Burgos Responds

In an incredibly obtuse response, Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee member Fredy Burgos replied to the latest call-out for his removal from party leadership.

Burgos responded on Facebook:

“As an evangelical Christian, nobody loves the Jewish people and Israel more than I. The Bible is the word of God. The Bible is a Jewish book written by Jewish prophets. Christ is a Jew. It is why we live in the most civil and tolerant nation ever, because of our Judeo-Christian culture. It is why I love it so. In politics, if all being equal, it is a preference one can make when deciding because of one’s religious believes. There are people who believe that one should not have the right to believe. For my Christian beliefs, I am being attacked by those who do not want Christians to profess their faith within our Party.

“The Republican Creed reads: ‘That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation.’ Critics wish to let the public know that the creed no longer applies. I am saddened that God has been ignored and being attacked from within the Party I love. It is a major problem we have as a political party that prides itself as tolerant to God. These accusers, who write anonymously and erroneously, do not have that pride.

“The Republicans who think we have to quit the party because we’re conservative are the ones who don’t belong in the party, they shrink at the first sign of difficulty. It’s a good thing they’re not in power of anything bigger than a county or state party.

“To say that I am anti-Semitic is ignorant and wrong. The opposite is true. But perhaps it would help if critics understood that we evangelicals have a special affection for our Jewish neighbor: Because the Bible tells us that God has a special affection for them too and instructs Christians to have that same affection. I apologize if some people may have misunderstood, but it is my hope that the clarity that I have now given will end any question of my intent.

Sincerely,

Fredy Burgos

We’ve been through this drill before when Bearing Drift’s Editorial Board called for Burgos’ removal in June 2016.

“Mr. Burgos,” Bearing Drift wrote at the time, “has demonstrated a consistent, repeated pattern of behavior of saying inflammatory, bigoted things on social media. Only now, having been elected, is his world-view coming under scrutiny. Unfortunately, these comments reflect a world-view that is becoming all too common in GOP circles.”

That editorial is as relevant today as it was in 2016:

The role of a free press is to help voters hold their leaders accountable, and as the most-read center-right news outlet in Virginia, we here at Bearing Drift have long accepted this obligation.

We can’t do this alone.

We know, just as our readers know, that conservatives and the rest of our center-right coalition are not the bigoted neanderthals the left has long tried to stigmatize us as.

The idea that disagreement is a form of hate speech is a childish, amateurish, and in some circles carefully plotted strategy to silence dissent, thought, and speech.  It is precisely the opposite sort vice and viciousness that only fuels the polarization of the public square and creates instances such as these.

The truth is, conservatives come from all walks of life, economic backgrounds, races and ethnicities, differing sexual orientations and yes — many faiths.  Conservatives by intent and design demand diversity because it makes us that much stronger.  Such diversity of thought, backgrounds, and opinions are reflected in the political party most of us belong to.

So when certain party leaders play down to the expectations of the political left — especially when such ignorance goes unchallenged — not only does this reinforce certain negative stereotypes about conservatives, but it strikes at the very heart of who we are.

When we fail to highlight bad behavior from party leaders, and when the party at large tolerates this behavior?  Such silence equates to tacit acceptance.

That silence is morally unacceptable.  It is unacceptable not only because it damages the party politically, it is unacceptable because it is morally wrong to ignore injustice and do nothing.

An apology — especially one that tries to claim he was misunderstood when what he has said is clear – does not fix the damage.  For the good of the party, Mr. Burgos should step down.

We at Bearing Drift care about the conservative message.  We will continue to do our part to ensure that the fundamental, core messages of optimism and hope that have long characterized the conservative movement — messages that still bind together our entire center-right coalition — are not lost in a sea of 140 character bigotry.

That is going to take discipline and self-control on the part of our leaders, and a willingness to stand up and confront bad behavior on the part of our colleagues when they make mistakes.  Bearing Drift has done so for the last decade, and we will continue to do so not only because it speaks to the best of the conservative tradition, but because it is simply the right thing to do.

Bearing Drift continues to stand by those principles. Fredy Burgos should resign and, if he refuses, State Central Committee should remove him from party leadership.

Also from Bearing Drift….

GOP’s Burgos Suggests Jews Shouldn’t Run for Office — UPDATED – 2018
Virginia Republican Leadership Responds to RPV State Central Member’s Anti-Jewish Comments – 2018
Editorial: We Need Leaders Who Know When to Shut Up; Burgos Should Step Down – 2016
Elgendy: Burgos’ Comments Hostile to Inclusivity Within RPV’s State Central – 2016
Freedom of Religion Is Still In Our Constitution – 2016
Bigotry on State Central – 2017
SCC Member Kyle McDaniel Resigns from Virginia Republican Party – 2018
Stephen Spiker: Why I’m Staying in the Republican Party – 2018
Kyle McDaniel and the Virginia of 2018