Iowa Rep. Steve King on Tuesday appeared to compare the controversies surrounding himself to what Jesus Christ “went through for us," CNN reports.
"For all that I've been through—and it seems even strange for me to say it—but I am at a certain peace, and it is because of a lot of prayers for me," the Republican said in a Cherokee, Iowa town hall.
"And, when I have to step down to the floor of the House of Representatives, and look up at those 400-and-some accusers, you know we just passed through Easter and Christ's passion, and I have better insight into what He went through for us partly because of that experience."
Christ's passion refers to the hours leading up to Jesus' crucifixion and the intense public shaming and torture that he endured before his death. Christians recognize Easter as a time to remember Christ's sacrifice and his resurrection on Easter Sunday, three days after his death.
King, who has a long history of racist and xenophobic comments, was likely referencing the fact that his commitee assignments had been revoked and that his fellow Republicans lambasted him after racist remarks in a January interview with The New York Times.
In the interview, King, while discussing the "culture of America," questioned why certain phrases are deemed offensive in contemporary discourse.
"White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?" he asked. "Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?"
King later said on the House floor that his comments were misinterpreted and that he does not support the idea of white nationalism. In an interview on Iowa Public Television, the Republican said he has "nothing to apologize for."