A controversial right-wing pastor, who is running for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District as a Republican candidate, is making headlines for his past misogynistic sermons – which he still appears to wholeheartedly support, by the way.
Mark Harris, who used to serve as a senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, believes women must “submit” to their husbands, because, according to him, that’s what the God expects of Christian wives.
“Well, what’s the message to the wives? Well, God instructs all Christian wives to submit to their husbands,” Harris said in 2014. “You see wives, please hear me this morning. The message is not from your husband to submit, the message is from the Lord. You’re not to ever submit ma’am because your husband demands it, but you do it because the Lord ordained it. Now ladies, you can rebel against that command, but just please understand you’re not rebelling against your husband.”
No, this is not from an episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” an award-winning show based on Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel about a totalitarian society that treats women as the property of the state.
The sermon was unearthed by Roll Call, according to which Harris also asserted “submission is not about inferiority in any way, any shape and any form. It simply reflects a God-ordained function of things.”
When the publication reached out to him for a comment, the former minister stood by what he had said.
“I say [to the husband], ‘Here’s how this works. You’ve got to love your wife with an incredible love that can only come through Christ.’ It’s really submitting one to another in a relationship,” Harris said. “[Jesus] didn’t consider it wrong to submit himself to the Father.”
This is not the first time the Republican congressional candidate has come under fire for his utterly sexist and bigoted remarks.
Just last month, the ABC News reported on Harris’ 2013 sermon where he questioned if “career” was the “healthiest pursuit” for women.
“In our culture today, girls are taught from grade school . . . 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,” he said at the time. “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 the sexes in our generation?”
His chauvinistic sermon sparked widespread backlash, prompting more than 40 female pastors and faith leaders in North Carolina to issue a statement criticizing the GOP candidate.
“Rev. Mark Harris’ 2013 sermon questioning whether a career was the ‘healthiest pursuit’ for women casts serious doubt on his commitment” to equality, read the statement. “As he is running to represent all of us in the House of Representatives, we call on him to publicly commit to respectful, equal treatment of men and women.”
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