Ted Cruz: School shootings happen because ‘we’ve removed God from the public square’

In a heated debate between GOP incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and his challenger Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke this Friday, the stark ideological divide between the two was front and center.

Immigration, the NFL Anthem protests, gun rights, marijuana legalization, police shootings, SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh — the two candidates disagreed on all these issues and more.

Cruz came after O’Rourke over his support for undocumented immigrants, citing the fact that the Texas Democrat wants to provide a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants. O’Rourke countered that Cruz’s hawkish stance on immigration includes a push to deport all of them, including “Dreamers” who were brought to the United States as children. Cruz said that his immigration stance comes down to four words: “Legal good, illegal bad.”

Regarding the NFL protests, Cruz said he finds them to be offensive and that there are better ways for players to make their feelings heard, but O’Rourke’s support for players who “take a knee” was unequivocal.

When a a question was asked about gun safety, O’Rourke reiterated his support for increased gun control while Cruz returned to a familiar trope disseminated by religious conservatives.

According to O’Rourke, he plans to “defend the Second Amendment,” while protecting “the lives within our lives.”

“Weapons of war belong on the battlefields, not in our schools, or our churches, our concerts, or our public life,” O’Rourke said.

But Cruz thinks gun violence is more a question of whether or not America is a God-friendly nation.

“It is horrific, and let me say, as the father of two daughters, there is something deeply wrong that we have these shootings,” Cruz said. “There are a lot of things behind it that have nothing to do with government. They have things to do with… things like removing God from the public square. Like losing the moral foundation of much of our society. Like losing the binds of community and family…”

Writing for the Friendly Atheist, Hemant Mehta thinks that Cruz is simply using gun violence to push religion in the public sector.

No shooter has ever walked into a school and said, “I’m killing everyone because no one posted the Ten Commandments on the wall.” Cruz is using the deaths of shooting victims to force Christianity on public school students. It’s despicable and absolutely ignorant. And remember that other nations that are far less religious than the United States have far less violence.

Watch the clip below (the relevant portion begins at 21:05):

Featured image via screen grab

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.