CHICAGO – A Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives says that autism and dementia are punishments from God, who is angry over abortion and same-sex marriage.
Susanne Atanus, who is seeking the GOP nomination in the race for Illinois’ 9th Congressional district, told the Daily Herald that God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.
“I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first,” Atanus said.
“God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she said. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”
Article continues belowAtanus, 55, has run for this congressional seat previously — she lost the 2010 GOP primary and in 2012 was taken off the ballot because she didn’t have enough valid signatures.
On Thursday, Republican leaders denounced Atanus remarks and called on her to withdraw from the race.
“The offensive statements by Susanne Atanus have no place in the modern political debate, and she has no place on the ballot as a Republican,” said Illinois GOP Chairman Jack Dorgan, in a statement. “Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”