Episcopal preacher skewers Maine GOP with the Gospel after they bizarrely smear him as ‘anti-Christian’
The Maine Republican Party and state Rep. Lawrence E. Lockman (R) seem to be taking a cue from radical anti-abortion activists who attack their target by editing what they say until it’s no longer accurate.
According to the Maine Beacon, Lockman took to his Facebook page to call Democratic mayoral candidate Ben Chin, who is half Chinese, an “anti-Christian bigot,” even though Chin is licensed through the Episcopal church as a lay preacher — a person who isn’t ordained but certified to lead religious services.
“On December 8th, voters in Lewiston should just say NO to this anti-Christian bigot,” Lockman wrote. “Chin hates America, hates Americans, and hates Christians, and he wants to allow non-citizens to vote.”
The remainder of the post is an Islamophobic rant and an attack on political adversaries, whom he insinuates are Marxists.
The post, which included a link to an op-ed by conservative Pat Buchanan, appears to have been removed, but it was preserved by the Beacon.
According to the paper, Lockman bases his attack on Chin on a paid political ad that has quotes from Chin randomly strung together by ellipses. It was posted to a Tumblr account belonging to the Maine Republican Party called, “The Real Ben Chin,” according to the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.
The blurb cited by Lockman lifts quotes from a 2,673-word sermon Chin gave at Trinity Episcopal Church. The sermon criticized aspects of modern Christianity, but what the ad left out was that Chin called on parishioners to act with faith and dignity as Christians.
Chin responded in an apparently Christian manner.
“I’m a Christian and I’m happy to discuss my faith with anyone, particularly the role faith has in policy and public life,” he said in a statement. “Rep. Lockman and the Republican Party, however, seem to be more focused on twisting faith into a negative attack. I don’t mind. I’m reminded of Matthew 5:11: ‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’”
The 30-year-old candidate was the target of racist attack ads last month that called him “Ho Chi Chin,” a take on Ho Chi Minh, the communist leader the United States fought against in the Vietnam War.
According to the Beacon, the comments against Chin are typical for Lockman, who last year said men should be allowed to rape women if women have the right to an abortion.
“If a woman has [the right to an abortion], why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” Lockman had said. “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t [in most cases] result in anyone’s death.”
Chin faces a run-off on December 8th against incumbent Mayor Robert Macdonald, a Republican who last month said he wanted to publicize the names and personal information of welfare recipients because he was annoyed that people with special needs children were coming to Maine.