The good news for House Republican leaders is that they’re no longer having to answer questions about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene recently speaking at a white nationalist event. The bad news for GOP leaders is that the right-wing Georgia congresswoman has created a new controversy for them to deal with. HuffPost reported:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) recently told a far-right Catholic media organization that “Satan’s controlling the church” of Christians who provide aid to undocumented immigrants. The extremist lawmaker, whose website boasts of her “strong Christian faith,” sat down for an interview Thursday with right-wing activist Michael Voris, founder of Church Militant.
Right Wing Watch released a video excerpt of the interview yesterday, which showed Voris asking Greene about domestic Catholic organizations that help resettle undocumented immigrants and refugees.
“What it is, is Satan’s controlling the church,” the Republican congresswoman said. “The church is not doing its job, and it’s not adhering to the teachings of Christ, and it’s not adhering to what the word of God says we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to live.”
Catholic League, which has earned a reputation as a very conservative voice in religio-political affairs, was not pleased. Its president, Bill Donohue, released a written statement that read in part, “Satan is controlling the Catholic Church? She needs to apologize to Catholics immediately. She is a disgrace. We are contacting House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about this matter. He’s got a loose cannon on his hands.”
Greene responded with a lengthy social-media thread, explaining that she was born into Roman Catholicism, though she stopped attended Catholic services because, as she put it, she couldn’t “trust the Church leadership to protect my children from pedophiles.”
As for her comments about Satan controlling the church, the Republican lawmaker added, “It’s the church leadership I was referring to when I invoked the Devil.”
Well, that ought to clear things up. Greene believes the leaders of the Roman Catholic church aren’t protecting children from pedophiles and their support for immigrants reflects Satanic control.
Over to you, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
All joking aside, rhetoric like this is extraordinary from a sitting member of Congress, but it’s hardly out of step with Greene’s rhetorical record. As we’ve discussed, the Georgia Republican has dismissed 9/11 and school massacres as hoaxes. She’s harassed at least one survivor of a school shooting. She’s peddled bizarre claims about fire-causing space lasers.
In 2018 and 2019, the Georgia Republican even expressed support for violence against Democratic elected officials. This included an instance in which she liked a social-media comment about removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from office by way of “a bullet to the head.”
What’s more, about a week after taking the oath of office, Greene sent a text message to the Trump White House about seizing illegitimate power through martial law.
Now she believes Satan has taken control of the Roman Catholic Church.
Circling back to our earlier coverage, GOP leaders have some options. McCarthy & Co. could, for example, kick Greene out of the House Republican conference, making clear to the political world that the party will not tolerate such behavior. The party could also announce that it will not support her re-election campaigns — akin to what the party has already done to Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. Republicans could also agree to censure her.
McCarthy vowed last fall to reward Greene with new committee assignments in the next Congress if there’s a GOP majority, and the minority leader could announce that he’s changed his mind.
Or the party could do exactly what it did after Greene spoke at a white nationalist event — which was nothing.
What’s it going to be?