John R. Bennett
John R. Bennett
|Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives|
from the 2nd district
Assumed office |
|Profession||U.S. Marine, business owner|
Early life and career
John R. Bennett is a retired U.S. Marine and the current business owner. He married Nicole Bennett. He is a Christian of The Pentecostal faith.
Bennett was first elected to the Oklahoma Legislature in 2011.
He is the author of successful legislation to require school districts to treat student expressions of faith in the same manner as any other permissible subjects.
At an event with constituents in Sallisaw, Oklahoma, on September 15, 2014, Bennett referred to Islam as "a cancer in our nation that needs to be cut out" and claimed that there is "[no] difference between moderate and radical Islam." Bennett affirmed his stance, stating that he had read the Qur'an and "Ninety percent of it is violence. And only 10 percent of it is conciliatory."
In November 2016, Bennett posted on his Facebook page a photograph of Hillary Clinton with a caption suggesting that she should be executed by firing squad. After the post caused controversy, Bennett said that it was "barracks talk" and that he was not advocating for Clinton's execution, but said that he viewed Clinton as a traitor who should be imprisoned.
In March 2017, Bennett gave a questionnaire to three Muslim students who came to meet him at the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City. The questionnaire said: "The Koran, the sunna of Mohammed and Sharia Law of all schools say that the husband can beat his wife. Do you beat your wife?" The students were at the capital for the Council on American-Islamic Relations' third Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol. According to CAIR, this questionnaire "intentionally misinterpreted ideas [from the Koran] to try to slander Muslims." The survey was written by ACT! for America.
Rep. John Bennett, R-Sallisaw, stated, during revenue failure debates on Wednesday November 1 of 2017, while debating against a proposal to increase taxes on oil and gas producers, "No one wants their taxes raised, but the agencies getting the money are telling our constituents, 'Hey, the sky is falling,'" Bennett said during the debate. "And the agencies (are) telling our citizens they're going to cut their services to the most vulnerable. "That's terrorism. We should not be negotiating with terrorists, period. These agencies are using our citizens as pawns. It's not right, and somebody needs to stop (them) and that's where we come in. "So what's the answer here? Raise taxes, right? That'll fix everything 'til the next year or the next year when they come with their hand out and threaten to extort money from us again," Bennett said. The "terrorist" agency that he was referring to provides long term care to individuals with intellectual disabilities, services to elderly Americans, as well as those whom are living in poverty.
- John R. Bennett profile at Project Vote Smart, accessed March 14, 2014.
- Lanning Curtis. Oklahoma Legislature Approves Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act 5NewsOnline.com (accessed March 14, 2014)
- Staff, Transcript. "State rep says local Muslim organizations are "here to destroy us"".
- Sherman, Bill (September 16, 2014). "Rep. John Bennett stands behind 'threat of Islam' statements at Sallisaw Republican meeting". Tulsa World. Retrieved September 22, 2014.
-  Oklahoma Republican under fire for racist anti-Muslim comments, accessed November 02, 2014.
- State Rep. Comments 'Firing Squad' Against Hillary Clinton On Post, KOTV-DT (November 2, 2016).
- Wang, Amy B. (5 March 2017). "Muslim students tried to meet with a lawmaker. They were first asked: 'Do you beat your wife?'". The Washington Post.
- CAIR-OK to Host 3rd Annual ‘Oklahoma Muslim Day at the Capitol’ CAIR
- "Muslim students trying to meet with a lawmaker were asked: 'Do you beat your wife?'".
- "Apology demanded after lawmaker calls state agencies 'terrorists' | OPEA - Oklahoma's Public Employees Association". opea.org. Retrieved 2017-11-08.