SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State Representative Matt Shea lost his leadership position in the state house.
Shea represents Washington's 4th district, which encapsulates the areas surrounding Spokane Valley. In the last session, Shea was the caucus chair for the House Republicans. A look at the House GOP website shows Shea has been replaced with Paul Harris of Vancouver, Washington.
Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib released a statement on Twitter saying in part, “Thank you to all of you who pressured House Republicans to do the right thing and remove Matt Shea as caucus chair. Advocating violence against religious minorities is both immoral and un-American.“
This comes after Shea released his controversial biblical guide to war.
After Shea released the document, some donors asked for refunds. Regardless, Shea won his race for the fourth district. But that did not stop people like Habib from calling for Shea's removal from Republican leadership.
In a Facebook Live video, Shea discussed a document called the “Biblical Basis for Warfare,” which was shared by Facebook user Tanner Rowe.
In a Facebook Live video, Rowe claims he received the document, authored by Shea, from an unnamed source close to the representative.
The four-page document references 14 different points, including how to stay within God’s will during a war, ways to know it is time to fight, things one needs to create a “Holy Army,” qualifications of a warrior, exemptions from military service and rules for war.
The document also addresses ways to confront tyranny from a biblical perspective. Shea said it does not promote violence.
“Biblical Basis for Warfare” is a “summary of sermons on biblical war in the Old Testament,” according to Shea. He also delves into just war theory, a doctrine of military ethics to ensure war is morally justified.
“This document, in and of itself, was not a secret. I’ve actually talked about portions of this document publicly,” Shea added in the video.
Many may be wondering what power Shea retains after losing his leadership position. He remains in the House, so he can still propose bills, sit on committees, debate and vote like any other member of the legislature. The caucus chair does not have any special executive or legislative power.
The thing Shea will most likely lose is influence, as the caucus chair helps set the policy agenda and leads party meetings.