November 10, 2017 22:34 GMT by cnn.com

'There's lots of fake news': Here's how Alabamians feel about Roy Moore now

Alabamians have reacted to the Roy Moore allegations by calling it "fake news," saying they are impossible to verify, or using Biblical references to defend him.

Allison has known the Alabama Republican candidate for US Senate as a man of integrity for about 20 years, he told CNN. That history bears more weight than allegations in a newspaper, he said.
"I don't even believe the allegations. There's lots of fake news going around these days," Allison said. "They're allegations. How can he even defend himself against 40-year-old allegations? You used to be innocent until proven guilty."
Allison is just one of a number of Moore's supporters who have variously dismissed or downplayed the reporting in The Washington Post that Moore pursued sexual relationships with younger teenagers when he was in his early 30s. In a series of tweets, Moore denied the allegations and said he would "NEVER GIVE UP the fight" for Senate.
He faces Democrat Doug Jones in a special election December 12.
Like Allison, Alabamians have variously reacted to the allegations by calling the media "fake news," saying the 40-year length of time makes it impossible to verify, or using Biblical references in his defense. Here's a look at how Alabama residents said they are dealing with the bombshell accusations.

'If true'

A number of Alabama residents hedged their support for Moore by saying that, "if true," he should step down.
The Rev. Jamie Holcomb of Young's Chapel Congregational Methodist Church in Piedmont said he's known Moore for his whole life and never known him to do anything inappropriate. He said that he'd need to see more proof before he changed his mind.
"I stand behind him 100%, unless there's proof," he said. "If (his accusers) are found to have been assaulted, I'll be the first to condemn it."
"If true, he needs to resign," he added.
Tim Huddleston, a Republican, said he wanted justice to prevail in the end but wasn't sure whether an investigation could be done by election time.
"If they're true, that's bad (and) he needs to step out of the race, there's no question of that," he said. "The problem you have is all of a sudden -- whether you're Democrat or Republican -- you can't come in 30 days before the election and say here are some unsubstantiated allegations. It would take so much research and questioning and lie detector tests and whatever to determine whether there's validity behind it."
Dottie Finch said she liked Moore's Christian values and that he was a praying man and a good father. She said that she stands by him "100%" and that she would continue to support him even if the allegations were true.
"I would power forward and keep on supporting him, just like I have with Donald Trump as our president."
If the allegations are true, that's "between him and his good Lord," she added. "Even if they prove to be true, I still would support Roy Moore because I feel as if that happened in the past."

Fake news

In a series of tweets, Moore denied the allegations and blamed the media.
"The Obama-Clinton Machine's liberal media lapdogs just launched the most vicious and nasty round of attacks against me I've EVER faced!" he wrote. "We are in the midst of a spiritual battle with those who want to silence our message."
"The forces of evil will lie, cheat, steal -- even inflict physical harm -- if they believe it will silence and shut up Christian conservatives like you and me," he added.
In a statement, Moore campaign chair Bill Armistead said that The Washington Post had endorsed Moore's opponent and engaged in a "systematic campaign to distort the truth."
"Judge Roy Moore is winning with a double-digit lead. So it is no surprise, with just over four weeks remaining, in a race for the US Senate with national implications, that the Democratic Party and the country's most liberal newspaper would come up with a fabrication of this kind.
"This garbage is the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation," he added.
Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, compared the allegations to Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape in which the then-candidate made lewd comments about women.
"The Bezos Amazon Washington Post that dropped that dime on Donald Trump is the same Bezos Amazon Washington Post that dropped the dime this afternoon on Judge Roy Moore," Bannon said Thursday night. "Now is that a coincidence? That's what I mean when I say opposition party, right?"

Bible defense

Alabama state auditor Jim Zeigler used Biblical examples to argue that Moore's relationships were not inappropriate.
"Take the Bible: Zechariah and Elizabeth, for instance," Zeigler said. "Zechariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist. 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. Maybe just a little bit unusual."
The examples don't exactly apply to Moore's situation. In the Bible, Joseph was the husband of Mary, but Jesus is conceived through the Holy Spirit. Although Joseph is often popularly depicted as an old man and Mary as a youthful virgin, the Bible does not explicitly mention their ages.
Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, are both described in Luke as "well stricken in years," according to the King James Bible.
CNN correspondent Martin Savidge spoke to Moore's brother, Jerry Moore, over the phone. Savidge said that the brother felt Moore was "being persecuted, in his own words, like Jesus Christ was."
"Very defiant and very outspoken, relying on his faith and defending his brother to the hilt," Savidge said.

Many years ago

Several Moore supporters argued that the timing of the accusations, a month before the special election, was suspicious.
"I don't think he's done nothing like that," said Alphonso Bradford, who said he plans to vote for Moore. "Why didn't it come up seven to eight months ago when he was running? All of a sudden two weeks from now, all this stuff comes up. I believe it's a lot of BS. I really do."
Pastor Bruce Jenkins, of Young's Chapel, said he's known Moore to be a fair man.
"I don't know what's happened in this country where a man isn't innocent until proven guilty," he said. "It's not fair to comment until it's proven or disproven."
He also questioned the timing of the Post's report.
"It's a pretty convenient time for this to come out, and it has not changed my opinion and won't, unless true," he said.
One state official, Marion County GOP chair David Hall, told The Toronto Star that the allegations were irrelevant because of the time that has passed.
"It was 40 years ago," he told the Star. "I really don't see the relevance of it. He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She's not saying that anything happened other than they kissed."

Not the Democrat

Bibb County Republican chairman Jerry Pow told The Toronto Star that he would still vote for Moore over his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.
"I would vote for Judge Moore because I wouldn't want to vote for Doug. I'm not saying I support what he did," Pow said.
Christopher Word, an attorney in Gadsden, said his opinion on Moore's candidacy hasn't changed -- but that was "more so to do with Doug Jones than Judge Moore himself."
"Whatever he did 40 years ago is irrelevant to the person he is now," Word said.
"He could be the single most conservative in the US Senate. If anyone is going to work to clean up the mess ... it's him," he added.
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