Freshman Republican Rep. Max Miller from Ohio set off a religious liberty controversy on Twitter, leading to his wife, who also uses the platform, making her account private. It all started when Lizzie Marbach, a former state GOP official and Trump campaign staffer, posted a tweet about having faith in Jesus Christ alone. One Marine veteran called her tweet bigoted, accusing her of crossing the line of religious freedom. While Marbach received support from the Twitterverse, Miller issued an apology for the incident
There's no hope for any of us outside of having faith in Jesus Christ alone.
— Lizzie Marbach (@LizzieMarbach) August 15, 2023
I posted something earlier that conveyed a message I did not intend.
I will not try to hide my mistake or run from it.
I sincerely apologize to Lizzie and to everyone who read my post. https://t.co/PNd8iSdNCS
— Max Miller (@MaxMillerOH) August 16, 2023
This situation couldn’t have come at a worse time for Miller and social conservatives in Ohio. They were already struggling with the recent defeat of the Aug. 8 Issue 1 referendum, where the No vote received a whopping 57 percent of ballots cast. The referendum aimed to raise the threshold for amending the Ohio Constitution, but it ultimately failed. Now, Miller’s clash with a prominent Christian has added fuel to the fire, as conservatives try to make sense of their recent losses.
Adding to the complexity, there is a looming November referendum that could create Following foetal viability, there is a constitutional right to an abortion. Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom, the organisation supporting the pro-abortion referendum, have already gathered over 700,000 signatures, securing their spot on the ballot. Conservatives had hoped that raising the threshold with the failed Issue 1 would prevent the success of this abortion referendum. However, confusion and different messaging surrounding the Issue 1 campaign may have contributed to its defeat.
In the background of these controversies, Miller’s father-in-law Brian Moreno is running for Senate as a social conservative and supporter of Trump. Moreno had initially entered the race but withdrew before Trump announced his endorsement of J.D. Vance, who ultimately won the primary. With the 2022 election cycle being tough for Senate Republicans, the 2024 cycle poses a greater challenge for Senate Democrats, as they defend more seats in states won by Trump.
Overall, this Twitter clash and the failed referendum have created a political storm for Rep. Max Miller and social conservatives in Ohio. It remains to be seen how these incidents will impact Miller’s father-in-law’s Senate campaign and the future of conservative causes in the state.