Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia told a gathering of Christian pastors on April 5 in Washington, D.C., that the U.S. is "our country" and "our turf" (video below).
Rice's speech was part of the April Congressional Pastors' Briefing that was arranged by controversial Christian historian David Barton through his Wallbuilders organization.
Rice told the pastors about a bill pending that would repeal the Johnson Amendment. If the repeal is passed, then houses of worship, such as churches and other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, could actively oppose and support political candidates and still keep their tax-exempt status, notes Right Wing Watch.
After receiving applause for the proposed repeal of the Johnson Amendment, Rice told the pastors how the U.S. was their country: "I guess if there is anything I want to leave you [with] today, it is a genuine, heartfelt thank you for just the deep awareness that we are in this thing together. This is our country, it’s our turf and God has placed us here to be stewards at such a time as this and to stand in the gap."
While Rice gave assurances to his Christian supporters, he has said in the past that Islam is not a religion and does not deserve protection under the First Amendment, noted MSNBC:
Although Islam has a religious component, it is much more than a simple religious ideology. It’s a complete geopolitical structure and, as such, does not deserve First Amendment protection...
Most people think Islam is a religion, it’s not. It’s a totalitarian way of life with a religious component.
Hice has also shared his views on same-sex marriage:
Some ask the question, "How does same-sex 'marriage' threaten your marriage?" The answer is similar to asking, "How does a trashy neighborhood affect you?" It might not affect you at all on a personal level. But, we are not talking about "a" same-sex marriage. We are talking about an effort to redefine marriage, and that would have drastic results and irreversible consequences!
Hice once blamed the Sandy Hook school shooting on the removal of God from American culture: "We have tragedies, horrifying tragedies such as this, happening in America today with much greater frequency because God is largely removed from our culture … we have been kicking God out of the schools, and we have been kicking God out of the public square."
Hice also compared women's reproductive rights and abortion to Adolf Hitler's Holocaust:
How many times have we denounced the murderous acts of people like Hitler? Most certainly, his actions and similar ones by other political leaders should be vehemently condemned! Yet, we so easily overlook the genocide that has been committed within our own country.
Our murderous dealings are much worse than Hitler’s six million Jews or Mussolini’s three hundred thousand. The genocide in America is inexcusable! It is worse than genocide. We are guilty of eugenics!