It’s always in poor taste to blame the victim in a sexual harassment case or imply that they “deserved it” by their actions or because of the clothing they wore. In comments defending Roy Moore, the Senate candidate who is facing allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was in his 30s, an Alabama politician has blown right through that line and created a whole new level of stupid.

I’m not sure what’s more alarming: Ziegler’s heresy, or the fact that he’s been elected to statewide office?

Taking this thought train to its logical conclusion, Ziegler seems to be saying that if the allegations are true, if the 14-year-old had just had sex with Moore, they could have been the parents of deity. Or is he saying there could have been an immaculate conception? Hmmm.

That wasn’t Ziegler’s only Biblical example.

“Take the Bible. Zachariah and Elizabeth for instance. Zachariah was extremely old to marry Elizabeth and they became the parents of John the Baptist.”

Still not convinced by that dazzling display of theological “justification”? Perhaps you’ll enjoy Ziegler’s other rationalizations:

Ziegler…told the Washington Examiner that any political concern would be mitigated by three things. Moore never had “sexual intercourse” with the girl. Their relationship “happened almost 40 years ago.” And finally, “Roy Moore fell in love with one of the younger women.”

Mr. Ziegler, if a man rapes a woman and falls in love with her, does that make it okay? Or if he just penetrates her with his finger or another object, that’s okay politically? Because, newsflash, THAT is rape.

It’s easy to laugh at such inane statements, but the fact that Ziegler believes this and felt safe expressing this belief to a reporter is terrifying. Ziegler’s words are the kind you would expect to hear a sociopathic serial sexual abuser saying to a victim. “Come on, it’s okay if I touch you. Mary was a teenager… don’t you want to be like Mary?”

Ziegler’s words perpetuate the coastal elites’ stereotype of the South as a backwater place filled with Bible-thumping predators who pervert their religion and twist theology to convince women to have sex with them.

But most of all, his justifications (if the allegations are true) are reprehensible.