Pastor Mark Burns … ever hear of him? He is a televangelist from South Carolina, which should tell you just about all you need to know. Yesterday, Pastor Mark Burns threw his hat in the ring and announced his candidacy for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives that is being vacated by Representative Trey Gowdy. Burns was, and is, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump. He claims he had usually voted Democratic, which included support for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, saying “I’m not ashamed to say that as a black man I wanted the first black man to enter the office.” But he later said, in 2016, he had “seen the light.” Of Trump he said “He’s a smart man. He knows authenticity. I believe he knows and recognizes real character.” Hey, Burns … if you really believe that, I have a beautiful bridge I’ll sell you real cheap!
Now, Burns is likely to fit right into today’s Congress, for he is a well-experienced liar. Here is just a sampling of his many lies:
- Burns claimed to have held a bachelor of science degree from North Greenville University. According to the University, Burns attended only one semester.
- He said he spent six years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He actually spent four years in the South Carolina National Guard, an entirely different and unrelated organization.
- He claims to have attended Andersonville Theological Seminary, though there is no evidence of it and he is unable or unwilling to clarify.
- Burns claimed he was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, a national historically black fraternity, but again, there is no evidence. When confronted with this one, he replied that he had “started the process” but did not complete even the initiation.
When confronted with all these lies on his church website, he admitted that he had lied and had unacceptably exaggerated his education, but said he was attacked because he is “a black man supporting Donald Trump for president.” Awwwww, pobrecito!
In addition to being a liar, he is not a very nice man. At a Trump rally in North Carolina, he mocked and criticized Bernie Sanders for being Jewish. In 2016, he retweeted a digitally manipulated image of Hillary Clinton in blackface. He was later interviewed on CNN and asked about the tweet. His reply?
“I think at the time I did my initial tweet was to reinforce my position as to point out why this particular candidate Hillary Clinton is not really good for the African-American community, because the Democrat party automatically assumes they own the black vote, they own that voting bloc. And because they already know that voting bloc belongs to them, very little change takes place.”
I didn’t sense any apology in there, but he did tweet a half-assed apology:
“I’m so sorry for the offensive #Blackface image of @HillaryClinton but stand by the message that we Blacks ARE being Used by #Dems for VOTES”
In my view, an ‘apology’ that contains the qualifier “but”, is no apology at all.
Back in November 2017, ahead of the Alabama special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, Burns actually defended Roy Moore, saying that morality isn’t the only quality that makes a good leader. This, from a church pastor? Wouldn’t you expect a self-proclaimed Christian to have a bit of a problem supporting a pedophile?
Mr. Burns also fails to understand the word racism, if this tweet from January is any indicator:
“Racism isn’t really about COLOR, Racism has always been about the HAVES verses the HAVE NOTS. And President @realDonaldTrump is raising the HAVE NOTS to the same level as the HAVES. In Today’s society, A Poor White Person gets treated the same as a Poor Black Person.” – 9:45 AM – Jan 24, 2018 · Easley, SC
In announcing his intent to run for U.S. House of Representatives, he stated his reason, at least in part, as “We need to combat the leftist, liberal and even socialist ideology that’s dividing our nation.” Rather reminiscent of the speech he gave at the Republican National Convention in 2016, where he thanked God for “guiding [Trump], giving him the words to the unite the party, this country, that we together can defeat the liberal Democratic Party.” Unite the country? Did he really say that?
And good old Mr. Burns attempted to defend Trump’s recent remarks about “shithole countries”. I won’t even repeat his rationale there, for even after reading and re-reading it multiple times, it made no sense.
There are, at present, 13 other republicans running for this seat, and 4 democrats. It is almost a certainty that the district will remain in the hands of the republicans, since all 4 democrats are newcomers with no government experience … they include an electrician, a businessman, a graduate student and a financial expert. District 4, like almost all of South Carolina, is predominantly republican. Some believe that Burns has the best chance, due to his close ties with Trump. Let us hope that the voters are fed up enough with Trump for that alliance to work against, rather than for, Mr. Burns, for we do not need his ilk in the Capitol next year. He is exactly the type we are trying to get rid of!