A church in Alabama compared Roy Moore, the embattled U.S. Senate candidate who is accused of pursuing teenage girls while in his 30s, to Jesus.
“They falsely accused Jesus! Vote Roy Moore” the church sign reads.
Living Way Ministries broadcast the message, which was removed two days later and was not put up by the pastor, according to local WGN TV.
Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones in a special election.
The message has received harsh criticism from some people, who argue the church is conflating allegations of assaulting an underage girl with what Jesus was said to be crucified for.
Moore’s accusers said they were pursued or sexually assaulted when they were teens and Moore was in his 30s. Leigh Corfman said she was 14 when a then-32-year-old Moore touched her over her clothing and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear, according to the Washington Post.
Since the Post’s initial story, more women have come forward to accuse Moore. His pursuit of teenagers was an open secret in the Alabama community where Moore worked as a prosecutor, according to sources who spoke to the Post.
Others on Twitter, though, seemed to defend the church’s message.
WGN reports the church has received numerous calls, some threatening, in response to the sign.
Some have questioned whether the church could legally share the message, as the Internal Revenue Service website states Congress banned “political campaign activity by charities and churches” more than 50 years ago.