Texas GOP rep. hires 'Christian nationalist' who wants to execute drag show attendees

Texas GOP rep. hires 'Christian nationalist' who wants to execute drag show attendees
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Texas State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R) has hired 22-year-old self-described “Christian nationalist” Jake Neidert as his office’s legislative director.

In June, Neidert wrote on Twitter, “You want to force kids to see drag shows, I want to ‘drag’ you to the town square to be publicly executed for grooming kids. We are not the same.” The tweet caused his account to be suspended.

He has not yet returned to the platform even though the site’s transphobic billionaire owner Elon Musk has reinstated other far-right accounts banned for similar speech.

Neidert used to manage communications for the Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) chapter at Baylor University, one of the state’s largest Christian universities.

On March 7, The Baylor YCT Twitter account published a tweet that said, “Does the ‘G’ in LGBT stand for ‘Grooms kids’?”

Another tweet from the account said, “Are you an ally to Child-Rapists or Serial Killers? Do we not condemn these actions? So if you believe homosexuality is biblically sinful, why would we not condemn this sin?”

Neidert defended the tweet, stating, “I’m a southern Baptist and it is within very many congregations and denominations of Christianity still believe that homosexuality is a sin. I would not say [the tweet] is a stretch.”

Neidert’s claim that gay people want to “groom” children for sexual abuse is decades old and often used to justify violence against LGBTQ people. It’s also telling that he hasn’t spoken out against the countless cases of child sex abuse that regularly occur in Baptist and other Christian churches.

Neidert has publicly denounced the June arrests of members of the white nationalist hate group Patriot Front who intended to commit violence at an Idaho Pride event. He also publicly mocked the murder of Black Minneapolis resident George Floyd by Minneapolis police, stating, “George Floyd is two years sober today” on the second anniversary of his killing.

After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the right to abortion in June, Neidert said that people like him will successfully turn the U.S. into a Christian theocracy. Christian theocrats and nationalists have long espoused white supremacist views.

State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D), a member of the House LGBTQ Caucus, told The Texas Tribune, “It is a frustrating thing to both be appalled and not surprised [about Neidert’s hiring],” noting the Texas legislature’s recent spate of transphobic bills targeting sports participation, child attendance at drag shows, and gender-affirming healthcare.

“While it’s sure alarming to know that there’s someone working in my building who has called for my execution, it feels just par for the course,” Zwiener added.

Neidert’s twin sister Kelly Neidert founded Protect Texas, a transphobic that has falsely accused doctors of transitioning “small children,” The Advocate reported. In the past, she wrote via social media, “Let’s start rounding up people who participate in pride events.”

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