Chicago GOP hopeful: Autism and dementia are God's punishments for LGBT rights
Susanne Atanus via screencap

One of the Republicans lining up to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) for her seat representing the 9th District of Illinois told the Chicago Daily Herald that God is "angry" with the United States and has sent scourges to punish the American people.

Candidate Susanne Atanus believes that autism and forms of dementia are punishments sent by God because of the growing support for marriage equality in the country and the prevalence of abortion.

"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said at an endorsement session with the Daily Herald on Monday.

God controls the weather, she said, and tornadoes are evidence of his wrath.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Her primary opponent, David Earl Williams III, 30, is decidedly more moderate in his views, but comes with his own liabilities as a candidate. A former girlfriend filed a domestic violence protection order against the Navy veteran.

He is currently fighting a judge's ruling that he attend anger management classes and undergo a mental health assessment. The charges that he tried to get his former partner fired from her job and kicked out of school by impersonating her online, Williams said, are all a big misunderstanding.

Rae Ann McNeilly, Williams' campaign manager, dismissed the court's findings and the woman's complaints against the candidate, calling it a "frivolous, unfounded claim" by a spurned ex who is "lashing out" because she thought Williams was more serious about their relationship than he actually was.

Atanus ran in the 9th District's Republican primaries in 2010 and 2012. She lost both times.

Watch Daily Herald video of the two candidates, embedded below:

[Image credit: Daily Herald / Bob Chwedyk]