A Tea Party candidate in Oklahoma is in the national political spotlight on social media, after older Facebook posts in which Scott Esk describes his approval of stoning gay people went viral this week.
Scott Esk, running for Oklahoma House District 91, reportedly made the comments back in July — and a magazine in the state recently uncovered the shocking Facebook remarks.
Esk had posted in response to comments made by Pope Francis, in which the pontiff declared that he was in no position to judge homosexuals.
The Tea Party candidate began quoting scripture in response to other posters, and was eventually taken to task by a commenter who asked if Esk believed it would be appropriate to execute gay people by stoning, to which the politician replied:
“I think we would be totally in the right to do it.”
Esk continued, admitting that his views on executing gay people went “against some parts of libertarianism,” but added that “ignoring” gay people is “very remiss.”
“That [executing people for being gay] goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss.”
In case he was unclear, Esk — who appears to be currently separated from his wife — added:
“I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it.”
Later, he doubled down and cited the Bible as justification for his views:
“I know what was done in the Old Testament and what was done back then was what’s just… And I do stand for Biblical morality.”
The entire interview and trajectory of comments by Esk and Facebook friend Adam Bates is detailed in the above video.
As for Esk, it appears that his version of Biblical rightness and values have been a personal struggle, and he admits on his website that he is currently estranged from his wife:
“I met the love of my life, Pamela, when I was at OU. We were married for 15 years, and had 3 handsome boys, 1 of whom is an adult now. Frivolous divorce raised its ugly head in the Esk home, and I am still trying to reconcile with Pam, considering that to be our only option from my understanding of the Bible on marriage and divorce. From my experience with the ‘family’ courts, I am dedicated to saving Oklahoma children from the chaos and misery of frivolous divorce, and am wholeheartedly against no-fault divorce. We home schooled our children in their formative years, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”
Esk declined to comment further on the controversy, declaring it a “private conversation.”