Madison Cawthorn, the newly elected Republican congressman from North Carolina who caused an uproar this summer after selfies surfaced from his “bucket list” visit to Hitler’s vacation retreat in Germany, says he’s succeeded in proselytizing “culturally Jewish people,” but not religious ones.
The 25-year-old, who celebrated his electoral victory earlier this month by tweeting “cry more, lib” to his new constituents, told Jewish Insider in a new interview that he has read “just about every single religious work there is,” the Torah and the Quran included — in part to become better at proselytizing.
“The thing I found when I was actually reading through the Quran is that Christianity — that is a very easy switch to make to lead a Muslim to Christ,” Cawthorn said.
“They believe Jesus is a real person,” he said. “They believe he was a prophet, though. And so when you’re trying to lead an atheist to Christ, or, say, kind of a traditional Jewish person, you kind of have to make people really — you have to sell Jesus a lot, because, one, they don’t really believe that, you know — some very devout Jews just think he’s kind of a good guy. That’s great. But, you know, the Muslims, they already believe that he was somewhat divine, and so all you have to do is just be like, he wasn’t just a good man, he was a god, and now if you can submit to that, then you believe in Christ.”
Asked if he had ever tried to convert any Jews to Christianity, Cawthorn responded: “I have, unsuccessfully.”
Cawthorn claims he has succeeded in proselytizing “a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people,” but not religious ones.
“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,” he said.
His difficulty in converting Jews to Christianity might come from the fact that, in 2017, Cawthorn posted photos from his dream trip to the Eagle’s Nest, the Nazi retreat in Germany where Hitler and other highest-ranking Nazi leaders liked to spend their downtime. He shared the photo with the following caption: “The vacation house of the Führer. Seeing the Eagles Nest has been on my bucket list for awhile, it did not disappoint. Strange to hear so many laughs and share such a good time with my brother where only 79 years ago a supreme evil shared laughs and good times with his compatriots.”
Cawthorn was also 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.”