The Republican nominee for lieutenant governor of Virginia, E. W. Jackson, wrote in his 2008 book Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life that birth defects were caused because of sin. He wrote the book when he was serving as a minister.
The passage reads:
Keep in mind that the whole cosmos has been made imperfect — wounded — by sin. It is the principle of sin, rebellion against God and His truth which has brought about birth defects and other destructive natural occurrences. Leaving aside that for a moment, recent discoveries about the genetic code of each human being are a fulfillment of scripture. Your genetic code is the handwriting of God, written before you or the world existed. Our genetic blueprint is proof of the existence of the Living God and His infinite intelligence, purpose and design. Sadly, many will ignore the deeper spiritual truth which underlies the advance of this scientific knowledge.
Jackson told reporters last month, responding to past controversial comments on gays, "I say the things that I say because I'm a Christian, not because I hate anybody, but because I have religious values that matter to me." Jackson made the comment to reporters at a campaign stop in Fredericksburg, according to the Washington Post.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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