Speaking at a town hall in Cherokee, Iowa, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggested that the censure he faced after making racist statements this January allowed him to experience some of the suffering Jesus Christ endured at the hands of the Romans.
“And when I had to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives and look up at those 400-and-some accusers — you know, we’ve just passed through Easter and Christ’s Passion — and I have a better insight into what he went through for us, partly because of that experience,” King said, according to The Hill.
King added that he’s since reached a “certain peace” regarding the episode thanks to “a lot of prayers” he says he received.
In January, King faced backlash after an interview with The New York Times where he suggested that the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” weren’t necessarily negative.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked in the interview. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
I think Steve King is confused. Jesus was NAILED to a cross, he didn’t burn them. pic.twitter.com/pIXeze0c2e
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) April 24, 2019
King walked back his comments later that day, saying that he rejects “those labels and the evil ideology that they define.”
“I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw in its ultimate expression the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives,” he said in a statement.
Nevertheless, House Republicans removed him from his positions on the House Judiciary, Agriculture and Small Business committees and overwhelmingly passed a resolution — which King ultimately voted for — that condemned white supremacy and white nationalism.
In October of last year just after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, two Jewish leaders spoke out against King for his continuous promotion of white supremacist ideas and propaganda in an open letter published in the Des Moines Register.
“We are writing from the depths of our grief, in horror at the news of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh,” Adas Israel in Mason City president Alan Steckman and Ames Jewish Congregation president John Pleasants wrote. “We feel we must speak out because our congressional representative, Steve King, is an enthusiastic crusader for the same types of abhorrent beliefs held by the Pittsburgh shooter.”
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