Susanne Atanus, who is vying for the GOP nomination in the Ninth Congressional District of Illinois, has blamed natural disasters, dementia and autism on gay marriage.

Atanus made her remarks Monday during a meeting with the editorial board of the Daily Herald.

“God is angry,” Atanus said. “We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions. Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

Illinois GOP officials responded by asking Atanus to withdraw from the race.

“The offensive statements by Susanne Atanus have no place in the modern political debate, and she has no place on the ballot as a Republican,” Jack Dorgan, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a written statement issued Thursday. “Her candidacy is neither supported nor endorsed by the leaders of our party, and she should withdraw from the race immediately.”

“Atanus is not in any way affiliated with any of our efforts in the Chicago GOP,” Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, told the Herald. “Nor have we ever supported, endorsed, or assisted her in any way at any time.”

Atanus stood by her remarks on Thursday: “I am a Christian. I care a lot about the world and I care a lot about my obedience to serve God the right way. I can't turn my eye and look the other way when I know that abortions, gay rights and civil unions are making God very angry.”