Mark Harris, a former Baptist pastor who won the GOP primary for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District in May, has repeatedly instructed worshipers at his Baptist services on the need for married women to “submit” unto their husbands as they would to God, reports Roll Call.
During his sermons, Harris claims the source of most marriage issues is the result of wives failing to submit to their husbands or husbands’ love for their wives.
“Many marriages could save beaucoups of marriage counseling money if they would just understand; husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church. Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord,” he said in 2013.
Harris also 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.
While discussing “God’s plan for biblical womanhood,” Harris argued 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.
“In our culture today, girls are taught from grade school that we tell them 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,” said Harris.
“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.”