Madison Cawthorn, the newly elected congressman from North Carolina who was criticized for selfies he took at Hitler’s vacation retreat in Germany, is a zealous Christian. And the 25-year-old firebrand conservative and part-time preacher is trying to convert Jews and Muslims.
In an interview with Jewish Insider published Monday, Cawthorn, a rising star in the Republican Party, said he has read through “just about every single religious work there is,” the Torah and the Quran included — in part to become better at proselytizing. He claims he has succeeded with “culturally Jewish people” but not religious ones.
“[Muslims] believe Jesus is a real person,” he said. “But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I’ve had a hard time connecting with them in that way.”
Jewish Insider pointed out that Cawthorn hinted at that dynamic in a sermon he gave last year in his side career as a preacher.
“If you have Jewish blood running through your veins today, this might not mean as much to you, but for someone like me, who’s a gentile, this means a lot,” he said about a chapter from the New Testament’s Gospel of Mark.
Asked if he plans to separate church and state in his thinking as a congressman, he said, “I always think of that question as just so silly.”
“[Religion] is the basis of all of my experience and everything I’ve learned, everything that I believe in, how I’ve formed all of my worldview,” he said. “My family is a bunch of true frickin’ believers.”