She said she understood the pressure a teenager might feel to marry an older man as a way to gain some measure of independence.Easter left her fundamentalist community four years ago, at age 21, after leaving a courtship relationship.Now, she helps run Courage Conference, a gathering of people who have left abusive religious communities, and listens to the struggles of the women who attend.“Their lives are very difficult now that they’ve gotten free.But for the vast majority of evangelicals, that’s not accepted behavior,” he said. You don’t know if somebody’s embellishing,” Brinson said.He said he’s not sure what to make of the report about Moore, and he’s not sure whether he’ll vote for him. “I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and say let’s see what the truth is.” He said he wants to talk to Moore and his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, and then send his personal conclusion to his email list of 3 million evangelical Alabama voters.“It’s crazy how many child marriages happen in America.” Want more stories about faith? Follow Acts of Faith on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter.
It may have happened in some occasional context, but it would not have been a cultural norm.” He said the reaction of most Southern evangelical communities would be “extraordinarily negative. I would imagine a shotgun involved.” [A plan to eliminate the adoption tax credit would be devastating] Randy Brinson, an influential evangelical pastor who ran against Moore in his primary race in this election, said that the evangelical Christians he knows in Alabama would generally not approve of such a relationship. There are very conservative communities where some of that is condoned, where you have these teen brides and all that sort of thing.
At least 31 percent of those children married a spouse who was older than 21 years old, according to a Washington Post article from February.
In the 1970s, when Moore was in his 30s and reportedly dating teenagers, the laws on child marriage were changing, Syrett said.
“We should probably talk about how there is a segment of evangelicalism and home-school culture where the only thing Roy Moore did wrong was initiating sexual contact outside of marriage.
14 year old girls courting adult men isn’t entirely uncommon,” Kathryn Brightbill, who works for the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, tweeted Friday, prompting a flurry of responses from other people who also had watched teenagers date much older Christian men.
Brad Wilcox, a sociologist at the University of Virginia who studies marriage and families in the United States, said that while people tended to date and marry younger in the 1970s and 1980s, when Moore allegedly was dating teenagers, an age gap such as that between Moore and the girls would still have been highly unusual.