Chicago Congressional Candidate: Autism and Dementia are God’s Punishment for Gay Rights


Earlier this week we reported on a UK lawmaker who was suspended after claiming that floods were the result of the government's legalization of same-sex marriage.

Welcome to Chicago, where a Republican hopeful in a Congressional race for the 9th District feels the same way. Susanna Atanus, a twice-failed candidate for the office, gave her views in an interview with the Daily Herald:

"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus's Republican opponent David Earl Williams III has views that are a bit more to the left.

Williams responded that AIDS is spread by unsafe sexual practices in all people, not just homosexuals, and said that as a veteran he was offended by her comments.

"I've served with people who were gay during, 'Don't ask, don't tell' and you aren't worrying about if someone is gay or not, you're worrying about if you're going to live the next day," Williams said.

Williams said he believes marriage should remain between a man and woman, but adds that the government should stay out of the marriage business and leave it up to churches.

Yet Williams has his own issues. He's a U.S. Navy veteran who won't say where he works because he hasn't told his employer he is running for Congress, and has a domestic violence order filed against him stemming from a long-distance relationship.

(via raw story)


  1. Gigi says

    “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.” It’s been in the military since time began. NEWSFLASH: God’s upset with your ‘do. That’s why he pelted us with snow and ice. Thanks.

  2. Moz's says

    her god must be blind because autistic children and demented elderly is a huge miss on hitting gay people

    she should focus more on her female pattern baldness than on gay people

  3. Todd B says

    He’s also gotta be really pissed about all the shrimp we consume as well!!!! Why dont they every protest about eating shrimp!!!!????

  4. Hey Darlin' says

    The republican party needs to self monitor it’s candidates. Prefacing inane comments with God this and God that is doing a disservice to actual religion.

  5. Fatherofsonwithautism says

    If it would help my son with Autism, I would like to ask everyone to give back their Gay Rights.

    Her appearance, an easy target, doesn’t give her any credibility either. She looks like a prison matron dressed up for a date with a pretty girl.

    Thank you towleroad for throwing the meat to the wolves day after day.

  6. Victor says

    @Hey Darlin’,

    The more Republicans say crap like this, the more they’ll lose elections. ūüėČ

    Would you rather have someone who is a bigot disguise it; reach office; and then screw us over?

  7. robertL says

    Nice to know she believes in an Old Testament God that believes in punishment. This is beyond the pale.

  8. Rafa in Toronto says

    Williams won’t say where he works because he hasn’t told his employer that he’ s running for congress? How does one run for congress on the down low? I guess he thinks his employer never notices campaign signs/turns on the tv/ reads a newspaper/ goes online… Lol; how bizarre

  9. 1‚ô• says

    Again, the Christians reveal that they worship a god that ‚Äúpunishes‚ÄĚ the innocent for the alleged sins of others.

    You cannot believe in a loving God and be a Christian.

  10. Brian1 says

    If you read the article you can see that the Christian lady is hardly a one issue candidate. She also believes the way to solve the nation’s fiscal problems is to abolish the stock market indices like the dow jones and s&p 500, that we should have no borders and that anyone in the world should be able to go anywhere in the world without a passport, and, somewhat contradictorily, that we need to increase domestic eavesdropping and surveillance. A bit shockingly, she has an MBA and a masters in public policy.

  11. Den says

    She is of course absolutely correct and history proves it. The move towards gay rights and official recognition of same sex couples by national governments has only really developed in the last 30/40 years or so. Before then in a world where homosexuality was almost entirely legally the earth was a paradise, God was happy and there were no diseases, illness, disabilities, famines, floods, disasters or human suffering of any kind !

  12. Hey Darlin' says

    @ Victor

    I know, I was just wondering out loud why the Republican party would continue to watch their political boat sink without passing the bail bucket.

    It works for me though, I’ll watch from the comfort of the shore.

  13. dommyluc says

    When I look at her face I keep thinking of that line from Rodney Dangerfield: “The last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.”

  14. says

    And whichever of them wins the primary is going to be up against Jan Schakowsky, one of the most progressive members of the House, in one of the bluest districts in the country.

    Might as well just let the crazy hang out — can’t hurt.

  15. GILA says

    Enough already. Why are these ignoramuses allowed to even open their mouths? I suppose though this forum acts like a modern-day pillory. We can mock them as we read their offensive actions. Unfortunately we cannot gag them.

  16. Steve says

    Is there no autism or dementia among Christians? Of course there is.
    Now why did GOD punish her by making her stupid?

  17. kdknyc says

    Wow. Just wow–read that bio. Makes Sarah Palin look like a seasoned states person.

    Both of them, though, are nut bags. Keep running!

  18. david from Edmonton says

    Republicans and Tea Partiers are their own worst enemies. They will never be seen as mainstream while these folks exercise their rights of free speech and the more they do, the better off things will be as good folks who find these things being said hateful, abhorrent, disgusting and a few more adjectives, and maybe they will just be forced to fade away while the reasonable people exercise their rights to vote them out of existence. Sort of natural selection. Keep it up people, Ilove to see you say these things, it no longer makes me angry it makes me smile with glee. Good luch to the republicans who want to govern, these people are your poster children.

  19. andrew says

    Just when you think Republican Party candidates, for public office, can’t get any crazier, along comes a fool like Athanus. She is as crazy as the ancient Israelite god yahweh. As all bible readers know, yahwel often punished the innocent when he was angry. Athanus is an example of a person who reads the bible and believes that it is actually true.

  20. Bernie says

    and not to insult lesbians, but doesn’t she look like a lesbian!!?!?!? not that there is anything wrong with that.. her comments about such serious illnesses as dementia and autism are hurtful, insulting and insensitive to families that have loved ones with these illnesses

  21. jvanchicago says

    I actually know her! She used to work for me.

    She is someone best described as “special.”

  22. woodroad34 says

    I know, I know you’re not supposed to comment on looks because it’s shallow…but, Mona, she is one uhhhhggggly lady–inside and out; she wins the “Most unattractive” cup from Maggie Gallagher. What was the cause of autism and dementia before gay rights? Religion has been around longer…I say it’s religion.

  23. FFS says

    The fact that we put people this stupid in leadership positions speaks volumes about the intelligence of the average American.