Kelly Tshibaka, the Alaskan official who wants to challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski in next year’s GOP primary, isn’t just a conservative Christian. She’s a former pastor who speaks in tongues and believes in faith-healing.
But you knew that was just the tip of the iceberg. Now CNN’s Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski have dug into her past statements online and found out what anyone could have predicted: Her conservative Christian beliefs include a hell of a lot of hate.
She thinks “conversion therapy” works, believes sexual molestation causes people to be gay, and that the Twilight series is “evil.” (So… she’s one for three.)
She also thinks church/state separation is a hoax.
While attending Harvard Law School in 2001, Tshibaka served on the staff of the Harvard Law Record, an independent student newspaper. She wrote several opinion pieces for the paper, including one in which she wrote that, as a conservative, she believes “there is no wall of separation between church and state” and another in which she argued for “retribution” following 9/11.
But her most controversial story that sparked backlash on campus came from an October 11, 2001, article entitled “The Right Side: Coming out of Homosexuality” under her maiden name, Kelly Hartline.
“Today is National Coming Out of Homosexuality Day, a day dedicated to helping homosexuals overcome their sexual tendencies and move towards a healthy lifestyle. Compassionate people nationwide recognize this day, rather than the more publicized ‘National Coming Out Day,’ because they want people to live and enjoy their lives to the fullest,” she wrote.
Tshibaka urged gay people to “not be controlled by the ‘once-gay-always-gay-rhetoric’ used to advance political agendas” and said that gay people can instead “come out of homosexuality” with the help of Jesus Christ.
At the time, she issued a perfunctory apology to “those I have offended.” Tshibaka told CNN she no longer holds that point of view today — referring to conversion torture — but didn’t push back against the other claims. So it’s safe to assume that, like so many other Pentecostal Christians like her, she has no business deciding public policy that everyone else has to live by. Churches can keep her brand of hate within their walls; it shouldn’t spread anywhere else.
If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that Alaska’s ranked choice primary system favors someone like Murkowski and works against extremists who have a vocal-but-tiny base. But having a Republican in the Senate at all at this point is ultimately bad for the country, even a so-called moderate like Murkowski. You could argue that a Tshibaka primary win could actually help Democrats because she would be a batshit crazy candidate for a normal person to run against… but in a state that strongly favors Republicans, it’s not even worth taking that chance. We don’t need more Christian bigots and conspiracists anywhere close to power.
(Screenshot via Facebook)