Newly elected Republican congressman Madison Cawthorn is a problem. As we’ve said before, this is someone who said visiting Hitler’s former vacation home was a “bucket list” vacation spot, whose campaign denounced a journalist who left academic to “work for non-white males, like Cory Booker,” and who’s been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. His first tweet after getting elected said “cry more, lib.”
He’s only 25.
As if to show how little he cares about people who think differently from him, Cawthorn gave an interview to Jewish Insider in which he spoke about evangelizing to Jewish people.
I repeat: He told a reporter for Jewish Insider about his attempts to convert Jews.
Had he ever tried to convert any Jews to the Christian faith?
“I have,” he said with a laugh. “I have, unsuccessfully. I have switched a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people. But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I’ve had a hard time connecting with them in that way.”
Cawthorn expressed a similar sentiment during a July 2019 sermon at a church in Highlands, North Carolina. “If you have Jewish blood running through your veins today,” he told the crowd, mulling on a chapter from the Gospel of Mark, “this might not mean as much to you, but for someone like me, who’s a gentile, this means a lot.”
Nothing good ever follows the phrase “Jewish blood” when spoken by a gentile.
To be sure, it’s not a scandal that a Christian would try to convert people of other faiths. Nor is it a surprise that Cawthorn had a harder time converting religious Jews because they were likely more knowledgable about their religious text than he anticipated. (The prophecies that Christians believe point to Jesus are obviously read differently in Judaism; they prophecy not a divinely human messiah, which is as non-Jewish an idea as they come, but the nation of Israel.)
You would think that someone who’s read “just about every single religious work there is” would know that.
Then again, this is the same interview in which Cawthorn boasted about his recent visit to Congress (to take part in an orientation for new House members) by saying he was thrilled to be in the spot “where we had the vote to decide to have the Emancipation Proclamation.”
The Emancipation Proclamation was not a bill that was voted on. Cawthorn’s understanding of history is as strong as his understanding of religion. And he now has plenty of power to make use of his miseducation.