KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:
While Republican leaders in Washington have almost uniformly called for Moore to step down, in Alabama, he continues to have a lot of support. Mike Allison, the pastor of Madison Baptist Church in Madison, Ala., has supported Moore for a long time. And he says that's still true. He says he's admired and appreciated Moore's work.
ELISE HU, HOST:
Especially when, as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore ignored an order to remove the Ten Commandments from the front of his judicial building. Given his admiration for Moore's strong Christian positions, I asked Reverend Allison what he makes of allegations that Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old and assaulted a 16-year-old in his car.
MIKE ALLISON: Well, obviously, they're very serious allegations. Now, if you were asking me, do I believe that Judge Moore did those things? I do not believe he did them.
HU: And why don't you believe the allegations?
ALLISON: Well, I know Judge Moore. I've known him for 20 years. And, of course, living in Alabama, we've seen his service. We've seen the stands that he has taken. He has proven himself in character to be a godly man and a good man. He fights for what he believes is right. And that's gotten him in trouble with people on both sides of the aisle down through the years. And what has impressed me is that he has been willing to take unpopular stands and stick by them. He's a man, I believe, of his word.
HU: Does this mean that his accusers - or that you believe his accusers are lying?
ALLISON: I don't know his accusers. I do believe that there is a very suspicious aspect to this whole thing - that it all takes place four weeks before this election. And by the time that it finally does get settled - when it's over - it'll be long after the election. And even if he's as, you know, as clean as the driven snow, as they say - even if he's that, it'll be too late for the election to help. I personally think that this is one of those, quote, unquote, "false surprises" that they look for in elections. And this is very serious.
HU: And I should point out, of course, that these women did not independently come forward. A journalist for The Washington Post had been covering this race and heard about the persistent rumors about Roy Moore. And the women then were convinced to speak. And so does this still make you question the timing or the motivations of the accusers?
ALLISON: Well, I don't know about the motivations of the accusers. But you started out with The Washington Post, which is a very liberal paper. And, personally, I don't believe a lot of what they print in The Washington Post from what I have seen in the past myself. However, like I said, I don't know these ladies at all. I do know Judge Moore, and I could speak for him. I like the stance that he takes. I don't believe that's clouded my judgment.
The problem that I have here is that there is a rush to judgment on everybody's part on the basis of things that have been alleged. There's been no court. There's been no proof put forth. All I saw in the one proof the other day had to do with the he signed somebody's yearbook. When someone is alleged that you've done something that you know you haven't done, do you just back off and say, OK, I quit? He's taking a stand. He says that didn't happen. And I do believe that in this country, at least, we're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.
HU: House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell - they are among the people who have said that they believe the women. So are you saying that they also are rushing to judgment?
ALLISON: Well, I would say yes, I believe that they are. But I think that's more politically motivated on their part. Understand that Judge Roy Moore has taken stands very unpopular, especially with Mitch McConnell. And I would like to see what proof he has to make that kind of a statement and to threaten some of the things that I've heard threatened by senators, saying that they may not, if he's elected, be allowed to serve. I'm just absolutely flabbergasted at such a quick rush to judgment within seven days. Without any proof coming forward, they've automatically said, basically, guilty.
HU: What if Roy Moore were to admit that these allegations were true? Would you change your position?
HU: And would that lead you to support Doug Jones in this race instead?
ALLISON: Oh, I can't because he has four issues that I am totally opposed to. He's way too liberal for me. I'm a very conservative individual based on my Bible beliefs. So I couldn't support him. I would just have to write in a name or vote for somebody else.
HU: All right. That's Dr. Mike Allison, pastor of Madison Baptist Church in Madison, Ala., and a Roy Moore supporter. Pastor, thanks.
ALLISON: Thank you very much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.