Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork), the Arkansas lawmaker who gave away his two adopted girls to a man who later raped one of them, allegedly thought the girls were possessed by demons. Benjamin Hardy at Arkansas Times has been covering the bizarre horror story since early March, when he first broke the story, with a piece titled “A child left unprotected”. Hardy’s latest expose’ of Justin Harris, and his wife Marsha, reveals that the couple believed their adopted daughters suffered from demonic possession.
Multiple sources confirm that the Harrises were obsessed with demons, but the most damning accounts come from babysitter Chelsey Goldsborough, who recounts the horrors of the Harris home. She recalls that one of the adopted girls, a four-year-old, was kept in isolation and monitored by video camera, because the Harrises believed she was “possessed by demons and could communicate telepathically”. Goldsborough also contends that the family called in exorcism specialists from Alabama, to have demons cast out of both the four-year-old, and two-year-old, adopted daughters.
The latest revelations continue to cast a shadow over Representative Harris’ competency to govern, much less his ability to continue running the “Growing God’s Kingdom” preschool facility. The daycare facility run by Justin Harris, employed Eric Francis, the man who raped the 6-year old girl, after the Harrises gave her away to him.
What is particularly troubling about the entire case is how warped Harris’ world view is, yet voters in Northwest Arkansas chose to elect him to make policy decisions on their behalf. Worse yet, parents entrust him to watch over their children. Now in fairness, those voters and parents didn’t necessarily know at the time that Harris was exorcising demons and “rehoming” his adopted children to a rapist, and Harris didn’t necessarily know that Eric Francis was a rapist. However, it should now be readily apparent that the fundamentalist lawmaker is a clear and present threat to the general welfare of children.
Yet, Republican Governor Asa Hutchison still argues, unconvincingly, that it is premature to jump to any conclusions. Meanwhile, Harris still sits on the Child and Youth Committee, and the Education Committee, in Arkansas’ State House. He is on the very committee that handles child welfare issues even though he allegedly applied political pressure to the DHS office, to secure adoption of the two girls he later abandoned. That adoption was initially opposed by case workers, who it turns out, rightly believed the children weren’t a good fit for his household.
What is particularly galling about the entire fiasco is that Harris, like so many right-wing Republicans, won election by campaigning as a champion of “family values”. In office, he has governed as a hardcore tea party conservative, sponsoring legislation to ban abortions at 20 weeks, authorizing guns in schools and churches, and making it harder for residents to vote. He also is a staunch foe of same-sex marriage, immigration reform, and the Affordable Care Act. And although he collected state subsidies for adopted children, even after he had given them away to a child molester, he hypocritically touts personal responsibility and smaller government.
Justin Harris has shown he lacks the personal integrity or judgment to serve as a lawmaker or as a caretaker for children. As revelations continue to surface about his horrifying mistreatment of adopted little girls, he has taken no responsibility for his actions. He continues to cast blame upon his detractors and to demonize the little girls he and his wife mistreated, and then abandoned. The only “demons” who possessed the two little girls were the Harrises themselves. Their twisted minds and callous behavior proved far more haunting than any of the imaginary demons they conjured up when they brought in exorcists from Alabama. If the state of Arkansas wants to cast out demons, perhaps they can have those Alabama exorcists make a special trip to Little Rock to cast Harris out of the Arkansas state legislature.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.