GOP congressional candidate once questioned women pursuing careers

A Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina once questioned if making a career the "ultimate goal" was a "healthy pursuit" for women, according to ABC News.

The news outlet reported that Mark HarrisMark HarrisBevin says he lost because liberals are 'good at harvesting votes' in urban areas The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Why my American Indian tribe voted Republican in NC's special election MORE, a former Baptist pastor who won the GOP primary for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District in May, made the comments while delivering a sermon in 2013.

ABC notes that the Democratic-linked super PAC American Bridge first discovered footage of the sermon. 

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"There is a new supreme pursuit from the traditional pursuit of being a wife or a mother," Harris said while working as a pastor at Charlotte's First Baptist Church. 

He added that in today's culture "girls are taught from grade school ... that what is most honorable in life is a career, and their ultimate goal in life is simply to be able to grow up and be independent of anyone or anything."

"But nobody has seemed to ask the question that I think is critically important to ask: Is that a healthy pursuit for society? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our homes? ... Is that the healthiest pursuit for the sexes in our generation?"

Andy Yates, an adviser to Harris, defended the remarks, telling the Raleigh News & Observer that every mom in the 9th District "would agree that there is no higher calling than being a mother and a wife ... or a husband and a father."

Yates also told the newspaper that the way the sermon has been publicized demonstrates that there is a war against people of faith.

"That's sad that we've come to that point that we’re going to attack a pastor for preaching the Word of God," he added. 

Democrat Dan McCready, who is facing Harris in this year's midterms, slammed the sermon, saying it reflected someone who is "out of step."

"As a Christian, I believe that we are all created in God's image," McCready said in a statement, according to the News & Observer. "That means men and women are equally valuable and equally capable and should be treated as such in their homes, careers, and in society. Mr. Harris' comments suggest otherwise. This is just another example of how out of step Mr. Harris is — not just with this district but with this century."