Mark Harris, a Republican running for Congress from North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, said in a 2013 sermon that a woman only had one title according to the Bible: “Helper.” He also suggested it may not be the “healthiest pursuit” for women to ever prioritize their careers.
The sermon, which Harris gave as pastor of First Baptist Charlotte, was unearthed by a Democratic PAC called American Bridge, and it shows the sort of complementarian conservative Christian mindset that voters should immediately reject in 2018:
“In our culture today, girls are taught from grade school that we tell them that what is most honorable in life is a career, and their ultimate goal in life is simply to be able to grow up and be independent of anyone or anything,” said Harris, then the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, adding, “But nobody has seemed to ask the question that I think is critically important to ask: Is that a healthy pursuit for society? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our homes? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our children? Is that the healthiest pursuit for the sexes in our generation?”
In an earlier portion of Harris’ sermon, Harris tells parishioners that “only one title is given to a woman in all of scripture… the title given to a woman is ‘helper.'”
Even many Christians would cringe at hearing all that…
Harris isn’t just a typical Republican, either. He was the first one this election cycle to defeat an incumbent, Robert Pittenger, in the primary. Democrats see this district as one they can flip this November with their candidate Dan McCready — and after this revelation, Harris will be playing a lot of defense.
How could he respect women in Congress? How could female constituents trust him to take their concerns seriously unless they ask men to deliver messages on their behalf? How could his staffers feel comfortable working for him? And when the gender gap going into the midterms is already wider than we’ve ever seen, how are these remarks going to play with women in his district?
Naturally, his campaign was quick to spin his comments away from blatant faith-based sexism:
“This statement can’t exist in a vacuum. Proper context also clarifies a man’s role. A man is to lead the family but to also serve his wife and children. The New Testament teaches that being a leader isn’t about being a dominant figure, but also a servant to his wife as Jesus demonstrated,” the statement continued.
The campaign added that Harris “has a proven history of working alongside women and men who view the world very differently than he does to strengthen his community and for the greater good” and that he “doesn’t feel it’s necessary to defend the statements from Scripture.”
So his defense is “I have Jewish friends” and “Stop asking me about this”?
Yikes. The campaign ads write themselves.
Harris preemptively rebuts critics in that sermon by saying women can work in the office and elsewhere, but he adds that they still need to understand their “core calling”… which is as a mother and homemaker.
It won’t surprise you that Harris is also anti-gay, anti-abortion, and someone who doesn’t want transgender people using the right bathrooms. It’s standard Republican bigotry. And that was before this sermon leaked.
Not only should voters avoid this guy, other Republicans should be asked whether they agree with Harris’ interpretation of the Bible. Put them on the hot seat. It’s the GOP’s favorite book, right? Candidates should have no problem answering the question honestly even if Harris doesn’t want to talk about it.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Scott for the link)