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KINTERSVILLE, Pa. (ChurchMilitant.com) - A devout Catholic is looking to bring faith-inspired principles to Capitol Hill.
Today, Bucks County, Pennsylvania native and Catholic speaker Mark Houck announced his congressional run in the 2024 election.
"Our mantra for this campaign is restoring faith, family and freedom," Houck told Church Militant on Tuesday.
A phrase Houck has used many times this year is "for such a time as this," quoting from Esther 4:14.
The full verse, a response from Mordecai to Queen Esther, reads: "For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
"Everything comes back to God's providence, so I think this is why we're moving in this direction," explained the congressional hopeful.
Houck seeks to represent Pennsylvania's 1st Congressional District, currently occupied by Republican incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, a former FBI supervisory special agent, is one of Congress' RINOs (Republicans in name only). Fitzpatrick, a Catholic, has been a member of the House since the 115th Congress in 2017.
Fitzpatrick has amassed a strongly anti-conservative and anti-Catholic track record, in which he
"I've known the Fitzpatrick family for a long time. I have the highest respect for the Fitzpatrick family. I honor his service to our country, but the time has come, I think, for a change in our district," Houck said of his opponent.
He doesn't reflect my views as a constituent of his. He doesn't vote the way I'm happy with. We're running to protect the rights of families and defend traditional family values in our district. Unfortunately, Brian doesn't represent that. He may disagree with me, but based upon the voting record, he does not represent me, and I think that there's a lot of people like me in this district; a lot of people that have similar views.
Houck is also not a fan of career politics. Fitzgerald is running for his fifth term in the House in 2024.
"I think career politicians are not something this country needs. I don't think our Founding Fathers desired that. It's not good for our republic. We need new ideas. We need fresh perspectives. Brian is a good man, but I think it's time for Brian to step aside," Houck insisted.
The Catholic evangelist also insisted Christians shouldn't remove themselves from politics.
"I thought of George Washington. George Washington didn't want to be president," Houck noted. "[Fellow citizens] selected him, and he saw it as his civic duty as a patriot to be the first president. He didn't really want to do it, but he did it for the good of others."
I think Catholics need to have the same approach — that we need to engage in not only the marketplace of ideas, but we need to engage in the political sphere. We need to let our faith influence those decisions and policies, just as the faith of our Founding Fathers influenced the establishment of our rights and our Constitution.
We, as Catholic Christians, need to bring our faith to [Capitol Hill] because it will inform us on the most important issues, guide us as a sure and perfect guide, and then we can move forward in peace, knowing that God is still central in this country. We are still one nation under God. We have to bring that integrity and formation into that world.
Houck assured fellow believers that he is not compromising his faith in pursuit of fame or worldly glory, saying, "Whether people are going to criticize me or judge me for it or think that I'm abandoning my faith or I'm abandoning my ministry — it couldn't be further from the truth."
"I'm taking my ministry and who I am as a father and a husband to Washington, D.C., and when we win in 2024, we'll have more integrity there. I think that's why we have to do it," Houck added.
When asked about legislation that matters to him, Houck told Church Militant, "We're bringing a culture of life through our presence every day to our role in Washington, D.C. The dignity of the human person is always going to be central. There's so much more to the dignity of the human person than just a preborn child."
One group for which Houck has particular affection is military veterans. Part of Houck's ministry is healing retreats for veterans.
"Our veterans — we're losing 22 vets a day. Our heroes are dying every day to suicide, and we need to give them support and the benefits that some of these guys struggle to get," he urged.
As a former educator, Houck sees the school system as another area of concern.
"I'm a teacher by trade. I taught in the public school system," he noted. "What's going on with girls' sports and extracurricular activities, boys 'becoming girls' and invading upon the playing fields of these girls — there's got to be legislation with that."
"I think there's got to be protection for these kids and protection and support for parental rights in the schools," Houck emphasized.
The evangelist claims to be a strong proponent of the first two Amendments, stating, "I'm all about free speech. I'm all about free press. I'm all about the right to bear arms. But these rights are being trampled on."
Other big policy priorities for the congressional candidate are having a strong military and securing our borders.
The political newcomer credited current Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry for providing counsel surrounding a potential campaign. Perry invited Houck to attend President Biden's February State of the Union address.
Houck said, "I asked him what he thought. He gave me his opinion. He told me what I could expect and what would be involved. He just basically leveled with us as far as what the future would look like for my family."
Houck assured Church Militant his team would run a clean campaign — something that is now becoming unheard of in today's politics.
"We're not going to mud-sling. We're not going to throw stones at anybody. I'm sure we're going to get a lot of negativity, and people are going to say negative things, but we're not going to go to that level in this campaign. We're going to keep it honest and full of integrity."
According to Houck's personal bio:
Since 2006, he has been speaking to thousands of men about a variety of topics related to the development of authentic masculinity. Mark has written numerous articles, brochures and publications on the topics of pornography, homosexuality, abortion, teen sexuality, parenting and masculine spirituality.
The Catholic father of seven is the founder and president of the Catholic apostolate The King's Men. That organization is a member of the Deposit of Faith Coalition, which recently held a press conference in Washington, D.C., to expose the U.S. Catholic hierarchy's use of taxpayer dollars to push Marxist agendas.
The King's Men is described online as "a Roman Catholic lay apostolate faithfully executing on its mission to help men across the country and around the world be better husbands, fathers and leaders." The mission of the apostolate is to "unite and build up other men in the mold of leader, protector, and provider through education, formation, healing, and action."
One of the main areas of focus for the apostolate is pornography use.
"The harms and social costs of pornography are far too wide to really quantify or measure," declares the apostolate's website. "22 Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOBs) have closed as a direct or indirect result of TKM's positive, prayerful witness efforts," the site touts.
The King's Men helps men overcome pornography and hold each other accountable in many facets of life through small groups. The apostolate boasts that "50 men's groups formed across 30 dioceses, building up over 500 men per week through TKM's formation and accountability model."
Houck appeared on Church Militant's Mic'd Up to discuss Christian parenting and the role of fathers in the family.
"The father is where everything begins and ends, and I think the Devil and the demonic forces of our time certainly know that," proclaimed The King's Men founder. "If the Devil can take down the father, then he'll take down the whole family."
Houck advised parents, "It shouldn't be our fundamental goal as parents to be forming the next billionaires or millionaires. We need to be forming the saints of tomorrow."
Before cofounding The King's Men in 2006, Houck worked with Generation Life as a "full-time chastity educator and pro-life activist."
As for education, Houck studied at The Catholic University of America, where he received bachelor's degree in human resource management. Houck then obtained his master's degree in education from Holy Family University.
If elected, the Pennsylvanian — who was targeted by the Department of Justice last year — also says he wants to "limit government intrusion."
In September 2022, the Catholic activist's house was raided by an armed SWAT team consisting of about 25 FBI agents. Houck was reportedly arrested at gunpoint in front of his family, allegedly for violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. Signed into law in 1994, the FACE Act prohibits "violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services."
Houck's wife, Ryan-Marie, described the event as disturbing for their children, noting, "I don't really know what's going to come of it when you see guns pointed at your dad and your mom in your house when you first wake up in the morning. The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic."
The arrest stemmed from an altercation Houck had with an abortion advocate the prior year. In October 2021, Houck shoved Planned Parenthood volunteer escort Bruce Love to the ground. Houck was defending his then-12-year-old son, whom Love had verbally harassed on several occasions.
Houck detailed to Fox's Sean Hannity how Love approached within a foot of his son, causing the boy great unease. Houck asked the volunteer to return to his usual position and leave his son alone. As Houck escorted Love back to his original spot, Love continued yelling at the boy, prompting Houck to push him.
A District Court in Philadelphia initially dismissed the charge against Houck, but the weaponized DOJ under Biden opted to revisit the charges.
It was January 23rd, the night before my trial, and my wife and I were about to enter into some deep prayer. We arranged for an all-night adoration at our parish. We did not know the love that would be poured out upon us through the men and women that would join us in prayer. Our Lord fed us with His body and blood, and then we stayed and adored all through the night. At no point did I ever feel left alone.
Houck continued, "When I left adoration at 5:30 AM on January 24th, I was energized and ready to go. The Lord had filled me with his love and grace. I believed that whatever happened would truly be for the best."
On Jan. 30, Houck was acquitted of two FACE Act charges. If found guilty, Houck would have faced up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $350,000.
In May, Houck offered testimony at a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing titled "Revisiting the Implications of the FACE Act."
For more information, visit HouckforCongress.com.