When Baptist pastor Jody Hice made it into a runoff election last week to succeed Georgia Rep. Paul Broun in the U.S. House, Tim Murphy at Mother Jones did a great public service by reading Hice’s 2012 book, in which he alleged that gay people have a secret plot to “sodomize” kids and posited that Muslims don’t deserve First Amendment rights.
While Hice might have crystalized his thinking in his book, his long record as an activist and host of a syndicated radio show reveals his views on many other subjects, including mass shootings, the role of women in politics and the appearance of "blood moons."
1. Hice has no problem with women entering politics … as long as they ask their husbands first
Hice weighed in on a 2004 Athens Banner-Herald story on an increase in women holding political office in Georgia, saying that he didn’t “see a problem” with a woman entering politics as long as she’s “within the authority of her husband.”
''If the woman's within the authority of her husband, I don't see a problem,'' Dr. Jody Hice of the Bethlehem First Baptist church in Barrow County said of women in positions of political power.
2. He warned that homosexuality “enslaves” people “in a lifestyle that frankly they are not”
In a November, 2013, radio program, Hice reacted to laws banning so-called “conversion therapy” for minors by lamenting that by banning harmful “ex-gay” therapy, “we are enslaving and entrapping potentially hundreds of thousands of individuals in a lifestyle that frankly they are not.”
He went on to compare being gay to alcoholism, drug addiction, “tendencies to lie” and “tendencies to be violent.”
3. He doesn’t think Muslims should have First Amendment rights, but can’t bother to pronounce their names
In his book, Hice writes that “[a]lthough Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology. It is a complete geo-political structure, and as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection."
The pastor elaborated on this theory in a speech to a Tea Party group in 2011, where he specified that he only wanted to deny First Amendment rights to Muslims who “embrace all of Islam.”
Hice told the standing room-only crowd that there is an important distinction between many Muslims and Islam.
"Our general concept is a Muslim is someone who adheres to Islam. That is true to an extent, but that is not the whole truth," Hice said.
There are some religious Muslims who follow the five tenets of Islam but don't subscribe to the entirety of what is laid out in the Quran, he said.
"Now those individuals would be included in our First Amendment" protections to 'worship as you want to worship,'" Hice said. "The problem is for those others who embrace all of Islam."
He went on to allege that there are “200 Islamic organizations in the United States that answer directly to the Muslim Brotherhood,” which along with “secularism” amount to “the number one threat” to “our worldview”:
Broadening the conversation pertaining to the potential introduction of Sharia law and other aspects of global Islam into the United States, Hice said there are 200 Islamic organizations in the United States that answer directly to the Muslim Brotherhood.
“It’s about controlling your behavior, when and where you can worship and legal issues. The number one threat is to our worldview and whether we chunk it for secularism or Islam,” Hice said. “So get involved and stay involved. Hold elected officials accountable and pray for our country.”
But he couldn’t name any of the people he was afraid were taking over America, because, as the Newnan Times-Herald reported, “he usually can't pronounce Muslim names anyway, he said.”
4. He warned that “looking cross-eyed” at a transgender person is now a “hate crime”
In an August, 2013, radio program, Hice lamented that “you can’t even speak against a person who is a cross-dresser or a man who wants to believe himself to be a woman” without being convicted of a “hate crime.”
5. He blamed Sandy Hook shooting on America’s “kicking God out of the public square “
After the Sandy Hook massacre, Hice blamed mass shootings on America’s “kicking God out of the public square,” specifically the end of government-sponsored prayer in schools.
6. He advised listeners to “take notice” of the possibility that blood moons could signal “world-changing events”
Hice devoted a segment of his radio program last month to advising listeners to “take notice” and “have your antennas up” about John Hagee’s prediction that recent “blood moons” signal impending “world-changing events.”
7. Two years after 9/11, he complained of “our freedoms being hijacked by judicial terrorists"
Hice made his name in Georgia as the head of Ten Commandments-Georgia, whose goal is to display copies of the Ten Commandments at public buildings throughout the state. Hice led the battle to display a copy of the Ten Commandments in Barrow County, raising money to pay tens of thousands of dollars to Virginia attorney Herb Titus (who has since become a birther activist), but sticking the county with the $150,000 in legal fees it was ordered to pay to the ACLU.
At a November, 2003, rally for a bill drafted by Titus and Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore that would have stripped federal courts of the ability to decide many church-state separation cases, Hice declared, ''We need to send a message -- we are sick and tired of our freedoms being hijacked by judicial terrorists.''
''We are no longer going to tolerate the continual assault on our God, our faith and our freedom by ... these judges of tyranny,'' said the Rev. Jody Hice, pastor of Bethlehem First Baptist Church and president of Ten Commandments-Georgia Inc. ''We need to send a message -- we are sick and tired of our freedoms being hijacked by judicial terrorists.''
In 2005, when the Athens Banner-Herald’s editorial board blasted him for sticking the county with legal fees from his losing Ten Commandments case, he punched back, accusing the ACLU of being an “anti-religious, anti-moral and utterly anti-American” group that perpetrated an act of “moral terrorism” by suing over his Ten Commandments display.
Also in the editorial, there were some examples of the ACLU representing religious cases. The editorial implied I do not understand their compassionate activities. The fact is, the vast majority of ACLU cases are anti-religious, anti-moral and utterly anti-American, at least from the perspective of America's mainstream. It is no secret the founder of the ACLU was a communist, who specifically instructed his followers to "wave flags" and appear patriotic while undermining the values of America's heritage. It is an erroneous endeavor to try and make the ACLU look pristine when it comes to defending religious liberties.
It is easy to be a "Monday-morning quarterback" and rationalize unfounded accusations. Anyone can advise TC-Ga. of the "reasonable" and "honorable" thing to do. The fact is, we tried.
We should bear in mind the real issue regarding tax money. What are tax dollars for if not to defend our rights? Just look at what our tax dollars are doing to protect us from terrorism. In my opinion, what happened to Barrow County was an act of "moral terrorism," and someone must defend us, even if it includes tax dollars. And if you are going to be upset about spending tax money, instead of blaming TC-Ga.