Jesus, Mary and Joseph, this is where we are in Alabama politics. And sadly, they’re even bringing the three of you into this. Not to pray to you about this sad state of affairs, but to use you in some twisted way to excuse a 30-something-year-old man of undressing a 14-year-old girl down to her bra and panties, undressing himself to his “tight whites” and taking her hand and placing it on his erect penis. You know, just the kind of things you want to hear about one of your state’s candidates for the United States Senate.

“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler told the Washington Examiner last week as he tried to “defend” embattled Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, who, at press time, is accused of having relationships with five teenage girls when he was in his 30s. Some of these alleged relationships involve felonious behavior while others are at best inappropriate.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, indeed. Please help us.

Republicans in the U.S. Senate are withdrawing their support and threatening expulsion if Moore should still win this race, many saying they find the women’s allegations more credible than Moore’s denials and asking him to step aside. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Congress on Tuesday he “had no reason to doubt” Moore’s accusers.

The Alabama GOP has stood by their man thus far, discouraging a write-in campaign, while also making embarrassing statements seeming to support or at least shrug off the act of molesting teenage girls.

“It was 40 years ago,” Alabama Marion County GOP chair David Hall told Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale. “I really don’t see the relevance of it. He was 32. She was supposedly 14. She’s not saying that anything happened other than they kissed.”

No, that’s not what she said, Dave. And she was 14. But let’s just move on and hear some more asinine comments.

“Other than being with an underage person — he didn’t really force himself,” Alabama Geneva County GOP chairman Riley Seibenhener told Dale.

Um, pretty sure the whole “underage” thing is the major problem here, sir.

Sigh. These reactions are almost as troublesome as the allegations themselves. There should be no statute of limitations on anyone being absolutely repulsed by this.

But thankfully, it really doesn’t matter what these guys think. At this point, Moore cannot be removed from the ballot and it doesn’t look like a serious “write-in” campaign for another Republican candidate is very likely, so this mess will be left for Alabama voters to clean up.

And we have to do just that, y’all. We can’t let Roy Moore be the next senator for the great state of Alabama. We just can’t. We deserve better than this. For a multitude of reasons.

First, the obvious. FIVE women who don’t know each other have come out with eerily similar stories of Moore’s behavior, which is inappropriate at best, criminal at worst. These women are all from Etowah County, not exactly an enclave of liberal elites. And the women who still live in Alabama were both Trump voters. The statute of limitations to file criminal charges and civil suits has long run out. They have gained absolutely nothing by coming out with their stories, except getting the great pleasure of being called liars, hags and whores by a bunch of people who don’t even know them.

People have questioned the timing of this. And that’s fair. Roy Moore has been a controversial figure for so long, why did this come out just weeks before the election?

I really don’t have a good answer for that. Perhaps it’s the nature of the allegations. Perhaps in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, people feel more inclined to talk about this stuff. Perhaps, no one ever really asked. After all, there was a lot of low-hanging fruit for reporters to go after in regard to Roy Moore.

But whatever the case, I find their stories all very credible. It’s the little details in them — that they aren’t entirely tales of horror. The mom telling her daughter she would be “the luckiest girl in the world if Roy Moore wanted to date her.” That Roy liked Eddie Rabbit and her mom would have had a “hissy fit” if she knew he had bought her alcohol. How flattered the waitress at Old Hickory House felt that the DA had signed her yearbook and her memory of him pulling the ends of her hair. That’s a lot of highly specific detail for this to be the product of some mastermind’s devious plot to unseat Moore.

To write it off as “fake news” or “lies” you would have to believe there was this massive conspiracy to “recruit” these women who didn’t know each other and give them all similar stories, but with all of these different little details to recount and then find dozens of Gadsden citizens who went on the record with many different news organizations saying they knew Moore liked going after young girls. Practically the whole town and the entire national, state and local media would have to be in on this to pull that off.

And if you were going to go all that trouble to create these horrible “lies,” why wouldn’t you just have them say he raped them? I’m sorry. I just don’t buy it. The much more logical explanation is that these horrible things happened pretty much exactly as these women said.

Hell, even if you can’t believe them or won’t believe them without concrete evidence, which will never be available, just listen to Moore’s interview with Sean Hannity, where he couldn’t even flatly deny dating teenagers when he was in his 30s. If you are the parent of a daughter and your skin didn’t crawl when he said “not without the permission of their mother,” I don’t know what is wrong with you. Ick. Ick. Ick. Those are HIS OWN WORDS. You can’t call that “fake news.”

This behavior along with his previous removals from office and the generous way his “charity” compensated him and his family is enough to disqualify him from this office and from many other things, for that matter.

But if we elect Moore, it will also hurt this state in very tangible ways. Even before all of the recent allegations, Moore said some really crazy stuff. Maybe not so crazy to every Alabamian, but certainly crazy to many of the CEOs who may be considering locating their businesses here. And we all know those processes are extremely competitive.

All our rival states/cities for these opportunities would have to say is “Roy Moore is their senator. You don’t want to have to deal with that controversy, do you?” Throw these allegations in and we can kiss those businesses goodbye and therefore more jobs for Alabamians. All of the progress we have made from Mobile to Huntsville would come to a screeching halt.

I’m sorry. Roy Moore just isn’t worth the collateral damage we would sustain if he were elected. Even people who can’t stand the thought of a Democrat in office have to know that.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, this election has already put a stain on our state. On Dec. 12, please help us make sure it’s not a permanent one.