Extremist anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ activist Flip Benham was among the Religious Right activists who gathered in Alabama last week to defend Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore amid multiple reports that Moore had pursued sexual relationships with teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Yesterday, Benham was interviewed by Alabama radio hosts Matt Murphy and Andrea Lindenberg on their “Matt & Aunie” show about the press conference and the allegations against Moore, and to say that the interview was a debacle would be an understatement.
The interview became rather hostile very quickly, as Murphy and Lindenberg took exception to Benham’s repeated attacks on the press, as well as his constant interruptions and attempts to speak over them. When Murphy eventually asked Benham what message it was he and his fellow activists had hoped to impart to the voters of Alabama with their press conference, Benham uncorked a truly bizarre defense of Moore’s reported penchant for pursuing teenage girls.
“I think that, number one, you need to understand, 40 years ago, what the Sitz im Leben was like in Alabama,” Benham said. “Judge Roy Moore graduated from West Point and then went on into the service, served in Vietnam and then came back and was in law school. All of the ladies, or many of the ladies that he possibly could have married were not available then, they were already married, maybe, somewhere. So he looked in a different direction and always with the [permission of the] parents of younger ladies … He did that because there is something about a purity of a young woman, there is something that is good, that’s true, that’s straight and he looked for that.”
When the hosts pointed out that Moore’s wife, Kayla, was divorced when she married Moore, which rather undermined Benham’s contention that he was looking for “purity” in a potential mate, Benham tried to change the subject by asking the hosts if it is acceptable for an adult man “to date and court a young lady who is 14 year old with their parents’ consent.” Benham clearly thinks that it is, but that line of questioning did not work out particularly well, since it prompted Murphy to ask Benham if he thinks it is acceptable for a man to date a 10-year-old girl if he receives permission from her parents, which caused Benham to angrily stumble around for a reasonable response.
“I don’t think that that would happen,” was all Benham could come up with while meekly insisting that the question was just “another logical fallacy.”
When Murphy explained he was asking the exact same question that Benham had posed but had simply changed the age of the girl in question, Benham endlessly protested and tried to dodge the question before eventually agreeing that a grown man dating a 10-year-old girl would be inappropriate.
“Congratulations, Flip,” said Murphy. “Now you are in the modern world.”