The featured speaker at an upcoming Heritage Foundation event titled “Critical Race Theory: The Fault Lines of Social Justice” is a right-wing pastor named Voddie Baucham Jr. who pushes the antisemitic trope of “cultural Marxism,” insists on the importance of “virgin brides,” argues that women should not be vice presidential nominees, denies the existence of homosexuality, and claims the AIDS crisis was manipulated by the LGBTQ community for “pity.” Baucham also considered former President Donald Trump “immoral.”
Critical race theory — a decades-old academic framework that investigates the ways in which systemic racism affects modern society — is the latest boogeyman of right-wing media and politicians, who are using the term to demonize a wide spectrum of anti-racism efforts across the country. In fact, Heritage’s first supposed expert on critical race theory, Christopher Rufo, recently bragged that his incessant efforts to push a negative framing of the term into right-wing media were an unprincipled misinformation campaign to “put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category.” He said the ultimate “goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’”
Baucham, Heritage’s latest source on critical race theory, who will be the featured speaker at the June 10 event, appears to share Rufo’s antipathy for a widespread range of liberal, progressive, or democratic ideals, and has repeatedly and publicly expressed his extreme views.
Baucham posted on social media that he was opposed to Donald Trump and was disappointed in those who supported him.
- On March 16, 2016, he shared an article from Matt Walsh titled “Let’s Remember The Cowardly Conservative Leaders Who Betrayed Us For Trump” and wrote, “Matt Walsh names names!”
- In a comment left on a post on his ministry page on June 16, 2016, Baucham called Trump an “immoral New York liberal” and said that he believed that “refusing to vote for Hillary or Trump is NOT the same as ‘staying home.’”
He is adamant about his sexist views of the role of women in society, including his belief that women should not hold political office.
- In a CNN appearance discussing Sarah Palin’s nomination to be presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate, Baucham said that “feminism has gained a foothold in many evangelical churches,” which he claimed is “not at all” a good thing. He went on to say that the prophet Deborah’s position as a political leader in the Bible was “a sign that things were very bad” and that “the text says, in Titus chapter 2 and verse 5, a woman is to be the keeper of her home. Now, I will not violate the teaching of the text in order to somehow sound more appropriate to the culture.”
- In a piece titled “Did McCain make a Pro-Family VP pick,” Baucham writes: “My point is simple. The job of a wife and mother is to be a wife and mother. Anything in addition to that must also be subservient to it. There is no higher calling. Moreover, [we should] reject any notion of a wife and mother taking on the level of responsibility that Mrs. Palin is seeking.”
- He is apparently a proponent of the “stay-at-home daughter” movement, which encourages women to live with their parents until they are married, and he speaks often on the duty of fathers to protect their daughters’ virginity: “The first line of protection for our daughters is protecting their purity. Quite simply, our job as fathers is to present our daughters to their husbands as virgin brides.”
- In a sermon he gave, he called for women to be “meek”: “Biblical womanhood is reverent in behavior, first and foremost. It is reverent in behavior. But what does that mean, to be reverent in behavior? It means to be appropriate in behavior. It means to be meek in behavior, a meek and quiet spirit, as Peter would say. That’s what it means. It means that you are not boisterous. It means that you do not draw attention to yourself. It means that even in your manner of dress you are doing everything you can to demonstrate propriety. That’s reverence.”
- In a sermon about the roles of husbands and wives, Baucham said wives should be submissive to their husbands.
He frequently fearmongers about Muslims and has criticized multiculturalism.
- In a video about the persecution of Christians, Baucham said, “I believe the rapid growth and Islamization of Europe will eventually lead to the persecution of Christians, as Muslims gain more and more political power in that part of the world.”
- He once joked on his personal Twitter account that a German politician who wanted to introduce a mosque registry might “be beheaded.”
- He shared and praised an article from far-right racist columnist Katie Hopkins who called multiculturalism “one big fat failure and one big fat lie.“
- He has referred to efforts to dispel prejudice against Muslim people as “propaganda.”
He holds bigoted anti-LGBTQ views, often tweeting articles about LGBTQ rights using the hashtag #homosexualagenda,” and indicating that he sees this as a threat.
- In a speech recorded and posted to Youtube, Baucham said, “I don’t automatically agree with people when they say that they’re homosexual. Because there is no evidence that there is such a thing. There’s evidence that there are people who engage in the practice of what the Bible calls sodomy, but there is no evidence that there are people who have a permenant orientation for homosexuality. In fact, there’s 2,000-year-old evidence, and you’ll hear about it tomorrow, that there are people who practice homosexuality, who call themselves homosexuals, who according to first Corinthians chapter 6, were not that anymore. Which means that being a homosexual is not the same thing as being Black or being white or being whatever. It’s not the same thing. It’s not an immutable characteristic.”
- He once tweeted about Ellen DeGeneres receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom using the hashtag #GoodIsEvilAndEvilIsGood.
- He said of support for transgender justice: “Another adjective perverts justice.”
- He frequently claims that advancing LGBTQ rights is a slippery slope to pedophilia and incest, a commonly deployed anti-LGBTQ smear.
He insists climate change is a hoax.
- Baucham has tweeted several times using the hashtag #settledscience and sharing articles that call into question the legitimacy of climate change.
- He used the hashtag #AnthropogenicGlobalWarmingHoax in a tweet from his account.
- He shared a Breitbart article titled “Global Warming 'Fabricated' by NASA and NOAA,” with the comment “How many lies will it take 4 some to see anthropogenic GW as a hoax?
He frequently fearmongers about “cultural Marxism,” an antisemitic and far-right trope.
- In a speech given on “Cultural Marxism,” Baucham blamed cultural change on a group called the Frankfurt school, a collection of Jewish scholars who he said set out to intentionally manipulate the public using popular culture, echoing antisemitic caricatures the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has detailed. He also argues cultural Marxism is responsible for the growing acceptance of homosexuality and race theory.
- In a video, he said, “What we’re seeing now is the homosexual community latching onto some of those very concepts, these concepts, by the way, which are rooted and grounded in cultural Marxism. This was the goal of Gramscian Marxism: divide people up into constituencies, and then the way you gain power is by making promises to and representing particular constituencies. Now, you never give them what you promise, but by creating this idea of constituencies, and being the one who is the representative of the constituencies, you gain power and you keep your power to the degree that things don’t get better for your constituency. … The homosexual community has latched onto that, has identified themselves as a constituency who is deserving of our attention and our pity. They did this intentionally, using the AIDS crisis.”
- Baucham claimed that Martin Luther King Jr. and former President Barack Obama are both neo-Marxists who misinterpret the gospel, saying, “There was a man who has a monument now in Washington, D.C. — that man was a neo-Marxist and a socialist and a pastor and a tremendous orator, and his name was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was wrong on the gospel, and he was wrong on worldview — as a liberal Marxist socialist — but he left a tremendous legacy."
Correction (6/8/21): This piece originally misstated which honor Ellen DeGeneres received.