Mark Harris, an anti-LGBTQ activist and pastor affiliated with the Family Research Council and supported by Christian nationalist David Lane, is apparently headed to Congress after winning an extremely close race in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district. Harris knocked off incumbent Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger in a primary upset in May.
Harris is a member of the Family Research Council’s “Watchmen on the Wall” network of right-wing preachers. And he’s a success story for Lane’s long-running campaign to push America toward his Christian-nation vision by getting conservative evangelical pastors elected to office; the Christian Broadcasting Network has described Lane as one of Harris’s “staunchest supporters.”
Lance Wallnau, who told evangelical voters that Trump had been anointed by God to be president, appeared with Harris online during a Trump campaign visit to Charlotte. Harris complained that his critics “cherry-picked” comments from his sermons about the role of women; he said his critics had miscalculated because a lot of people in his district “grew up with the Bible, still believe the Bible, and still stand on the Word.”
Harris also got a boost from Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence; Karen Pence took part in a campaign event at which the Harris campaign was described as a “God mission,” and “Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston said that Harris had looked her in the eye and told her he would work to end abortion, “no exceptions.”
As RWW has noted:
Not surprisingly, Harris has a track record of opposing LGBTQ equality and abortion rights. Harris was an ally of the anti-LGBTQ Benham brothers in opposition to a Charlotte nondiscrimination law, and he was a driving force behind the campaign that put a ban on same-sex couples getting married into the state constitution; his First Baptist Church contributed more than $50,000 to the campaign. Harris, who says being gay is “a choice,” has said the anti-equality amendment was not about discrimination but about “standing up for the values and principles that have been a part of the fabric of American society.” …
He has praised new state-level restrictions on abortion and called for conservative Supreme Court justices who will revisit Roe v. Wade so that the law can recognize that “life begins with conception” and extend legal protections to the “unborn.”
Harris is seen on video complaining, “We have watched in one generation where homosexuality was once criminalized to now we see the criminalization of Christianity.”
In 2016 Harris signed an anti-Muslim statement that falsely claimed that “all terror groups … have 100% Muslim membership. Tragically, these terrorist entities are not aberrations of Islam, they are the very essence of it.” In addition, CNN reported this month that Harris has called Islam “dangerous” and the work of Satan, and showed his congregation a conspiratorial video advancing the claim that Islam is devouring Europe and planning to do the same to the U.S.