A Real Georgia Peach

Jody Hice: Mr. Bigot Goes to Washington?

In Georgia’s 10th district, the leading—yes, I said leading—candidate thinks Muslims don’t deserve First Amendment rights.

John Amis/AP

Jody Hice has done it! He’s the new champion of the GOP’s World Cup of batshit crazy. Hice is like the Republican version of a right-wing Frankenstein, featuring the worst elements of the GOP jammed into one person.

So who is Jody Hice? Well, he could be the next congressional representative from Georgia’s 10th district. Hice came in first in a seven-person field in the March GOP primary but didn’t win by a big enough margin to avoid a run off. Now he’s battling Mike Collins in the July 22 run off. The victor will almost certainly win the Congressional seat in this conservative district.

What caught my eye about Hice was his comments: “Most people think Islam is a religion, it’s not...it’s a complete geopolitical structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection.”

It’s weird to hear Hice, a Baptist minister, say Islam is not a religion when Jesus, Abraham, and Moses are all very important to Muslims. I’m no expert on Baptists, but I thought those three were pretty big with them, too.

New campaign ad about Jody Hice that’s a parody of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby.”

In any event, Hice rails against Islam, claiming it’s more of a political organization than a religion. Where did I hear that before? Oh yeah, from every Islamophobe.

But what makes Hice’s statement crazily ironic is that on his campaign website, he boasts of joining with other pastors in standing up to the IRS when they threatened to remove their churches’ tax exempt status if they discussed politics from the pulpit. But “Hice took his bold stand by formally endorsing a candidate in a Sunday message and sending a copy of it to the IRS.”

You see, Hice used his religious pulpit to advocate not only political positions, but to formally endorse a political candidate. So while he denounces Islam for being politically focused, he brags about using his religious position to advocate for political issues and candidates.

But calling Hice simply an Islamophobe would be unfair. He’s truly so much more.

On women, Hice commented that he has no problem if they seek elected office, as long as they do so with the permission of their husbands: ''If the woman's within the authority of her husband, I don't see a problem.”

On gays, Hice claimed in his 2012 book, It's Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America, that he uncovered a gay manifesto. He claimed this blueprint for the homosexual domination of America revealed their plans to “sodomize your sons” by seducing them “in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms,” until “your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. “

The problem is that what Hice was citing was a satirical column by gay writer Michael Swift, who was clearly mocking the idea of a scary, gay agenda. Once again, Hice confirms my theory that people on the far right have zero sense of humor, except when it comes to making jokes about, you know, Muslims and gays.

Last year during a radio show, Hice claimed that gays have a tendency to lie and be violent. He also compared being gay to alcoholism, which it must be noted he did way before Rick Perry said the same thing two weeks ago. Could Hice be writing speeches for Perry, or did Perry pull a Rand Paul and plagiarize from Hice? We may never really know.

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Okay, so Hice is anti-gay, anti-Muslim, and anti-women. But could there be more? Do I even have to answer that?

Hice stated that the horrific Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that resulted in 20 school children and six adults being shot to death was a consequence of America “kicking God out of the public square” when it ended mandatory state sponsored Christian prayers on schools.

And in his book, Hice compared advocates for women’s reproductive rights to Hitler and the Nazis.

Did I mention that Hice tied for first place in the GOP primary?!

Hice’s GOP run-off opponent, Mike Collins, responded to my inquiry about Hice’s assertion that Muslims shouldn’t be afforded First Amendment rights by saying in part: “All Americans are afforded rights under the First Amendment, regardless of faith. I do not agree with any of the divisive and demeaning statements Jody Hice has made, this one included.”

That’s great to hear. But Collins seems to be alone. I haven't heard RNC Chair Reince Priebus or other GOP leaders denounce Hice.

In fact, Erick Erickson, a Fox News contributor and editor of the conservative website Red State, not only endorsed Hice in his June 19 column, but also boasted that he attended and spoke at one of Hice’s recent fundraisers. Erickson went on to write: “I am proud to support him...I am happy to encourage people to support him.”

I wonder what Erickson is most proud of? Could it be Hice’s anti-gay comments, his ant-Muslim, or anti-women ones? And just so it’s clear, Hice's statements noted above have all been well documented in the media before Erickson endorsed Hice.

Look, Hice has every right to spew his hate from the pulpit to those who chose to attend his services. But let’s hope he never has a chance to bring his hateful crap to the US Congress. Congress is bad enough as it is.