This morning, Republican State House lawmakers paraded before their colleagues to condemn Mike Griffin, a familiar face around the State Capitol who has lobbied for groups like Georgia Right to Life and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.
Griffin’s sin? He launched a direct assault on legislators in an online letter, saying “We must not let the government do to us what Hitler did to the pastors and churches of his day. He got them to accept this protection from government action if they would agree to stay out of government. He basically said, you take care of the church and leave government to me. Pastors, this is happening before our eyes today.”
It’s the “Hitler” part that has Republicans all riled up. It’s an offensive, out-of-line comparison, to be sure.
But what you didn’t hear GOP lawmakers do is take responsibility for their part in outrageous rhetoric like this. After all, Griffin is anything but an outsider to the House Republican Caucus. Not only was he the GOP pick to run for state House in 2006 against an entrenched Democrat, but he has been a key player in the fight to pass extremist bills sponsored by Republicans like Rep. Sam Teasley, Sen. Greg Kirk and Sen. Josh McKoon.
Conservatives even invited Mike Griffin and his cohorts to hold service inside the Gold Dome. During his sermon, Griffin expressed his gratitude from the pulpit, exclaiming, “I hope this is something that we’re going to get used to doing as the State House becomes more like the church house.”
Republicans love to stand next to evangelical stalwarts like Griffin for photos and press conferences (especially in election years), but are silent when they make wildly offensive comments — until it’s about them.
This is hypocrisy at its finest. It’s time for Georgia’s leaders to take responsibility for their actions, and condemn statements like these no matter where they come from, and not just when it’s most convenient.