A young congressman kicked off his reelection campaign with a fiery video invoking Biblical images to call on “Christian men and women” to “fight for America.” While he claims to be a supporter of Israel, his history with Jews is troubling to some.
Men and Women of faith.
Despite being the youngest congressman, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (N. Carolina-rep.) is a powerful presence in Washington known for incendiary rhetoric. In a new video posted on Twitter as part of his reelection campaign, Cawthorn sent out a call to action:
“Where are you, men and women of faith?” he wrote. “If we lose this country, our children will never know freedom. Stand united as men and women of faith to fight for America!”
The video was taken last month at the North Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Salt & Light Conference.
I feel a spiritual battle going on, on Capitol Hill. The only way that we take our country back is when strong, God-fearing patriots decide it is time for us to stand up and so ‘no’ to your tyranny. Now is the time for our pastors in our congregations, like this one here and the many that you represent, it’s time for you to stand up and declare boldly as men and women of faith, we have a duty to stand against tyranny. We have a duty to be civically involved. We have a duty to save this country for the next generation.”
“You can look at the Old Testament. Look at David, look at Daniel, look at Esther — look at all the people who influenced the governments. of their day to uphold Christian principles. It is time for the American Christian Church to come out of the shadows. To say ‘No longer will we allow our culture to be determined by people who hate the things we believe in.’ We are going to stand valiantly for God’s incredible inerrant truths that predate any version of government. Because, my friends, if we lose this government today, if we bend the knee to the Democrats today, our country will be lost forever and our children will never know what freedom is. It is our duty to stand up. Let us stand united as men and women of faith to fight for our country.”
The video then displayed a verse from Chronicles:
When My people, who bear My name, humble themselves, pray, and seek My favor and turn from their evil ways, I will hear in My heavenly abode and forgive their sins and heal their land. II Chronicles 7:14
Several comments on the Twitter thread noted that all of the Biblical characters mentioned by Cawthorn as representing “Christian principles” lived several centuries before Jesus was born.
We’d be very interested in hearing Rep. Madison Cawthorn explain how David, Daniel, and Esther—Jewish figures mentioned in the Hebrew Bible hundreds of years before Jesus—”influenced the governments of their day to uphold Christian principles.” pic.twitter.com/6hXyA3qUrb
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) September 28, 2021
Difficult history relating to Jews
This is not the first time that Cawthorn has ruffled Jewish feathers in his fervor mixing politics and religion. Last August, Cawthorn drew criticism for posting photos to Instagram from a 2017 trip to Hitler’s vacation home in Germany known as the “Eagle’s Nest.” In the caption, he refers to Hitler as “the Fuhrer” and says that a visit to the site had been on his “bucket list for awhile” and “did not disappoint.”
“Strange to hear so many laughs and share such a good time with my brother where only 79 years ago a supreme evil shared laughs and good times with his compatriots,” the caption states.
In January, Cawthorn again made a Holocaust faux pas when he tweeted, “First they came for our Free Speech, then they came for our Free Markets, next they’ll come for our Free Shipping on orders $50 or more with promo code: FREEDOM50.”
The tweet parodied a famous poem called, “First they came…” written by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller in 1946 about the cowardice of German intellectuals and clergy following the Nazis’ rise to power.
“I have switched a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people,” Cawthorn said. “But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I’ve had a hard time connecting with them in that way.”
Cawthorn is currently the youngest member of Congress. In 2014, at the age of 18, Cawthorn was seriously injured in an automobile accident while traveling as a passenger when the driver fell asleep at the wheel. The injuries from the accident left Cawthorn partially paralyzed, and he now uses a wheelchair. Cawthorn founded the real estate investment firm, SPQR Holdings, LLC. SPQR was an acronym used as a symbol of the Roman Empire and stands for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus (“The Roman Senate and People”). Some skinhead gangs in Italy and by white nationalists in the United States have adopted the acronym as a symbol but Cawthorn claims he adopted it as “a warning to my generation from the ages against tyranny and authoritarianism.”