The husband of an Iowa Democrat running for Congress as a moderate locked down his Facebook account after the Washington Free Beacon asked about his posts comparing American Christians to Islamic terrorists, predicting Republicans would put people in gas chambers, and expressing hope that former president Donald Trump would get the coronavirus.
Mark Mathis, the husband of Iowa Democratic congressional candidate Liz Mathis, has a lengthy digital footprint across his now-private Facebook page, where he regularly disparages Christians and posts left-wing content from pages such as "U.S. Democratic Socialists" and "The Other 98%," which pledges to fight to "tax the rich" and win "the class war." Liz Mathis is running to unseat Republican congresswoman Ashley Hinson, who narrowly flipped Iowa's First Congressional District last cycle.
Mark Mathis's most politically charged posts include criticism of Christians. He shared a photo that said "Republican Christianity" is "starting to look a lot like extremist Islam," a screenshot of a Tweet that said conservative Christians don't know the difference between homosexuals and homo sapiens, and an article that said Christians who oppose illegal immigrants getting citizenship are "asshole[s]." In December 2017, he shared a post that depicts "Republican Jesus" telling a rape survivor, "I know he raped you, Sally. But what’s really important is the Senate seat."
Liz Mathis, a local Iowa journalist who is now a state senator, launched her campaign by appealing to voters tired of "partisanship and conflict they’re seeing in Washington." Control of Iowa's First Congressional District has flipped back and forth between Democrats and Republicans regularly in the past decade.
The Mathis campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Mark Mathis did not respond for comment on how his posts could affect the trajectory of the race. His Facebook posts were made private shortly after the inquiries.
In addition to his many posts disparaging Christianity, Mark Mathis also claimed that the Republican Party supports pedophiles and suggested that Trump is a KKK member. He also said people opposed to caravans of migrants can’t celebrate Thanksgiving, hoped that Trump would not wear a mask, and compared the former president to Adolf Hitler.
Mark Mathis may play a significant role in the campaign; Liz Mathis’s campaign website prominently features a photo of the two of them, and the couple remained business partners even after Liz Mathis was elected to office. The family business, AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising, appears to be led by the pair.
Liz Mathis listed herself as a "family owner" of AMPERAGE on her LinkedIn as recently as July, according to Fox News, and posts from the company’s social media come from both Mark and Liz Mathis. "A message from Mark and Liz Mathis: Stay Home. Stay Safe. Keep Calm," the company wrote last April.
As state legislator, Liz Mathis has been criticized for directing money to the firm's clients. In 2016, she convinced several of her fellow state legislators to flip their votes and support a bill that provided up to $2.5 million in sales tax rebates for an Iowa-based nonprofit that paid the marketing firm tens of thousands of dollars.
Mark Mathis's anti-Christian rhetoric could be a liability for his wife’s campaign in Iowa, which is almost 10 percent more Christian than America as a whole.
The revelation of Mark Mathis’s disdain for Christian voters comes as another Iowa Democrat is under fire for attacking Christians. Rep. Cindy Axne (D., Iowa) recently mocked Christians for holding crosses, echoing Obama’s famous lament about Americans who cling to their guns and religion.
"The Christian Right is, you know, everything under the guise while they hold the cross, you know, for God or whatever," Axne said. "And they use it like a weapon."