Pastor Mark Burns exists solely to put his foot in his mouth on public platforms.
Last year, he tweeted an image of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in black face. Afterwards, he walked out of a CNN interview when questioned about exaggerating his resumé (c’mon, we have all done that).
This time, Burns was on MSNBC with host Joy Reid where he was defending Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in the aftermath of nine people accusing him of sexual assault.
Paston Burns, as Reid made clear, was on the show in his capacity as a pastor who could provide the moral framework from which to consider Moore. Burns eliminated his need to be on the show by proclaiming that morality is not a necessary qualification to be a leader.
Reid was taken aback, understandably.
Soldiering on, she asked Burns what he would do if someone accused of sexual assault by nine teenagers was brought to him. Burns said he would start the healing process within the individual before thinking of any punitive measures against him.
“Roy Moore isn’t asking for redemption or healing,” Reid reminded him. “He’s denying he did it.”
When asked if he even believed the accusers, Burns said, “I do find the fact that Roy Moore has served faithfully for over 40 years publicly in public office and these women had plenty of opportunity, plenty of opportunities, Joy, to come out and it is suspicious. I think the great people of Alabama are realizing that, which is why the majority of Alabamians are still going to vote for Roy Moore, even the governor, even the women that stepped up and said we’re still supporting Roy Moore, because their understanding, it is extremely suspicious that this is all coming out after he’s become the candidate.”
Republican strategist Sarah Rumpf, also on the panel, weighed in, explaining how powerful men often try to use their position to discredit women who accuse them of sexual abuse.
“The idea that we’re going to discredit these women because they don’t have the prominence of Roy Moore,” said Rumpf. “That is how Roy Moore and Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly and all the rest of these predators have been getting away with it for so long because they were in a position of power and the women were afraid of social and professional and cultural consequences.”
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters/Lucas Jackson