Anti-LGBTQ activist Jim Garlow, a promoter of the kind of election fraud claims made by Trump and his supporters in the so-called “Stop the Steal” campaign, is urging his Virginia supporters to view today’s gubernatorial election in Virginia as spiritual warfare. In his “Well Versed” newsletter delivered by email on Sunday, Oct. 31, he described the election between former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin in stark terms:
Many will say it is Republican vs. Democrat. It is not.
Many will say it is Right vs. Left. It is not.
It is Right vs. Wrong.
It is Good vs. Evil.
It is Biblical vs. Anti-Biblical.
“Virginia: Rescue us from those who would destroy parental authority!” Garlow wrote.
Garlow, who has said that “Social Justice and Critical Race Theory are antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” wrote in his Oct. 31 newsletter, “The Well Versed team was just in the Fairfax County / Loudon County area in Virginia which has become the epicenter of the battle over our children. We met with many godly parents. They ‘get it.’”
As Right Wing Watch has reported, national right-wing groups have targeted the Loudoun County school board over transgender-inclusive policies, critical race theory, and a range of right-wing grievances. Despite the language in his newsletter, Garlow has since told Right Wing Watch he was not involved in the Loudon County mobilizations.
In that Oct. 31 newsletter, Garlow did go on to reiterate dishonest right-wing claims about the Biden administration’s move to address the increase in harassment and threats of violence against school board members:
May God help the Commonwealth of Virginia to deliver a strong blow to the evildoers who would destroy parental authority, and to our national so-called “leaders”—such as Attorney General Merrick Garland and the National School Board Association—who have so maliciously labeled legitimately concerned parents as “domestic terrorists.” Who are the real terrorists? The real terrorists are those who would destroy parental authority.
Earlier this year, Garlow described the possibility that Senate Democrats might do away with filibuster rules that are allowing Republicans to block voting rights and other legislation as a question of “good versus evil, of the struggle of angelic beings against the demonic forces.”
Garlow was actively involved in the religious-right wing of the movement to keep former President Donald Trump in power despite his defeat by President Joe Biden.
While Youngkin has tried to portray himself as an amiable problem solver who seeks to make the state better for all its residents, his campaign has actively courted and embraced anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ hard-liners.
Update (11/9/21): This post has been revised to clarify that although Garlow promoted election fraud claims, efforts to keep Trump in power after his loss to Joe Biden, and “Stop the Steal” activists, Garlow did not officially organize under the “Stop the Steal” banner, and to reflect Garlow’s assertion that his group has not been involved in organizing Loudoun County school board protests.