Social media has been ablaze since Wednesday with claims that Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in Alabama’s US Senate election, believes government roles are best left to men. The outrage stems from a report by ThinkProgress revealing that Moore was listed as a “featured speaker” in a 2011 study course hosted by Vision Forum, a Texas evangelical organization that has since shut down.
During the course, another featured speaker, William Einwechter, lectured that women are unfit for elected office, and if nominated, Christians have an obligation not to vote for them.
“She’s not a warrior. She’s not a judge. She’s a woman. Created by God. Glorious in her place and in her conduct and in her role,” Einwechter said in his lesson, titled “What the Bible Says About Female Magistrates.” Continued Einwechter’s lecture: “Nothing is said in scripture that supports the notion that she is qualified or called to be a civil magistrate.”
But the outrage, which went from Moore’s Twitter critics to his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, is misplaced: Moore does, in fact, believe women have the right to hold public office, according to his campaign.
ThinkProgress’s deeply-reported piece makes clear that Moore himself didn’t argue that women shouldn’t hold office, merely that his name appeared in the course packet alongside Einwechter’s. But Jones still released a statement that said “Alabamians are learning [Moore] doesn’t even think women should run for office.” And folks on Twitter have eagerly pushed that narrative:
In shocking news, Roy Moore thinks women shouldn’t be allowed to run for office. https://t.co/dyTQ7wvUSx
— s.e. smith (@sesmith) November 30, 2017
Today’s GOP, folks: Roy Moore doesn’t think women should work outside the home, run for office…or maybe even vote. https://t.co/7JxSzhVoZ2
— Shannon Fisher (@MsShannonFisher) November 30, 2017
You really think women shouldn't run for office huh? https://t.co/CSDJLpN0My
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) November 30, 2017
In a statement to Washingtonian, a Moore campaign spokeswoman said that Moore has never endorsed this view. She added that if elected, Moore would confirm President Trump‘s judicial nominees—even if they’re women.
“Judge Moore has never stated or believed that women are unqualified for public office,” the spokeswoman said. “Judge Moore believes that men and women are created equal and he would absolutely confirm qualified, constitutionally conservative judges—men or women.”