February 26, 2010

Bob Marshall is the Virginia Republican legislator who recently made a name for himself by claiming that God punishes women who have abortions by giving them disabled children.

Now we have footage of the guy who introduced Marshall at last week’s anti-Planned Parenthood press conference in Richmond, and it ain’t pretty.

Rev. Joe Ellison – with Marshall at his back – vouched for Pat Robertson and said that God punished Haitians with an earthquake because they practice voodoo. Then he introduced Marshall as a "warrior who will fight for our cause." Two minutes later, Marshall made his infamous remarks about God punishing women who have abortions. Here's Ellison, in the video above:

"From a spiritual standpoint, we think the Dr. Robertson was on target about Haiti, in the past, with voodoo. And we believe in the Bible that the practice of voodoo is a sin, and what caused the nation to suffer. Those who read the Bible and study the history know that what Dr. Robertson said was the truth."

Does Marshall stand behind Ellison and his remarks on Haiti? He would no doubt say no. After all, he is running away from his own remarks and lashing out at the student-run Capital News Service, which broke the story and ran circles around veteran statehouse reporters.

But the video of Marshall’s remarks speaks for itself, and the Ellison video is the nail in the coffin. Both men – like Pat Robertson – believe that God exacts vengeance on those who do not follow their peculiar and ultraconservative interpretation of the Bible.

Marshall is entitled to his offensive views, but he should not run from them. Pat Robertson, if there’s one thing you can say about him, at least has the courage of his convictions.

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