WASHINGTON, D.C. – As allegations of sexual harassment in the halls of power come to light this week, two spiritual leaders in Congress told CBN News it's time Americans hold their public servants to a higher standard.
More than 50 current and past lawmakers and staff members claimed they've been subjected to sexual harassment – "both subtle and explicit" – during and after work hours, according to a CNN report.
In response to the allegations, the House held numerous hearings this week to examine the issue, and a bipartisan ME TOO Act was introduced in both chambers.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., told CBN News it's time to shine light on the darkness of this issue.
"I think it's about time that our nation wakes up and says, 'Hey, we should hold our leaders to a higher standard,'" Lankford said. "Whether they're in athletics, whether they're in government, whether they're in Hollywood; we can't just say, 'Hey they perform well and so we'll ignore their moral behavior.' That should be important to us."
Lankford is a former Baptist pastor who believes character is key to leadership.
"I like to have government leaders and individuals that are good role models as well for my children and the next generation. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask. And if all this conversation about sexual harassment pushes our nation, or whatever party that you're in, to reconsider again the value of being a role model and electing people like that; good, we'll get a positive result out of a very dark thing that's happening."
Thursday, a woman accused Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., of sexually abusing her a decade ago. More about that here.
And as more women come forward to accuse Republican Alabama Senate candidate Judge Roy Moore of sexual harassment, Lankford says he believes the judge should step out of the race.
A like-minded colleague in the House, Congressional Prayer Caucus Chair Mark Walker, agrees with that sentiment.
"I think the better thing is for him to step down," Walker told CBN News. "Even if he does get elected, I hope at that point he'll do the right thing and relinquish that position."
Walker, a North Carolina Republican who is also a former Baptist pastor, says he believes the victims accusing Moore of harassment.
"If you watch or read the accounts, they're very credible. I struggle with that. As a former minister, there are things sometimes in the past, that even though you may have done good things, really would relinquish you from having the opportunity to serve in that capacity."
Despite multiple Republican lawmakers calling on Moore to step aside, he still denies the accusations and plans to stay in the Alabama Senate race.
We believe in God, the Constitution, the Sanctity of Life and the Sanctity of Marriage.
We are everything the Washington Elite hate.
They will do whatever it takes to stop us.
We will not quit. #ALSen
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) November 15, 2017
Dear Mitch McConnell,
Bring. It. On.
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) November 16, 2017