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Yesterday, at their official nominating convention, Michigan Republicans selected Kristina Karamo as their nominee for Secretary of State, putting the Trump-worshiping, Satan-believing, sex-negative, homophobe one step closer to overseeing the state’s elections.

If you need more proof of how extreme Karamo is, you don’t even need to look at the two years she spent falsely insisting Donald Trump won the election. Instead, go back to 2018. In a now-deleted video preserved by The Gander, Kristina Karamo claimed Satan was poisoning Americans because too many people were having pre-marital sex or practicing homosexuality.

YouTube video

“‘It’s okay, it’s normal to have premarital sex, it’s normal to live with your boyfriend for a few years to see if it’s going to work out, right?’ No. Because again, when you kick God out, nature hates vacuums, Satan fills right in. And that is what has happened in our society,” Karamo said in her 13-minute video. “And then when we start to say, ‘Oh well, if you want to have sex with somebody of the same sex, that’s okay too.’ And now, it has morphed into something worse.”

That “something worse,” according to Karamo, includes “pedophilia being normalized” and “bestiality being normalized.”

We’ve been complicit in it since the 1960s when we began to normalize pre-marital sex. We have invited Satan into our nation with open arms because it gave us the room to engage in whatever sexual sin that we wanted to,” Karamo said. “We kicked God out of society in order to chase our exotic desires and that has had so many unintended consequences in our life and in our society.”

“So many people who claim to be Christians have no idea of the spiritual ramifications that sexual sin brings into your life and that of the nation,” she said. “Many people who are heterosexual engage in swinger lifestyles and threesomes and orgies and open relationships and say, ‘Oh well, you know, I’m just going to keep it in this little area of my life.’ No sweetie, you invited Satan into all of your life.”

Someone who treats pre-marital sex and homosexuality as evils that would be eradicated in an ideal world, and someone who believes liberals have “normalized” pedophilia and bestiality, and someone who can’t handle straight couples having consensual sex any way they want, and someone who blames Satan for all of society’s problems shouldn’t be leading a church, much less holding a leadership position in a secular democracy.

She sure as hell shouldn’t be running statewide elections.

Earlier this year, when those comments were first written about, a spokesperson for the current Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who’s running again this November, said Karamo’s comments “speak for themselves.” But that was long before Karamo got this nomination. I suspect those comments will end up being replayed in a number of Democratic campaign ads over the next couple of months. 

And if you’re thinking this video can’t possibly be everything and we must only be seeing the tip of the iceberg… you’d be right. WCPT reports that Karamo has insane beliefs about abortion too.

Karamo has a long history of amplifying her controversial opinions in a Christian nationalist lens. Prior to announcing her candidacy, Karamo was known for her staunch opposition to abortion and referred to it as a “satanic practice.” There are also many instances of her making derogatory statements about LGBTQ people. During an episode of her podcast “It’s Solid Food”, she explained her belief that God put parameters on sexual conduct, and that LGBTQ individuals are outside of those parameters.

“I liken it to if I’m watching a friend about to get hit by a train,” Karamo said. “And I don’t say anything because I don’t want to upset them because they’re having a good time. You would say, ‘Wow, that’s terrible. Standing over there having a good time, they’re about to get ran over by a train, you don’t think you should say something?’ How is this any different? It’s no different. In fact, it’s worse.”

That mentality that says she needs to warn gay people of an existential threat would be bad enough if she were just an evangelist. The moment she runs for public office, however, her delusions become our problem.

Oh wait! There’s more.

The 2018 video is not the first time Karamo has made these sorts of incendiary comments. She’s previously complained about the “normalization of pedophilia,” dismissed transgender women trying to play women’s sports as “mentally ill adults playing dress up,” described gay people as “unnatural,” and called churches that welcome LGBTQ individuals as “agents of Satan.” 

She’s full of ideas… and none of them are any good.

Earlier this summer, another Christian nationalist named Rachel Hamm ran for Secretary of State in California. She held many of the same bizarre views as Karamo and was widely mocked for them. She ultimately earned less than 10% of the votes in a primary in which only the top two candidates moved on to the November ballot. It wasn’t entirely shocking because this was California. No one took her candidacy all that seriously.

Karamo, however, isn’t a conservative Christian extremist running in a very blue state. Michigan has become one of the most hotly contested states in the country, and polls already show a close contest:

poll released Friday by Lansing-based pollster EPIC-MRA put Benson ahead of Karamo, 44-38%, among likely voters, with 18% undecided and a 4-percentage-point margin of error. 78% said they did not recognize Karamo, compared to 45% for Benson.

While it’s a slight lead for Benson, there’s enough time for those numbers to change. The question is whether Democrats can define Karamo before she can redefine herself.

Sharing her extremist views and making sure Michigan voters realize these religious delusions are held by just about every Republican candidate running for office is a start.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.