North Carolina’s Christian nationalist Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson has been under fire since Right Wing Watch posted various clips of him making outrageous comments, particularly his rant that Christians must take control of public schools and ban the teaching about “filth” like LGBTQ issues.
On Tuesday, Robinson appeared on a conference call hosted by radical right-wing pastor and radio host E.W. Jackson, who shares Robinson’s aversion to gay people and LGBTQ rights. During the call, Robinson continued to defend his anti-LGBTQ tirade and announced that there is a 95 percent chance that he is going to run for governor in North Carolina in 2024.
“We’re about 95 percent sure we’re gonna run for governor,” Robinson said. “Our current governor is term-limited. He’s on his second term. He’s on his way out, thank God. We have a guy we believe is behind him on that side who will be just as bad, if not worse, than him. We’re in the vein right now of gearing up for that. We haven’t announced, but we’re about 95 percent sure that that’s the direction that we’re going in. … We need to stay here North Carolina to protect North Carolina from some of the craziness that’s going on at the federal level and continue to help the state rise under conservative principles. So, we have not announced that we’re going to run for governor, but we’re about 95 percent there, and it’s a logical step for us to take. So, be on the lookout for that.”
Predictably, most of the call was dedicated to Robinson playing the victim, asserting that it is “immoral” to promote LGBTQ equality to others while simultaneously insisting that it is “bigotry” to criticize him for holding such views. Robinson also claimed that if he “was a Muslim and believed these things,” his critics “would not have the unmitigated gall to speak up against me if I was a Muslim and believed these things.”
“One of the reasons why they’re attacking me is because of my religious beliefs,” Robinson griped. “I am a firm believer, and I’m not shy about saying this: homosexuality and transgenderism are sin. According to the tenets of my Christian faith, that is sinful behavior, and it is sinful for people to wrap themselves up in it and identify themselves by it, and it is immoral for people to promote it to other people.”
“In this country, you have the right to be able to be a homosexual and transgender person, there’s no doubt about that, and I’ll stand up for your rights to be able to do that,” he continued. “But as far as you going into schools and promoting it to young people and trying to push your feelings or your lifestyle on someone else, that is an absolute no go.”
“Just because I disagree with your lifestyle doesn’t mean that I hate you or that I want to take away your constitutional rights,” Robinson said. “It simply means that I have a standard in my life built on the deeply held religious values that are guaranteed to me by the Constitution, and I’m gonna stand by those rights. And so that is another component of this that people really need to take a strong look at. They’re not just trying to silence our voices as citizens of the United States of America; they’re trying to silence our voices as believers in Christ. Because if you notice, I can’t think of a single solitary time in this country’s history, in this recent history, where somebody of the Muslim faith was demonized because of their beliefs about homosexuality. They always come after the Christian church. They always come after the Christians. We have got to stand strong and let people know that, yes, we considered those things to be a sin but we also consider fornication and adultery to be sin, and a myriad of other things. But it’s not about hating anyone or wanting to take away someone’s constitutional rights. It’s about having a constitutional right to your deeply held religious convictions and being able to spread those religious convictions to those who believe like you and to your children and not having that taken away.”
“This goes to the heart of religious freedom,” Robinson added. “More to the point, it goes to the heart of the bigotry that we see—and yeah, I used the word bigotry because they love that word—the bigotry that we see against Christians. Because I’m a Christian, because I believe that homosexuality is a sin and adultery is a sin and fornication is a sin—but chiefly because I believe homosexuality is a sin—these people want to call me names and push me out of the public square. That is not how this country was designed to work. And I reiterate the fact that if I was worshiping under a crescent instead of worshiping under a cross, this would not be happening to me. They would not have the unmitigated gall to speak up against me if I was a Muslim and believed these things. But because I’m a Christian, they feel free to attack me. So, we’ve got to band together as Christians and come together and understand that we have the right to our deeply held religious convictions. It’s guaranteed to us by our Constitution. It does not mean that we hate or despise anyone or want to deny anyone their constitutional rights. But we will, however, in our churches preach our Gospel, and we will not be impeded in any way because of it or [be] discriminated against because of it. We don’t want to hold up anybody else’s lifestyle or deny them of their lifestyle, but you’re also not going to deny me my lifestyle as well. We need to stop beating around the bush and stop being afraid to say that and stand up for that.”