By now, we’ve all heard the allegations against Judge Roy Moore. The charges are monstrous but still, Moore has his defenders, claiming that a fourteen year old is not a child. #MeAt14 and #MeAt16 has popped up on social media in protest. But what bothers me about the whole incident is just how quickly we’ve reversed our stance; I lived through the era of the McMartin trial. I can remember the hysteria at the height of the Satanic Panic. At that time, Believe the Children was the rallying cry, even though no physical evidence was ever found to substantiate these claims. No matter how insane the allegations–whether it was murdering baby tigers in a grave yard or being taken up to the moon in a spaceship– we were supposed to believe the children, for they spoke the truth.
Now? Not so much.
Part of this comes from the fact that Moore is known as a “god-fearing christian man”. This is the same guy that popped up on my radar when he kept trying to install a giant Ten Commandments monument outside the Alabama Judicial Building. He was making headlines on Witchvox and the Wren’s Nest news aggregator. He was seen as a good, decent, upstanding man, one who was following the bible.
In other words, no matter how wrong the guy was, he was always right. He was one of the good guys.
Now, all of a sudden, Moore is being of accused of some truly heinous things. But it’s easy to ignore that if you think of the victims as mislead by Satan. Because only someone who has been tricked by Satan could make up such terrible accusations against a “good” man. Why would they wait so many years unless they were lying? Why wouldn’t they come forward and accuse someone with so much power when they were just children?
We no longer believe the children. Instead, we’re far more likely to condemn them for coming forward, to disbelieve them and to say, “Stop saying such awful things about such a good person!” Because that “good” person wouldn’t dare do such awful things; we “know” them well enough to know this as a fact.
But remember: a molester is not a demon. They are human. They will always be human.
That’s the terrifying thing, the thing we should never forget: abusers are human beings, not monsters in a human mask.