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North Dakota GOP lawmaker Brandon Prichard goes on theocratic, homophobic tirade
State Rep. Brandon Prichard, a 22-year-old anti-LGBTQ bigot, hates the Constitution
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Over the weekend, North Dakota State Rep. Brandon Prichard made his case to be declared the most extremist Christian lawmaker in the country with a vile tweet suggesting gay people deserved to be murdered.
It didn’t get any better from there.
On Saturday, Prichard said that all schools should teach LGBTQ history and that “lesson one should be Sodom and Gomorrah,” referencing the story in Genesis 19 in which God uses fire and brimstone to destroy those cities on account of their wickedness. (Conservatives usually argue the wickedness involved sodomy, though it could also be argued that the sin was not being hospitable to strangers.)
The implication here was clear: Prichard wanted LGBTQ students to know God hated them to the point where He’d commit genocide over it.
It’s a fairly large leap from last year when he was just resorting to name-calling:
That was one of several tweets Prichard made in support of a government run entirely by and for conservative Christians. For example, he said True Conservatives™ should oppose religious freedom if it extended to groups like the Church of Satan:
So much for the First Amendment.
Hell, so much for a country founded on the principal of religious freedom. If religious freedom doesn’t extend to all groups, popular or not, it’s religious oppression, plain and simple. Unless you’re a wannabe theocrat, in which case only one interpretation of one religion matters.
Prichard went on to say red states ought to codify that “Jesus Christ is King” and that anyone who disagreed with that merging of church and state should be run out of the Republican Party.
He also said all members of Congress should “submit to the Gospel of Jesus Christ”:
It’s a hell of a way to say Congress needs a No Jews Allowed policy, but that’s what Prichard wants. Ditto with Muslims, atheists, and even progressive Christians (who don’t really count in his mind).
It all raises some very important questions:
Who the hell is Brandon Prichard?
What’s wrong with him?
Has anyone in his party condemned his remarks?
Let’s start with the simple part. Prichard is a 22-year-old first-term Republican legislator from Bismarck. In a GOP primary rewarding the top two finishers, he placed second, edging out the next candidate by a mere 253 votes. (The general election was not competitive, so both GOP candidates won seats in the legislature.)
According to a local paper, Prichard hasn’t accomplished much since entering office outside of symbolic culture war bullshit:
His most visible accomplishment during the regular legislative session earlier this year was a largely toothless "ban" on drag shows that he promoted as a culture war victory but, in reality, has little real-world impact outside of the undertones of malice it communicated to North Dakota's LGBTQ community.
He also claimed he would soon introduce legislation banning state-funded schools from electing gay couples as Homecoming kings. (Truly a man with his pulse on America’s priorities.)
As far as actually helping people in the state, though, he’s done jack shit. He’s just a typical MAGA cultist who thinks his job is to replace the Constitution with a warped interpretation of the Bible, and most of his Republican colleagues are too cowardly to call him out publicly. (Though his critics are having a great time dunking on him.)
Writing about his tweets, InForum reporter Rob Port said, “Many Republican lawmakers have been messaging me, alarmed by Prichard's posts.” None of them, however, did so on the record.
Port added that Prichard seemed amused when he reached out for comment, acting just like you’d expect from an immature barely-out-of-high-school lawmaker who values attention over substance:
Weirdly, he only replied by sending me a screenshot of his phone screen showing my incoming call. He didn't respond in any other way.
I'm not sure what his intent was in sending that to me. Maybe he was rubbing the fact that he's not answering my call in my face? It's plausible, but I think he was maybe excited that I was calling, and was eager to text the evidence to some confidant, gleeful that his hateful social media jeremiad was getting some news media attention. Only he sent it to me by mistake.
"Sorry missed your call. I'll probably decline a comment right now," Prichard texted about an hour later. "If you do write an article though, I do have a Bingo card ready to go," he added. "Bastiat is the free space because it will almost certainly be in there. Haha, maybe part-time student? Trumpy? Shameless?"
Besides just being a massive asshole, Prichard also appears to be a liar.
Port previously reported that Prichard may not live in the district he represents. Furthermore, Prichard claimed when running for office that he was “an undergraduate student of the University of Minnesota's Law School and School of Public Policy on a part-time and virtual basis.” That school doesn’t offer part-time admission. Virtual classes are only offered to students on a case-by-case basis, and there’s no evidence Prichard qualifies. Before that, he once said he was “quadruple majoring” in several subjects. At that time, Port wrote, Prichard made “no mention of the law school.”
It’s not like Republicans give a damn about any of this, though. They don’t care about ethics or morality. A Republican liar who gets elected to office is still a Republican who will vote to hurt anyone who’s not a white male Christian. That’s all that matters.
Yesterday afternoon, the Freedom From Religion Foundation Action Fund (the group’s lobbying arm) called on Prichard to apologize or resign:
“Every reference to religion in the U.S. Constitution is exclusionary, including: a direct prohibition on religious tests for public office, an implicit prohibition in the godless oath of office prescribed for the presidency and later, in the First Amendment’s historic bar of any establishment of religion by the government,” FFRF Action Fund President Annie Laurie Gaylor writes to Prichard. “The Framers of the Constitution made the United States first among nations to invest sovereignty not in a deity, but in ‘We the People.’ The proscription against religion in government has served our nation well, with the U.S. Constitution now the longest-living constitution in history, and our nation spared the constant religious wars afflicting theocratic regions around the world.”
“Your oath of office has charged you with great responsibility over citizens, including those citizens who may not or do not share your personal religious viewpoints,” FFRF Action Fund’s letter concludes. “You have shown that you are unfit for this responsibility. You owe an apology to all non-Christian and nonreligious citizens of your district, or you should resign.”
Prichard responded to that letter last night by, predictably, doubling down on his earlier comments:
Note how he completely ignores the substance of the group’s letter. The fact that he dismisses FFRF as an “out-of-state” group is a sign of desperation because it’s not like Prichard listens to in-state critics either. If he ever studied history or law, though, he would understand just how batshit crazy and un-American his political theories are.
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