LEWISTON — A Maine Republican attack on mayoral candidate Ben Chin’s faith has led the speaker of the Maine House to call for a legislator to resign.

Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, called for Rep. Lawrence Lockman, R-Amherst, to resign over a Facebook post he made Monday labeling Chin an anti-Christian bigot.

“This has no place in our public discourse,” Eves said. “It’s become commonplace in the Republican party. It’s hate speech; it needs to be called out and the Republican leaders need to do something about it. It’s really over the top, disgusting and has gone on too long.”

Chin’s campaign responded by noting that Chin is an Episcopal lay preacher and frequently gives sermons at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lewiston. He once considered attending the Episcopal seminary.

The Maine Republican Party created the “Real Ben Chin” Tumblr Blog, realbenchin.tumblr.com, in October to draw attention to Chin’s political positions.

The blog’s latest entry pastes together several quotes attributed to Chin over the past seven years. The entry calls him out for making several apparently anti-Christian statements.


The blog post takes quotes from parts of a 2,673-word sermon Chin gave at Trinity Episcopal Church about spiritual endurance that were critical of contemporary Christianity while leaving out Chin’s calls for church members to act with faith and dignity.

Rep. Lockman appeared to be referencing that blog in a Facebook post he made Monday.

“Meanwhile, an anti-Christian bigot named Ben Chin is a longtime fellow employee of (Mike ) Tipping’s at (the Maine People’s Alliance),” Lockman wrote on Facebook. “Chin hates America, hates Americans, and hates Christians, and he wants to allow noncitizens to vote.”

Lockman did not return calls to the Sun Journal on Wednesday.

Chin’s campaign responded by saying the Maine GOP statements were taken out of context and pulled from a Nov. 10, 2010, sermon he gave at Trinity Episcopal Church.

“I’m a Christian and I’m happy to discuss my faith with anyone, particularly the role faith has in policy and public life,” Chin said. “Rep. Lockman and the Republican Party, however, seem to be more focused on twisting faith into a negative attack.”


Maine Republican Party representatives said it doesn’t matter whether Chin made his statements in a church or in a city meeting.

“He can go ahead and explain the context if he wants,” said Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine Republican Party. “We are not disputing where he made them, but we want him to explain himself.”

Savage said his group is not in communication with Mayor Robert Macdonald, who faces Chin in a Dec. 8 runoff election. The group is acting on its own, Savage said.

“None of it is at the behest of anybody, other than our party feeling Ben Chin is a serious threat to the property owners and taxpayers of Lewiston,” Savage said.

Macdonald said he does not have a computer and has not seen the blog or Lockman’s post. He said he didn’t know who Lockman is.

“I’m just trying to run my own campaign about Lewiston and what’s going to happen here,” Macdonald said. “I don’t know what the GOP is doing and I don’t even care to see that website. I’m doing my own thing and I don’t want to be taken off the path by this foolishness.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.