A US politician has been forced to resign his position from leading Christian relief charity after allegedly describing Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with an obscenity.
Republican Representative Ted Yoho was said to have been involved in a confrontation with the congresswoman on the steps of the US Capitol, during which he swore at her. "Rep. Yoho put his finger in my face...he called me disgusting, he called my crazy, he called me out of my mind, he called me dangerous," Ocasio-Cortez explained in a speech on the House floor. The congresswoman went on to directly quote the obscenity allegedly used by Yoho.
Rep. Yoho is a board member of Bread for the World - a Christian advocacy organisation that seeks to end hunger, both in the United States and around the world.
In the wake of the incident with Ocasio-Cortez, the congressman resigned his position from the group.
In a statement on Yoho's resignation, Bread for the World said: "We believe that Rep. Ted Yoho's recent actions and words as reported in the media are not reflective of the ethical standards expected of members of our Board of Directors.
"...Bread sought his resignation as an action that reaffirms our commitment to coming alongside women and people of colour, nationally and globally, as they continue to lead us to a more racially inclusive and equitable world."
The President and CEO of the group, Rev. Eugene Cho, told NPR that Yoho's comments "were inappropriate".
He explained: "We're not an organisation that demands perfection of any of us because clearly, we'll all fall short. But we did feel that his comments were inappropriate, not reflective of the ethical standards and Christian values that we seek to uphold as an organisation and for our leaders."
Cho also qualified that his organisation does "[not] believe in cancel culture" and that he would not be ordering the complete cutting of ties with Rep. Yoho, particularly considering some of the great advocacy work they've done together.
"I think there's a difference between cancel culture and accountability," he added. "We can extend grace and still seek accountability."
Cho continued: "I'm not here as the president of Bread for the World to erase our relationship with Congressman Yoho, even despite the resignation.
"We're grateful for his 18 months of service on our board, and we want to be able to thank him again publicly for his long-standing commitment to investing in foreign aid transparency and accountability. We also worked with him on the reauthorization of the Global Food Security Act."
Yoho apologised for his actions but denied using any overtly offensive language. “Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I’m very cognizant of my language,” he said. “The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleague, and if they were construed that way I apologize for their misunderstanding.”