Mark Harris, a former Baptist pastor who won the GOP primary for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in May, once questioned whether it was a “healthy pursuit” for women to make a career the “ultimate goal” instead of sticking with the traditional approach of being wives and mothers, according to ABC News.
ABC reported that Harris made the comments while delivering a sermon in 2013, footage first discovered by the Democratic-linked super PAC American Bridge. In the sermon, Harris discusses “God’s plan for biblical womanhood” and argues that society “created a culture and created an environment that have made it extremely difficult for any woman… to live out and fulfill God’s design.”
“There is a new supreme pursuit from the traditional pursuit of being a wife or a mother,” Harris said while working as a pastor at Charlotte’s First Baptist Church.
He claimed that in today’s culture “girls are taught from grade school … that what is most honorable in life is a career, and their ultimate goal in life is simply to be able to grow up and be independent of anyone or anything.”
“But nobody has seemed to ask the question that I think is critically important to ask: Is that a healthy pursuit for society? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our homes? … Is that the healthiest pursuit for the sexes in our generation?”
Andy Yates, an adviser to Harris, defended his controversial remarks, telling the Raleigh News & Observer that every mom in the 9th District “would agree that there is no higher calling than being a mother and a wife … or a husband and a father.”
“That’s sad that we’ve come to that point that we’re going to attack a pastor for preaching the Word of God,” he told the paper.
Democrat Dan McCready, who is facing off against Harris in this year’s midterms, denounced the sermon, saying it reflected someone who is “out of step.”
“As a Christian, I believe that we are all created in God’s image,” McCready said in a statement, according to the News & Observer. “That means men and women are equally valuable and equally capable and should be treated as such in their homes, careers, and in society. Mr. Harris’ comments suggest otherwise. This is just another example of how out of step Mr. Harris is — not just with this district but with this century.”