Republican for MA Senate: Smurfs Cause Witchcraft, Gay Lifestyle "sad and meaningless"
Running again for a seat in the Massachusetts State Senate, Chelmsford, MA Republican Sandi Martinez has aired, according to the Lowell Sun and the Boston Globe, a number of unusual beliefs on the local Chelmsford cable access TV show she once hosted, including the view that 1980s children's shows such as "The Smurfs" and "The Care Bears" can lure children into witchcraft - which, according to candidate Martinez, is promoted in public schools. Martinez has also claimed Christianity can turn gays straight.
According to an October 19, 2010 Boston Globe story,
"On her cable access show in 2004, Martinez warned that trick-or-treating, Harry Potter books, and the “new age images” presented in 1980s-era programming such as “The Smurfs” and “The Care Bears” could destigmatize the occult and leave children vulnerable to the lure of witchcraft.
"To me, that’s what the Harry Potter thing is doing, only in a much broader scale than the Smurfs ever did,” she said. “The children are going to remember those feelings that they had watching the movies and reading the books, and they’re going to be prime targets." "
An October 31, 2012 Lowell Sun story reported that in 2004, on her cable access show, Martinez also claimed that Christianity could change the sexual orientation of homosexuals, a practice ridiculed by LGBT rights nonprofit Truth Wins Out head Wayne Besen as "pray away the gay".
According to the Lowell Sun story,
"In one segment of the show, called "Speak Out!", Martinez seems to imply homosexuals have empty and meaningless lives, and protests how Christmas has been taken out of schools along with other religious symbols, but witchcraft has been introduced into classrooms.
Martinez, a Chelmsford Republican in her fourth campaign for Senate, also compares those who've been "saved" out of homosexuality to those who've come out from satanism, and how they tell their stories of what goes on in those communities.
"We've seen former homosexuals come out, who've been saved out of the lifestyle, who will tell you it was the love of God, that their lives were sad and empty and meaningless," she said"
Martinez' statements on public schools raise another issue. As noted in a 2003 report from the liberal advocacy group People For The American Way titled "The Voucher Veneer: The Deeper Agenda to Privatize Public Education", while Sandi Martinez was serving as Massachusetts state director of the evangelical Christian group Concerned Women For America, she supported the Alliance for the Separation of School and State, by signing the group's statement which declares, "I proclaim publicly that I favor ending government involvement in education."
A search of the Internet Archive's cached website pages shows Martinez' name appearing on the group's statement from the year its website was launched, in 2006.
While Martinez has been associated with the Tea Party, her views suggest a stronger affiliation - with far-right charismatic evangelical Christianity.
A commonly view, that the Tea Party is secular, was refuted by a 2010 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) which showed that "Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement also identify as a part of the religious right or Christian conservative movement".
A later, 2011 PRRI survey demonstrated an even stronger religious right / Tea Party overlap: "three-quarters (75 percent) of those who identify with the Tea Party movement describe themselves as "a Christian conservative." "
But the meaning of "Christian conservative" appears to be changing.
Republican Martinez' views on witchcraft, satanism, and the occult have become widespread in charismatic evangelical Christianity that, in turn, has become the dominant tendency in today's GOP, as demonstrated by a new Public Policy Polling survey that shows 68% of Republican voters believe that it is "possible for people to become possessed by demons".
By contrast, a 2012 Pew Research Center survey showed that only 48% of Republicans believe there is evidence that the Earth's atmosphere is warming (climate change) and a miniscule 18% percent of likely Romney voters believe that human activity is causing that warming.
Among leaders in the charismatic Christian tendency coming to dominate the GOP, and which may have inspired numerous recent inflammatory statements from Republican candidates concerning rape and reproductive rights, it is a widely-held view that climate change can be caused by same-sex marriage and homosexuality, declining marriage rates, and the lack of Bible study in public schools.
Witchcraft is another major concern among charismatic evangelicals, whose Christian tendency is increasingly dominated by the movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), whose prophets claim to be able to receive extra-biblical revelation directly from God.
A September 2012 NAR-dominated rally, featuring New Apostolic Reformation prophets Cindy Jacobs and Lou Engle, was endorsed and promoted by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Engle has been accused of backing Uganda's notorious "kill the gays" bill, and Jacobs has claimed that flocks of blackbirds fell dead from the sky, cursed by God's wrath, when President Barack Obama announced his decision to rescind the military's "Don't ask/Don't Tell" policy on LGBT citizens in the military.
In an October 3, 2011 interview with NPR's Terry Gross, on her Fresh Air WHYY radio show, intellectual godfather of the NAR C. Peter Wagner confirmed to Gross that Sarah Palin was blessed and anointed by one of his NAR colleagues, Kenyan evangelist Thomas Muthee, who called upon God to protect Palin from "every spirit of witchcraft", in a ceremony held at Palin's long-time Alaska church the Wasilla Assembly of God.
Prior to blessing Palin, Muthee made a speech in which he called upon Christian believers to "infiltrate" and occupy the "Seven Mountains", major sectors of society that include government, business, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, and the family.
In his interview with Terry Gross, C. Peter Wagner claimed that the 1990s economic downturn in Japan was caused by an alleged sexual tryst between the Japanese emperor and a "sky goddess" who, claimed Wagner, might have been a succubus. Wagner's theory has been endorsed by former International Foursquare Gospel denomination president Jack Hayford, who gave the closing prayer at the 54th Inaugural Prayer Service for President George W. Bush, in 2001, at the Washington National Cathedral.
On September 3, 2012, independent Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown, running for re-election against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, joined candidate Sandi Martinez at a political rally held in Tewksbury, MA.