E.W. Jackson, a minister and the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Virginia, has an interesting perception of yoga.
Betsy Woodruff uncovered this passage from Jackson's 2008 book Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life in a recent profile for The National Review:
Jackson's yoga theory is hardly the first controversial thing he has said. In fact, because of his string of eyebrow-raising comments, fellow Virginia Republicans, including Rep. Scott Rigell and gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, have avoided supporting Jackson in the press. Other members of the GOP, including former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, haven't been so reserved:
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"The Republicans I'm talking to are saying, 'what the hell are they doing in Virginia?'" Steele told The Huffington Post. "Is this, '101 ways to lose an election'? You're coming out of the gate with comments everyone has to explain."
A few more of those comments the Virginia GOP might need to explain:
1. Liberals have "done more to kill black folks whom they claim so much to love than the Ku Klux Klan, lynching and slavery, and Jim Crow ever did."
This, according to Mother Jones, is a reference to liberal support of gay rights, which Jackson equates with the spread of AIDS. In the 1980s, he lobbied lawmakers in Massachusetts (where he taught a law class at Northeastern University) to vote against an anti-discrimination bill, saying, "If we need a gay-rights bill, then we need an adulterers' rights bill, we need a cohabitators' rights bill, a pedophiles' rights bill, and a sadomasochists' rights bill."
He has also campaigned against condoms, sex education, and public health clinics near schools, arguing that they promote promiscuity.
2. "This comedy is about a group of amoral, irresponsible — funny, yes — but selfish, self-centered people who think that having masturbation contests is great entertainment."
Fun fact: E.W. Jackson is not a fan of Seinfeld. Hopefully he hasn't seen the "sponge-worthy" episode.
3. "While giving to the poor is important, the most powerful giving for wealth-building is upward giving."
Jackson — who told Woodruff he left the Democratic Party after reading Ayn Rand — gave this as a reason for why people should donate to his ministry.
"We may never meet in person, but you can draw on the anointing which God has placed on my life by sowing into my ministry," he wrote in Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life. His recommendation for people with money problems? Meditate on Bible verses that promise wealth.
4. "As if God's gonna let mankind destroy the planet with SUVs!"
The pastor's view on global warming. Jackson does think it's reasonable to work for a clean environment but, according to The National Review profile, he also believes that concerns over climate change are "hysteria."
5. "Obama clearly has Muslim sensibilities."
In 2010, Jackson argued at a now-defunct blog that President Obama saw the world from a "Muslim perspective." That, he said, means bad news for Israel:
6. "Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was."
Last month, Jackson defended comments he made in 2012 concerning abortion, saying they "were spoken in my role as a minister, not as a candidate." The full quote was:
While Virginia Republicans might be wary of Jackson's past, his election would give Republicans a crucial tie-breaker in the evenly split state Senate — suggesting that voters can expect lots of vague, not-quite endorsements of Jackson in the coming months.
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