A Georgia Republican says critics just don't fully understand his pro-violence and anti-Muslim Facebook posts -- but he stands behind them.
Luke Crawford, who's running for city council in Peachtrees Corner, insists his social media posts circulated by local Democratic Facebook page were simply taken out of context, reported the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Crawford said in a May 15 post that “violence is always the final answer,” and that “people don’t realize that taxes are enforced with violence.”
“If you’re not willing to pay your taxes, then eventually people come with guns and throw you in jail,” the post read.
A Dec. 21 post showed the bullet-riddled body of a gunman who had recently killed a Russian ambassador in Turkey around that time, captioned, “Violence is golden.”
The 24-year-old Crawford defended his posts, which have been deleted from the Democratic page after drawing inappropriate comments.
“The way I look at violence is: it is an option,” Crawford said. “It’s not the best option and it’s not the option I’d ever wish for, but it is an option -- one that people do not realize is sometimes used to control citizens.”
The city council race is nonpartisan, but Crawford is an outspoken conservative.
“Those views are under attack in America today,” he told the newspaper.
Other posts by Crawford, which the local Democratic Party showed to the Daily Post, suggested women were not equals to men and referred to liberalism as a "mental disorder," and dismissed anyone who disagreed as a "snowflake."
He also referred to Islam as an "evil religion," and he told the newspaper he believed it was an "oppressive religion."
There are at least four mosques within five miles of Peachtree Corners, but Crawford insisted he would fairly represent those local worshipers, if elected.
“At the end of the day, I don’t have any hatred against people who are Muslim,” he said. “Even if I fundamentally disagree with what people believe in, I wish them no ill will.”
Crawford said he would be happy to personally explain his viewpoints to any voters who had questions.
“If anybody in Peachtree Corners wants to talk to me, I’m always out here -- I’m open,” he said. “Feel free to reach out.”