Republicans in Georgia’s 10th Congressional District voted in Tuesday’s runoff election to nominate Baptist pastor and right-wing radio show host Jody B. Hice. While it will be difficult for run to the right of the seat’s outgoing occupant, Rep. Paul Broun (R), a review of Hice’s record and position suggest he may be uniquely positioned to do so.
Broun, who has spoken out about the dangers of science and boasted of being “the first Member of Congress to call” President Obama “a socialist who embraces Marxist-Leninist policies like government control of health care and redistribution of wealth,” is generally considered one of the most conservative members of Congress. But Hice’s stated anti-women, anti-Islam, and anti-LGBT views may actually place him to Broun’s ideological right.
Here is a sampling:
He published a book claiming that America is a “distinctly Christian society.” In 2012, Hice published It’s Now Or Never: A Call to Reclaim America via WestBow Press, a Christian self-publishing house. In the book, he made the dubious claim that the “Constitutional form of government that is the great American experiment is a distinctly Christian society,” To “reclaim America,” he argues, the nation must end abortion, prevent same-sex marriage, repeal hate-crime protections, and expose “radical Islam for the clear and present danger that it is.” According to Hice’s 2013 financial disclosure statement, he took a net loss of $3,179 on the book in 2012.
Hice subscribes to an extreme view of the Constitution advanced by secessionists. The backbone of the Constitution is its Supremacy Clause, which mandates that federal law trumps conflicting state law. Hice, however, writes in his book that he supports “nullification,” a radical theory that states can nullify any federal law they don’t like. Nullification was most prominently backed by 19th-century southern politicians like Sen. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. Many southern states attempted to nullify federal laws on slavery in the lead-up to the Civil War. Nullification largely went out of vogue following the Civil War, but has become popular again in Tea Party circles.
He believes that the impetus behind the Civil War is still open for debate. On page 204 of his book, Hice argues that “the technical reasons for the War are still being debated.” In his view, it is “unfortunate” that the Civil War “drastically altered the constitutional view of state’s rights.”
Hice thinks women shouldn’t enter politics unless they have their husband’s permission first. In a 2004 article flagged by Right Wing Watch on the growing number of female politicians, Hice argued that women should receive permission from their husband before running for office. “If the woman’s within the authority of her husband, I don’t see a problem,” Hice said. It’s unclear if he will express this view to his possible future colleagues Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Kay Granger (R-TX), both of whom are divorced.
He doesn’t understand homosexuality or sarcasm. On his radio show, Hice has defended equal rights for gay and lesbian people — sort of. “Homosexuals have the right to be married,” he explained, “They just don’t have the right to be married to one another.” He likened same-sex marriage to graffiti and complained that LGBT advocates are “unreasonable” for trying to compare their struggle with the civil rights struggle of the 1960s: “You cannot change your race, but homosexuality is clearly not the same thing. Thousands and thousands of people have left the homosexual lifestyle.” In his book, he also made the stunning claim that there is a gay plot to recruit and sodomize children. His source: a satirical 1987 essay by Michael Swift. Omitting Swift’s preface that the essay is “an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor,” Hice selectively quoted him as saying, “We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together.”
Hice doesn’t believe Muslims should receive First Amendment protection. “Most people think Islam is a religion,” Hice argued in a 2011 speech. “It’s not. It’s a totalitarian way of life with a religious component.” He expanded in his book: “It is a complete geo-political structure, and as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection.” There are currently more than 2.5 million Muslims in the United States, ranging from politicians like Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to athletes like Muhammad Ali to comedians like Dave Chappelle. Right Wing Watch notes that Hice believes Islam, along with secularism, is “the number one threat to our worldview.”
He believes eliminating the separation of church and state is the best way to protect children from gun violence. After the massacre at Sandy Hook, he blamed secularism for the shootings. On his radio show, he lamented that, “For decades here, we have been kicking God out of — obviously our schools [and] the public square [and] our entire nation,” and claimed “this is type of thing that you get when there is the absence of God: evil.” He strongly opposes the “assault on guns” and boasts of his membership not only in the National Rifle Association, but also the more radical Gun Owners of America.
Hice will face Democratic nominee Ken Dious in the November general election, but the Republican is expected to win easily in this highly-conservative district.
(HT: Tim Murphy/Mother Jones)