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“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.
Girls were destined for marriage, and doing it at a young age was appropriate.
A parent was interested in having her marry and move on.” Even as farm economics became less relevant to most families, Syrett said, the conservative religious emphasis on preventing girls from engaging in sexual activity outside marriage caused the cultural preference for girls’ marrying at a young age to continue.
When Roy Moore, then 34 years old, asked 17-year-old Debbie Wesson Gibson whether she would date him, Gibson asked her mother what she would think. “It’s not so uncommon that people would necessarily look at it askance,” said Nicholas Syrett, a University of Kansas professor who recently published a book on child marriage in America.
For most evangelical Christians, relationships between older men and teenage girls are viewed as wholly inappropriate.For most of them, a relationship such as the ones Moore is reported to have pursued with teens is far beyond the norm. Even “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, a conservative Christian who married his wife when he was 20 and she was 16, caused a firestorm years ago for advising men, “You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16.” Easter said she experienced this courtship culture herself.As a woman in a fundamentalist Christian church who was expected to remain under her father’s roof until he handed her over to her husband, Easter became a “stay-at-home daughter” after high school.Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.