Last week, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Ga., held a town hall meeting in Kennesaw, Georgia, to discuss constituent concerns and recent events in the nation, including the Charleston massacre and the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.
Loudermilk refused to answer a question on whether he would take down the Confederate flag from state buildings in Georgia, instead choosing to focus on the shooting’s significance for the Christian community. The congressman called the tragedy “an attack on the freedom of religion,” joining a long line of GOP pundits who have tied the shooting to the Religious Right’s claims of anti-Christian persecution rather than to its clear racist motives.
“Where did this massacre take place? In the church,” Loudermilk said, later adding, “It’s an attack on rights, they’re all attacks on rights.”
The representative also touched on the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision, criticizing the justices for allegedly overstepping their constitutional boundaries. He joked that he used the word “decision” loosely, asking attendees, “Do you know what the actual term for what they did was? An opinion.”
“Hey, it was the Supreme Court’s opinion that Dred Scott and slavery was okay, did they get that right?” Loudermilk continued, echoing similar arguments made by anti-gay activists and politicians including Alan Keyes, Steve King, and Bryan Fischer.
“They get things wrong, sometimes their opinion is wrong,” Loudermilk said. After comparing marriage equality to slavery, Loudermilk left the crowd with an optimistic sentiment: “We can overcome these things.”