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Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., responded to a recent Kansas City Star article appearing to link her faith to “White Christian nationalism,” which the congresswoman said tried to make her look like a “radical.”
The Missouri lawmaker is running for Sen. Roy Blunt’s open seat in Missouri’s crowded GOP primary this August and was the subject of story titled, “Running God’s way: Can Vicky Hartzler’s ‘conservative biblical values’ win a Senate seat?” The article was published by the KC Star on Easter Sunday.
Reporter Daniel Desrochers suggested Hartzler’s Christian views about returning the country to its traditional values mirrored “White Christian nationalism.” The reporter even brought up the Salem Witch Trials.
“Hartzler does not identify with the Christian nationalist movement, which can be described as a fusion of conservative Christianity with American civic life,” Descrochers wrote. “But some of her language strikes notes directly from the heart of the movement.”
He adds that American Christian nationalism can be traced back to individuals who were involved in the persuction of women during the Salem Witch Trials.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, Hartzler said she had denied being any way involved with that movement, but the reporter chose to spend several paragraphs “subtly linking” her to a movement with racist overtones to make her appear like an extremist.
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Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., pays respects to U.S. Capitol Officer William Evans, who was killed in the line of duty on April 2, as Evans’ remains lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 13, 2021. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS
(Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS)
“They tried to link me to a Christian nationalist movement and even though they’d asked me about that, and I said, ‘No, I certainly am not aligned with them which has racist overtones.’ They chose to continue to write multiple paragraphs about this movement, just kind’ve subtly linking me to it and trying to make look like a radical or something that I’m not,” Hartzler told Fox News Digital.
The Republican said she was “disappointed” in how the KC Star “totally ignored” her qualifications, experience and conservative record to attack her “very personal” faith.
“I was disappointed they had chosen this very important U.S. Senate race to just focus on one aspect that’s something that’s very personal to me and that’s my faith, rather than take about my qualifications, my experiences as a teacher and a life-long farmer, a small business owner and the work that I’ve done in Washington D.C. to stand up for our conservative values. Those are the things that I think people really need to hear about, and they almost totally ignored that,” she said.
When asked to comment on the paper publishing the article about her faith on Easter, Hartzler said she didn’t know what the motives were but called it “inappropriate.”
“I think it was inappropriate,” she said noting that the media outlet shouldn’t have viewed Christians’ most holy holiday as an opportunity for a “hit piece” on her faith.
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(U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler Website)
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While confessing that her faith was very important to her, Hartzler told Fox News Digital she had hoped the paper would’ve “focused more” on her work on the House Armed Services Committee, her record helping to rebuild the military, and her strong stance on human rights that has caused her to be sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party.
Hartzler also called critical race theory and protecting women’s sports important issues in the upcoming Senate race.
On CRT, the Republican argued that most people do not support the idea that America is inherently a racist nation or that your destiny is determined by your skin color.
“Parents want an accurate portrayal of the good and bad of the history of our country,” she said, noting how CRT made an impact in Virginia’s gubernatorial race with Governor Glenn Youngkin.
“I think that’s going to continue into this race. Parents are going to come out in droves for candidates who are fighting for them,” she said.
Hartzler introduced a “No CRT for Military Kids Act” to fight federal funding from putting CRT components into military kids’ school curriculum.
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In February, Twitter locked Hartzler out of her Twitter account for “hateful conduct” after she tweeted that “Women’s sports are for women, not men pretending to be women.”
Hartzler defended her fight against the social media giant, saying, “This is a discussion that we need to have as a society and a country right now, and I believe my views align with the majority of Americans.”
Signs opposing Critical Race Theory line the entrance to the Loudoun County School Board headquarters, in Ashburn, Virginia, U.S. June 22, 2021. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)
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A Gallup poll from last Spring found that a majority of Americans, 62%, believe transgender athletes should only compete on sports teams which align with their biological gender.
Citing her background as a track coach and athlete, Hartzler noted that Congress passed Title IX protections in 1972 which were supposed to protect women in higher education and sports from discrimination.
“Women have come too far in sports to just have it totally decimated by this new woke mentality that says it’s totally okay for a biological man, who now identifies as a female to participate in their sports. If we don’t stop this, they’re going to continue to do this and girls are going to be denied even more medals and records and scholarships and just the pride of achieving their goals. So I’m proud to speak up for these female athletes, as a former track coach, and I’m going to continue to do it,” she said.