themselves by saying Mr Moore should exit the campaign if the Post’s reporting proves true.
But he retains supporters in his home state, among them Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler. Mr Ziegler told the Washington Examiner that “there’s nothing to see here”, noting that the alleged encounters would have occurred decades ago and that the women quoted by the Post did not say intercourse occurred.
Then Mr Ziegler floated a religious justification, noting the age gap between the parents of Jesus Christ.
“Take Joseph and Mary”, Mr Ziegler told the Examiner. “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus”.
An important tenet of Christian theology holds that Mary became pregnant with Jesus Christ without having intercourse with her husband Joseph.
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