UPDATE: The award ceremony for Harris has been rescheduled so it will not coincide with Cruz's appearance.
The Arkansas Family Council, the state affiliate of the Family Research Council, is set to present an award [PDF] to state Rep. Justin Harris “at the Crawford County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner headlined by United States Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz of Texas.”
Harris, whom the group hails as “a strong advocate for home schoolers and the unborn” even “when opposed by the liberal media,” is the same lawmaker who became mired in a scandal earlier this year when it came to light that he had “rehomed” his two adopted daughters with a former employee of his Christian daycare center who later raped one of the girls. As the Arkansas Times, which broke the story about the Cruz fundraiser, reported in its exposé on the scandal, Eric Cameron Francis, the man to whom Harris entrusted the children, has been implicated in two other child abuse cases:
In the interview with KARK last Friday, Harris said Francis left to spend more time studying for a seminary degree and that the parting was amicable. When news of the rape came out in April 2014 and Harris was questioned about his former employee, he told the Times he'd fired Francis for a poor work record. The lawmaker did not reveal at the time the child Francis raped was Harris' own.
As Bethania Palma Markus writes in Raw Story, Harris and his wife sent their adopted daughters to live with Francis after they “feared the girls and had an exorcist ‘cast out’ the demons.”
Harris, of course, immediately tried to play the victim, claiming that the whole thing was the fault of the government.
We wonder how Cruz and the Family Research Council, the former home of Josh Duggar, feel about the FRC affiliate’s decision to honor Harris with its “Power of Courage Award.”
Family Council Action Committee will award the first annual Power of Courage Award of 2015 to Representative Charlene Fite of Van Buren and Representative Justin Harris of West Fork. Recipients of this award are recognized for exhibiting their Christian faith and values in legislation they presented at the Arkansas State Capitol during the 90th General Assembly. Furthermore, they demonstrated courage by standing strong in faith when situations were tough at the State Capitol and they did so with grace. They are consistently models of their Christian values in their homes, their communities, and their churches. Both state representatives are to receive their award at the Crawford County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner headlined by United States Senator and presidential candidate Ted Cruz of Texas.
Representative Harris is the owner and founder of Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool in West Fork and is serving his 3rd term as state representative. He has always been a strong advocate for home schoolers and the unborn. Even when opposed by the liberal media, Representative Harris has always held firm and stood tall in his faith. No one can deny Representative Harris’ faith has always led him while serving at the Arkansas State Capitol. In 2015, Harris sponsored the Parental Involvement Enhancement Act, requiring parents to be involved in their children’s decision to terminate life by requesting an abortion. This is now law today. Representative Harris will not be seeking re-election.
The award will be presented to Representatives Fite and Harris by Jerry Cox, President of Family Council Action Committee based in Little Rock. “The hardships that legislators go through at the State Capitol are sometimes unknown to the public, and during these times it sometimes takes tremendous courage to stand up for what is right” said Cox. “The Bible often speaks of courage and these legislators have consistently shown courage and taken it to heart.” Cox added. “The courage of these legislators is best described by Scripture in Deuteronomy 31:6, ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.’” “We are proud to present Representatives Fite and Harris with the Power of Courage Award.”