tv Senator Ted Cruz R-TX Religious Rally in Des Moines Iowa CSPAN August 24, 2015 9:56pm-12:20am EDT
show you president obama's trip to the region and remarks on the recovery effort ten years after hurricane katrina. hurricane katrina coverage all this week on c-span. >> in his quest for the 2016 republican presidential campaign, it called a rally for religious liberty, featured speakers from losing a job to vandalism to losing a business. f >> welcome. welcome to the rally for religious liberties. welcome to iowa. some of you that aren't from iowa. the vast majority of you are from iowa
and we want to say thank you for coming out tonight, joining with us to rally for religious liberties. this is a serious topic that we're discussing tonight. most of us, many of us are, descendants of people who left other countries, generations ago, to escape religious percushion. to come to a country to celebrate religious freedom and our families could worship god in a way that was not mandated by the government, that was not controlled by somebody else outside of their own conscious and their understanding of what god called them to do and to live the sort of live that god called them to live. we live in a country that was handed to us
by those patriots who took great risks to leave their homes and to come to america. they gave us a place where we could raise families, like the ones you just saw. weren't they great? [applause] if you're like me, when you watch those young people, sing and play and use their gifts to glorify god, it gives you hope for the future. and, tonight, as we come together, we are going to talk about some serious subjects. you're going to meet some people who have experienced things that our forefathers would have never believed could have happened. you are going to hear stories that i think will cause your heart to perhaps skip a beat when you realize this is actually happening in the united states of america. and yet, we
still have the freedom to come together and in jesus name, gather like they just did, sing patriotic songs and to also elevate the name of their lord and savior. ultimately, that is why we're doing what we're doing. not just tonight. but why we have been engaged in this discussion about religious liberties for a long, long time and you're going to hear from folks who had a point in time where there conviction came in conflict with their government. this is something that is a ongoing, longstanding components of who they are. it's not the
point in history or point in time when you're confronted to make a decision, will i stand on my principles or follow them. it's not that point in time where you make that decision. it's every day that leads up to that experience and it's your consistent walk and your consistent practice and the education that you've likely had from your parents, your grandparents and that sort of thing that creates the character that causes you, when you become confronted with that situation to say, i cannot. i cannot violate what god's called me to do. and so tonight, as we -- as we hear these people's stories, as we share in their experience, i want to make sure that you don't miss the point. and the
point of a lot of what you're going to see tonight is that their story is your story. the only difference is, perhaps it hasn't happened to you yet. but when you hear these stories and as you think about what would i do in that situation, internalize that very question because you are likely to be faced with that situation. in fact, i would venture to guess that many of you have, in one way or another, maybe it's the sensitivity training your work requires you to go through, you think if i'm quiet enough and get through this, i can get back to work and do what i need to do. maybe it's somebody who comes and goes from a civic club or a social environment where they're vocal about their beliefs and you have to decide,
will i tell the truth or be quiet or step back and let the opportunity to go? i want you to understand that their story is your story. this is not a time to gather thousands of people together to come in and just observe to be entertained or to be here to just lift them up and we want to lift you up tonight. we want to acknowledge that the sacrifices you have made, as you tell your stories, are very real and inspiring to us. when we leave tonight, we heard stories from people we admire, we missed what was going on here. their story is your story. their story and your story is important. in part, because in america, we ought to be able to own and conduct business in accordance with our faith. we ought to be able to
hold a public job and conduct ourselves in accordance with our faith. we ought to be able to provide a service in accordance with our faith and the reason that it's important that you and i stand together with these folks and folks like them all over the country is not just because their livelihood is being threatened, but at the base of that is that each one of us is called to share our faith with others. when confronted with those situations, whether it's somebody that walks into your shop or the encounter you have at your place of business or the company you work with, each of those is an opportunity for you to not just say, this is what i believe, based on god's word, but the -- that conversation then opens the door
for you to look that person in the eye and say you and i have a share d situation. we are both simple humans and both with nature and in need of a savior. in this country, we still have the ability to share our faith freely but it's being threatened. if it becomes criminal, which it has, in these folks case, if it becomes criminal to say, i care enough about you that i want to live out my faith in a way that would help you understand that there's sin in your life, i mean, i presume there are many believers in the audience tonight. [applause] you would not be there, in that place. you would not be in that relationship with your god if
you hadn't come to a position where you understood that you were lost. that you were lost in your sin. eternity is a long time and hell is a hot place and you don't want to go there and someone cared about you enough to share the love of jesus christ and said there is a savior that cared enough about you that god sent his son to take your sin on himself, to die in your place and to demonstrate his power or sin and death by rising again. if it had been illegal for somebody to say that, how much smaller might our numbers be? the reason that we still live in a country that is blessed in the ways -- in the many ways that we are, i believe, is because our founders, in and amongst all the rights that they itemized in our
constitution, in the principles that are outlined in all of our earlier findings and documents and writings, they came from what those founding fathers learned from their preachers. in fact, many of them were preachers so if we look at the family or the many young people and we think we want for them a brighter future than what we had, just like our parents wanted a brighter future for us than they had, the key, the pin, the focal point for being able to do that, throughout our history as a country, has been preserving our religious liberty. keep in mind, if for some reason, a government or a court can take away our religious liberties and our first amendment rights, what's to stop them from taking the
second amendment or any other right? our rights come from god, not from the government. [cheering and applause] tonight, you're going to meet some great patriots. you're going to meet some folks who are examples of average, every day ordinary people who certainly wouldn't imagine they would be sitting here, telling you their story and yet when the time for choosing came, they chose their lord and savior over compliance with the court or government. [applause] my hope is, that as we go through this evening and when we come to the conclusion of this evening, that you have
identified enough with their stories that in your heart and in your mind, you're prepared to say, when it comes my turn, i'm going to stand with them and i'm going to stand with my god, no matter what the government says. [applause] as we get started tonight, we want to invite a local pastor to come and lead us in prayer. mike is a pastor who's become a good friend of mine over the years. he pastors a smaller church, they have an influence that is far larger in this community than their numbers would imply. pastor mike is unafraid and is bold and he knows what he's called to do and he goes and does it. and let's
the world see him live out his faith. i'm going to invite him to come and tell a little bit of his story and share an experience he had, as he preached on the subject that is kind of at the center of this evening and to lead us in prayer. pastor mike, if you would, please. [applause] >> it warms my heart to see all of you hear tonight. i am really honored to be apart of this experience and to say that i, early on, was be able to say, mr. cruz, i'm with you all the way. in his ability to articulate conservative principles and he'll fight for what we believe in. i'm honored to be able to be here with you. but what i know is, there's
coming a day when a pastor, standing behind here, preaching the whole council of the word of god is going to be seen and deemed as a threat and i pray that every pastor continues to preach god's word, unfiltered, as courageously as they can because that is the only thing that will turn this country around again. [cheering and applause] i'm going to ask you, if you're physically able, as we address a righteous and holy god. we thank you so much for who you are. the blessings that you have given to this great nation we are apart of. you have said that blessed is the nation whose god is the lord and we have turned our back on you. forgive
us, god. repent. there are people here, thousands across our land that say, we want our country back. and so, god, we just cry out to you and say, lord, help us stand firm in the torrent that is before us. and i thank you, god, for the people that will be here, the examples that we see of courage and conviction in a culture that is so comp rumizeed. help us, god, to never turn our backs on jesus. help us to always stand for truth. we pray this prayer in the name of jesus christ, our lord, amen. [applause] i was thinking, as we were getting ready for this event, my kids, and the sort of world
we're going to leave to them. the sorts of discussions we've had around the dinner table, a generation ago, you would never imagine. not just explaining the biblical truth i want my son's to go by, but the society we are currently living in and explaining to them, this is god's truth and when you say this publicly, you are likely to come under persecution or pressure. what pastor mike didn't say and i'll tell you for him, he put up a title of a message of his markee that dealt with sin and the folks that were convicted by that sign vandalized the sign, threatened him and his family. called the news. amazing, a pastor's preaching on sin. the news
people thought it was newsworthy. i thought that was kind of interesting, too. mike saw just a little glim s of what they have been through. how amazing that we come to a point where i have to have these discussions with my kids. then it caused me to think about my parents, my grandparents, my great grandparents. is there anybody else in here who's a granddaughter or grandson for the revolution? your family was a part of the revolution? i'm seeing hands. how about folks who either fought in or parents or grandparents fought in world war ii or world war ii. how many people have family members
who have been deployed or who are currently deployed. don't squander the sacrifices that have been made by our forefathers. [applause] tonight, i have the honor and privilege of introduceing a friend of mine. i've spent many, many miles sitting next to him in a car, looking through the windshield and discussing any number of things. all sorts of topics, both philosophical, religious and of course, political, came up in the discussions. i learned to admire his philosophical perspective and his way of decompressing and boiling it
down to not just the current days state of affairs, but to relating it to our history as individual or as a country. and so tonight, as we begin to lay the foundation upon which we're going to have this discussion with our special guest. i'd like to invite to the stage and introduce a good friend of mine, congressman steve king. [applause] congressman king: thank you very, very much. it is an honor to be in this building, in this room among all of you. you treat me that well when i step out here. i'm very grateful to have the privilege to say some things. i want to compress it
into a way that adds meaning to the balance of what we're hear tonight and religious freedom and the victims of the persecution. what we need to understand about this great country we are, i profoundly believe that god shaped this nation with his hand. [applause] that he sent the pilgrims and the other settlers over here to this continent and moved our founder fathers around like a chessboard to shape this great nation. i would take you back to mosaic law. god sent moses up the mount to come down with a tablet, mosaic law. many centuries later, i would find myself wanting to hear the
arguments before the supreme court to set the tablets up in places like texas, that was the month of june. but it was a bright day. in 2005, i went to the supreme court building, i had a permission slip from the justices to hear their oral arguments. the crowd was so thick, i had to climb through the hedge. i climbed through the hedge. i go up to the door of the supreme court, my pupils are shrunken down as they are. opened the door into the darkness, there stood a white shirt and i said, i'm congressman steve king to hear the supreme court. the man said, in a deep voice, i'm moses and i'm hear to lead you. [laughter] no kidding. no kidding. moses led me in and moses lead me out.
up in front of that courtroom was going to be the general of the state of texas. [cheering and applause] that was ten years ago. the attorney general is now the governor of the state of texas. [applause] a and, i'm tempted to say the lord works in mysterious ways, but i don't think it's that mysterious, i think it's obvious. i remember a state senator saying to me, why do you think america is god-shaped by the hand of god? i believe it was his divine guidance. he said it was an accident of history. could have happened in some other planet some other place in the universe. no, i
can't accept that. mosaic law went to greeks. it came from moses. roman law is what jesus did. he had a right to face his accusers and he was innocent until proven guilty. remember when the high priest said did you really preach those things? did you preach those things? he said, ask them, they were there. the guard struck jesus. the answer was, he had a right to face his accusers. he said, if i have spoken wrongly, you must do it. innocent until proven guilty. it was spread all across western europe. it gave us redemption and all the things that came from jesus flows out
of us today. it was with roman law and went into the dark ages and forgot how to think and brought it back because the bible was protected and preserved and they had to relearn how to think. there was the foundation of free enterprise capitalism that was published in 1776 that came over here to this country and we had puritans and a concept of manifest. at the dawn of the industrial revolution and we did so in the blink of a historical eye and became the greatest nation in the world. how can anybody think that that's not the hand of god? [applause] and, did they understand that, then? our founding fathers did, we hold thee truths to be
self-evident that all men are treated equal. but, 1865, february 12, the war wasn't over. it was lincoln's last birthday, on sunday. the first black person allowed to speak in the united states capital building when members of congress believed that lincoln just freed the slaves before that and they believed they should have a sermon and religious sermon there. i've taken some excerpts from it. it takes about 40 seconds. a former slave, then pastor of the presbyterian church, with his background, he understood and he spoke to the members of congress. he's speaking of the
founding fathers. they have received from the court of heaven the magna carta of human rights that was handed down through the clouds in and amid the lights and given by the son of god on the mounts of the attitudes while the glory shown around them. from the declaration of independence, they have a guarantee of political. freedom to worship god. [cheering and applause] i recommend that you google that and read that speech. put yourself in a mindset of that place and that time, lincoln's last birthday, near the end of
the civil war and the rights coming from god and think, do our children know this? will our grandchildren know this? we must understand the principle that rights come from god. if they come from government, government can take them away. they're unalienable. step up and defend your rights that come from god, that are enshrined in the constitution. be not afraid. be bold, be noble, preach the word. if they take away your 501 not-for-profit status, is anyone in this for profit anyway? if you need help, call me. i'll pray for you. i know you're there and
you're bold. we've got to be confident and i recall a time i was giving a speech out on the courthouse and an individual came out and he said, you can't speak here. this is election year and we have elections here. he said, if you can't exercise your right here on the courthouse lawn, where in the world can you? i'm glad we're standing here today and we're going to hear these stories and narratives and we have a leader who has stepped up for our religious freedom. over and over again, the boy scout, that all came from ted cruz. [cheering and applause] he's brought us here together to night to pray and learn and to be energized. if we don't use our constitutional rights, we
will lose them. i will introduce, there will be a video that follows me. it is from the liberty institute, one of the top constitutional lawyers in our country. he's going to talk to you about religious liberty and defending religious liberty. >> i've been doing religious liberty cases for over 26 years. i have to be honest with you, in the quarter-century, i've never seen what i see now. over 1,600 published attacks, not including the ones that aren't published is an example of what's happening each year. they are doubling from one year to the next. cases are a little 5-year-old girl praying over her meal and ordered to stop and
told, quote, it is not good to pray at school. senior citizens were threatened to have their meals taken away. they said it would violate sepragdz -- separation of church and state. it is from people who are young, older. the attacks are pervasive. tonight, alone, you will hear from pastors who have been fined and had their chapel closed because they wouldn't engage in violation of their faith. you'll hear from a couple who had their business destroyed and a $250,000 fine assessed against them because they would not participate in a wedding that would violate their faith. you'll hear from a 72-year-old who might lose their home. you'll hear from an air force veteran and hero who gave his all for 19 years and only to
be attacked for his faith, relieved of his duties. the stories you will hear are from ordinary citizens and they're a wake up call to a nation. our founders called religious freedom our first freedom. they do so not because it's in the first two clauses of the first amendment because they knew if you lose your religious freedom, you'll lose all your freedom. there is no better person to do this than ted cruz. not because his father is a pastor. many know of his brilliance and his constitutional expertise. something few know, he was giving time for religious freedom and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars of time for religious liberty cases. it was a great sacrifice in time and money because it is a priority
and a commitment. when the mojave cross was attacked, he donated his time to stand with me and with liberty institute in representing millions of veterans, the vfw, the purple heart, and america ex-prisoners of war. this 70-year-old memorial, was ordered to be torn down by the lower courts and to be covered while the case went on appeal. the cross was covered with a bag and then a chain was wrapped around the bottom with a padlock. as the u. u.s. supreme court, the bag is off, the chain is off. ted gave his talent, free of charge, to millions. if anyone has the
background, the commitment and the understanding to cover this issue, it is ted cruz. i am very thankful for him, as a friends, a constitutional lawyer and as a leader, protecting our first freedom. god bless you, ted cruz, and thank you for hosting this very important rally. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the stage, brian english. [applause] mr. english: one of the things that ted cruz can put together an interesting group of teens. i want to introduce another patriot, somebody who many of you know and after you've heard him speak here, you're all going to love him. i'd like to introduce to you the state chairman for our campaign,
former secretary of state, matt schultz. [applause] mr. schultz: it's an honor to be here with you tonight. it's a bigger honor to serve as ted cruz state chair. i love this man, let me tell you why. because he's honest. he's honest and he stands up and he fights for what he believes in and what we believe in. we're at a cross road in our country. we see the erosion of our families. our constitution's being shredded, they care more abo about cecil the lion than they do about the unborn.
[cheering and applause] i'm married and i have five kids and i am deeply concerned about where our country's going. we need a champion, a courageous conservative, someone who's going to stand up and fight for us. you know, i think about our savior, when we went to the temple and saw the money-changers, what did we do? he threw them out. we need someone who is going to go to washington and throw the money changers out and stop the washington cartel. [cheering and applause] when you read the scriptures, when you look at our country's history, you can see that god prepares and raises special men and women to protect and fight for his people. and i believe
this is one of those moments in time. f ted cruz is that man wo god has prepared for this moment in time, to be our champion, to fight for our husbands, our wives, our children and our grandchildren, for our country. ted cruz will restore our constitution. he will restore our belief in america. that's why i'm supporting ted cruz and that's why i'm asking each and every one of you to stand with me in supporting my friend, our special person, texas senator, ted cruz, let's give him a warm
welcome. [cheering and applaus [cheering and applause] >> show us those signs, everybody. let's see those signs. show your support. mr. cruz: thank you. [cheering and applause] god bless the great state of iowa. [cheering and applaus [cheering and applause] you know the word tells us, where two or more are gathered in his name, he will be with us. [cheering and applause] what an incredible gathering this is, from across this state,
how honored and humbled i am to be standing with so many patriots here in this room and with so many heroes who have gathered to tell us their tale of courage. you know, this nation, this nation we love is unique in the annals of the history of the word. we are a nation that was founded by men and women fleeing religious oppression. fleeing kings and monarchs who would opress them, who would tell them who you may worship and who you may not. and men and women fled from all over the world to come to the new world. to seek out a land where every one of us could worship the god, almighty, with our minds and souls, free of the government getting in the way. our nation was founded with the
bloody revolution. a bloody revolution that under ordinary reason, had no business succeeding. a hapless group of colonists declared war on the mightest army on the planet and yet with god's providential blessing, america prevailed. [cheering and applause] but there was a second revolution, a revolution more important than the revolution fought with guns and bayents. it was the revolution of ideas. for millennia, man had been told that our rights come from kings and queens. handed down like crumbs. by the monarch to be
taken away by the win of the monarch. our country began with a fundamentally different proposition, that it does not come from government but from almighty god. [cheering and applause] as the declaration put it so powerfully, we hold these truths to be held self-evident that all men are created equal. not by a king, queen, president. they are endowed by their creator. [cheering and applause] with certain unalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness. with those words, this nation sprung into existence. there is a reason why, in the constitution in the bill of rights, the very first protection in the very first amendment in the bill of rights is the freedom of religion. if we cannot worship god, if we cannot live according to our faith, all other liberties fade away. you know, steve talked about the ten commandments case in texas. it concerned a monument that had stood there since 1961. was erected, stood there for decades, disturbing nobody on the state capital grounds until an individual plaintiff, an atheist, a homeless man walked past the
monument and decided it offended him and he filed a lawsuit seeking to tear down that monument. when that case when to the united states supreme court, when we argued that case, does anyone know how many times in the courtroom of the united states court, the image of the ten commandments appears? 43 times. that's very good. [laughter] [applause] 43 times, 40 times, the ten commandments are on the brass gates on the side of the courtroom. when you walk out the cort room, there are two wooden doors and there are two more images. you cannot walk out of the courtroom without seeing the ten commandments directly in front of you. when those justices heard the oral
argument, right above their left shoulder was moses holding the 10 commanommancommandments, loo upon them. now, we won that case. [applause] but we won it 5-4. four justices were willing to order the state of texas to tear down that monument that has stood on the capital ground since 1961. we were one justice away. you want to know what this election is about, we're one justice away from the supreme court saying every statue be torn down.
kelly talked about the mojave veterans memorial case, a cross seven feet tall. once again, a plaintiff came and sued. the plaintiff said there image of a cross cannot be seen on federal lands. here in iowa, there's litigation concerning exactly that today. i will say this, the plaintiffs were right on one thing, the cross has power. [cheering and applause] i'll tell you, it was humbling, it was moving to represent veterans standing before the
supreme court and we won that case, also. [cheering and applause] but once again, it was 5-4. four justices were willing to say this monument to our veterans must be torn to the ground. anyone who's visited arlington cemetery and seen row after row with a cross of a star of david, honoring our soldiers who gave the last of the ultimate sacrifice, we're one justice away from the supreme court saying, we must tear those down. and you know, i have to say, these threats have been growing. they have been growing for decades, but never have the threats have been greater to religious liberty than they are
right now and here today. . you know, many in the media say these threats don't exist. they're not real. well, the purpose of this gathering is to put a name and a face to these heroes. the purpose of this evening is to tell their stories. you know, there's a reason jesus spoke in parables. because that's how we understand, that's what touches our heart, that's what moves us. so it is my hope that all of us gathered here today, all of the home parties, all of the churches that are watching online, believers across this country will come to know and love these ordinary men and women who were living their lives. they didn't ask for conflict. they didn't ask for confrontation and the government
came after them and said choose your faith or obedience to power and they said, i follow a higher power and that is god almighty. [cheering and applause] and so, in telling these stories, i want to start with one that many of you know already. residents of iowa, iowa's own dick and betty. [applause] from iowa, they are an incredible couple. a couple i've gotten to know quite well. i want to start simply by playing a video and then we're going to invite, at the same time, dick and betty to the stage and have a conversation. let's start the video. >> i'm here with dick and betty and we're talking about their
incredible journey. they inspire me and i am thrilled to have the chance to share their story. so, tell us about this church? when did you open it up to hosting weddings? >> in 2008. we had beautiful weddings in here for quite a few years. >> i guess you naturally have the flower business. >> we would do the reception and the food as well. and then in 2009, the iowa law changed to include same-sex weddings. so then, in august of 2013, two gentlemen came in and dick had to deliver the bad news. they left, we didn't know. the very next day, it was on a sunday, we got the news that they were
going to probably sue. >> i guess they filed a complaints the day after? >> yes. >> of course, it went viral. >> it was devastating to hear that we were bigots, we were homophobs. >> your wedding was contrary to your -- >> i was thinking, they don't know us. how could they be calling us all these horrible, horrible thing. we have no hatred toward gay people. >> you have been, for a number of years, hosting weddings in this historic church. as a result of this litigation, you stopped weddings. >> we didn't have a church. >> that has been quite painful. as a result of that, the business has declined and we can't support it so we're -- by the end of august, we'll be
shutting our doors. >> and you can understand. >> i'll tell you, our country was founded by people who risked everything for religious liberty, free of the government getting in the way and i want to thank both of you, number one, for taking a stand. but number two, for telling your story. your story is powerful, your story's inspirational and inspires me. >> what we hope we can do is try to change the course as best we can in the years we have left. >> well, thank you for your courage. thank you for your conviction. >> so nice having you. >> thank you, dick. [applaus
[applause] >> dick and betty. [applaus [applause] >> betty, dick, thank you for the courage of your convictions. thank you for telling your story. let me ask you, why did you first begin hosting weddings in the church that to two of you own? >> we love weddings. we love that business. love to do the flowers and we had a restaurant and we had everything all in one
location. we had some beautiful events. >> and tell me, tell all of us, what your faith means to you. >> everything. it goes to the core of our being. how we live our life. >> when you first found out you were being sued, how did that impact the two of you? >> well, the whole event was devastating. personally, it brought me down. i knew that it would never be the same. and -- mr. cruz: let me ask you what a cynic, what a skeptical person
might say. which is, why didn't you just give in? what didn't you just agree to allow the same-sex wedding to be celebrating? >> we could not celebrate a sin. we could not take part in what we believe is a sin. [cheering and applause] mr. cruz: i suppose the media would say it's an easy thing to roll over and accept it and embrace it and say it's right. yet, your faith wouldn't allow you to do that betty: of course not. mr. cruz: litigation went on for 18 months. and then you personally paid $5,000, settle
the matter. and has there been another wedding? >> betty: no. >> dick: the last wedding was november of last year. we simply had to get out of the business, we're at risk. it was well-publicized what our faith was and what it is and we could not take the risk and put our employees in that wedge. mr. cruz: and then earlier this month, you closed the business all together? >> dick: july 31 mr. cruz: tell us what that means to you, to close that business, hosting weddings that you loved so much. tell us what that means to the two of you. betty: this was my passion. we
worked for 13 and a half years to build this business and we lived there six days a week and just loved it. it's very difficult to close the doors and walk away. it's hard to pack up up. >> dick: it looked much different preparing for an auction than preparing for a wedding, that's what it looks like today. >> mr. cruz: has that occurred yet? >> dick: october 3. >> mr. cruz: you had a number of people work for you in the flower business. what happened to your employees? >> betty: they have to work elsewhere. >> mr. cruz: so the consequence of this, you've been driven out of business. >> betty: absolutely.
>> mr. cruz: your employees have lost their jobs. tell me about the public reaction. >> dick: confusing, actually. we had a lot of supporters. and we cherished those folks. the interesting part about it is, many of those supporters didn't want to support us publicly out of fear of reprisal. i don't know, you'd have to talk to those folks. so that hurt. all of a sudden, we learned more about people than what we thought we knew. >> mr. cruz: i know a lot of ugleness was directed toward the two of you. >> betty: unbelievable. never had experienced anything like that before. some people are
familiar with their words and expressions that come after you. this is brand new to us and it really took us by surprise to be called a hater and a bigot, just overnight, you become something you don't recognize yourself. >> mr. cruz: i know the terms used to attack you by political activists and the media. attempt to characterize you and me as somehow intolerant and yet, what is the tolerance that has been demonstrated to you, for following a biblical teaching, that marriage is one man and one woman? [cheering and applause] >> betty: exactly.
[cheering and applaus [cheering and applause] >> mr. cruz: these two men who wanted to get married, there were other facilities to do that, correct? >> betty: of course. >> mr. cruz mr. cruz: but they wanted it in your church. i know betty, in particular, this has been -- betty: don't make me cry. [laughter] mr. cruz: i'm convinced you have gone down this journey. you have endured the pain. you have endured the attacks. you have endured the hatred precisely puts you where you are here today for such a time. betty: i agree.
groups lifting you up in prayer. your faith and encourage, they inspire every one of us to stand with you. thank you. [cheering and applaus [cheering and applause] >> gentleman, please welcome to the stage, brian english. [applause] brian english: they are a treasure here in iowa. [applause] when the government said, you
will comply and violate your religious convictions, they said no. and we're proud of them. [applause] but they're not alone, unfortunately, in being put into that situation. tonight, we'll meet other folks. the person that is going to visit with them is a good friend of mine. he has an amazing ability to communicate biblical truth and do it in a way that cuts through the noise of our environment, our society and he does it in an environment that is often very hostile to the gospel. so, i'd like for you to welcome to the stage, this evening, a good friend, another treasure here in the state of iowa, steve.
[cheering and applause] steve: i've got a little bit of a reputation for being kind of fiery. what you're about to see is going to make you angry. it's going to fire you up. it's going to be righteous anger but in our anger, we do not sin. sal is traveling to kill christians. the famous story, he encounters the living god in the flesh, jesus christ, who stops him on the road and said, why are you persecuting my people? no, that is not what christ says, he says, why are you persecuting me? and we must
remember that this isn't about us. this is about the god we serve. and the sal that had that moment, later writes these words, liars, thieves, formicators, murders, will not inherit the kingdom of heaven, that is a harsh teaching and says, such as once for some of you. all of us in this room, if we claim christ as lord, have been one of those people. that's why we needed a savior. [applause] at just as he died for us, and died for the heroes you're going to hear from in a few moments, we also died for those on the other side of the persecution. he wants to redeem them as well, he made them as well. he
counted the hairs on their heads as well. he knows the number of their days as well. let us not forget that because in the end, this isn't a political struggle, this is not an ideological struggle. this is a struggle for the soul. not let's meet some people through this video that understand. when it was their turn, they made the right choice. >> when you have your own government tell you that you don't have religious freedom, now that, that is very disheartening. >> it's like if i don't have the first freedom, my religious freedom, what's the point? >> i did not anticipate that my career would end under such terms. >> no way would i ever thought i would be in this position. i definitely understand freedom in a different way. .
>> i believe that the freedoms and liberties in the united states of america, in my life, have proven that a poor kid from an at-risk family and a single mom with six children with welfare and food stamps, living in poverty, can have dreams can come true. >> the freedoms we enjoy to come home later and be told that because i hold a religious belief, some sort of discrimination? >> at the darkest hour, our church showed up and the family rallied around us and prayed for
us and that was a big thing for us. >> you get to see the fullness of god when you stand up for his truth, his word. >> what surprised me was his faithfulness and his promises. you read those and you say, yeah, right. >> i've already had my worst day, you know what i mean? and so, what's our -- >> our kids have seen that there's a real cost to serving the lord. . >> why would i, the business owner, want to bring this on my company? anything, i would want to stay away from this.
>> what got me my job has ultimately cost me my job. . >> i definitely understand freedom in a different way. before, it was sort of off here in another world but when it happens to you -- and it will happen to you -- when they come to take that away, it takes on a whole new meaning. . >> in order to not rally my conscious. i have no regrets. i'm praying over and over again that god would see this through.
>> losing the business was very hard for me. [crying] i worked really hard to build it up up. i put a lot into it. very hard. >> our definition of freedom, in the united states of america, is changing right before our eyes. i believe that those very freedoms are at risk in our beloved united states of america today. >> before all of this went on, i felt like there was freedom. that we had all kinds of freedom. going through all this now, i'm definitely seeing a whole different world and feeling like definitely freedom, especially religious freedom, is
[cheering and applaus [cheering and applause] mr. cruz: thank you, you may be seated. i know you guys are really nervous. let's start with an ice breaker message. raise your hand if you signed up to enlist in a culture war? no? no? all right, so, here's the reason i ask that question, ladies and gentlemen, we have bakers, a florist, shirt maker,
military man and a fireman. every day people. everyday people. these are not people that majored in culture war, they're not united states senators, these are just every day people, like all of you in this room. and yet they find themselves on the frontline in the battle for the soul of this culture. i think it's important that all of you in your seats, enjoying your comfort and your air conditioning, you may go home to your farms and businesses and churches and think this could not happen to you. i'd be willing to bet the six people on the stage thought the same thing. this could not happen to them and this could not happen to them. i want to start with you, chief cockran.
what made you want to be a fireman? what kind of training does it take? >> i was born in poverty in louisiana and i was one of six kids. my dad left my mother and she raised all six of us by herself. we moved to an alley in a shotgun house. one sunday after church, we heard a siren and there was a fire truck in front of our house. the house across theally from us was on fire and i wanted to be a firefighter when i grew up. there were three things that i thought about as a little kid. i wanted to be a firefighter, i didn't want to be poor. i wanted a family because i realized how awful it was to not have a dad at home. they told
us all of our dreams would come true if we believed in and had faith in god and went to school and got a good education. so, they said patriotism in us. in 1981, my childhood dream came true, i became a firefighter. with 18 years, i believe the fire chief. in 2008, i was apointed fire chief in atlanta. i did that for 20 months, then i was apointed by president obama to head the fire administration. i was recruited back to atlanta one year later and served him until january 6 of this year when i was terminated for employment. so my childhood
came true and fairy tale career ended. >> you are the american dream. this is the american dream right here. if you lost your job -- absolutely applaud that. [applause] >> given all of the merit badges you've earned all the way through life, you must have done something wrong in your job to cause you to be fired, except that wasn't the case. in fact, you were fired for no reason, for nothing about your job but for simply writing a book. >> about three and a half years ago, i was conducting a men's small bible study and i asked the men, our men today, still suffering from the consequences
of what adam did in the garden of eden, of course all of them said yes and i asked them to tell me why and as they talked, the question got to about -- i was so curious, i researched the word, naked, to see if god was asking him more than if you had anything more on than closed. naked meant deprived so i researched the word, clothed, which meant redeemed and restored. so it says those who have been baptized have been clothed in christ. there are too many christian men, clothed men today, still acting like naked men and i need to ask them
today, who told you that you were naked and that's what the book is all about. [applause] the part that got me in trouble is that i dealt with sexual challenges that married men have and that's what caused the trouble that led to my 30-day suspension and subsequent suspension with the city of atlanta. >> what you just heard is an amazing story. nothing wrong with his record, at all. to the point that he is appointed to one of the highest posts you can be as a fireman, working for the president of the united states and for expressing his viewpoint in his own private time, his own private time, let that sink in
for a moment. his own private time, he loses everything. we'll bring you into the conversation next, because your story is very well-known, to our audience. a lot of them listen to my radio show and i have done my best to make your story very well-known and all of your stories well-known to the people in this room. it's just flowers. you're just selling flowers. what's the big deal? why not just sell the flowers? you sold them to this clients so many times, what's different about this time? >> this time it was about a marriage between a man and a woman. when he came in and asked me to talk about his wedding, i put my hands on his and said, i'm sorry i can't do your wedding because of my relationship with jesus christ and he said i understand and we
talked about his mom and his engagement and why he decided to get married. he asked me for recommendations for another florist, i gave him names of another florist who would do a great job. we hugged each other and rob left. when i do a wedding, i put everything in it. i couldn't do rob's because it would dishonor christ. it's part of you, it's what you make, it's what you create and what you celebrate. as much as i love rob, i couldn't celebrate his wedding. >> you mentioned this customer by his first name, like you had a relationship, something beyond the customer relationship. is that true? what's your relationship with rob? >> he was my customer for over
ten years and we had a great working relationship and he would come in and pick out different vases and different containers that were usually a little weird and he'd say this is the event i want to celebrate and do your thing. that was awesome to me because i got to do something creative and out-of-the-box and something he'd like. it was a privilege to do that for him but again, i couldn't do his wedding. >> here we have a story, ladies and gentlemen, this was a customer she had a personal relationship. despite their differences, he asked her the one thing she could not provide, which was to violate or cons --
that's not what happened with the story. we went right out of there and reported here, like in a novel. so much for that relationship relationship. >> i want you to share, with the audience, what you told us last night in a reception that we had, getting everybody a chance to get to know one another and get ready for tonight and what it was like interacting with fellow believers or the support you did not get from people? >> i would definitely say that i'm -- on the good side, the
support we've gotten nationally and internationally has been really great. we've had a lot of emails saying, you know, we support you, we are praying for you. on the downside, we've also gotten a lot of hate mail. we've gotten threats. we've gotten death threats. >> nothing says tolerance like death tolerance. nothing like that warm fuzzy. can you feel that emanating in the room? >> lately -- we're going on three years of going through this -- we've been getting in appropriate things mailed to our p.o. box and it's disheartening, you know. >> disheartening is when people say, i support you, but... i know you said last night, you've
had a lot of those conversations, to the point where people said, i'm happy to give you my business but i don't want people to know i'm doing business with you. tell us about that. >> people would come in and say, we're so proud of you guys, we're so glad that you're standing up for your faith. we want to support you and then i'd go to put my sticker on the box. it was a box sticker with pink writing and they'd ask me to not put that on the box. [crying] so i sat there and i thought, if you're with me and you're standing with me, why can't you stand, yourself, and that's -- [applaus
[applause] >> that, to me, might be the most disappointing thing we're going to hear in this conversation. i'd have more respect for people who were open about it. we don't want to say anything. about a week ago, i interviewed craig james, the former sports caster, who lost his job because of what he said with senator cruz. he worked for 20 years doing college broadcasting all over the countries and hundreds of people that knew him, traveled with him. because of what he said, somehow, that disqualified him from being in sports. no one has said, i know craig james, he's not a hater, he's not a
bigot, i've spent time with him. he said to me, a lot of people have done this privately, a lot of people have sent me private notes. they're all afraid that if they speak up publicly, they'll lose their jobs. at some point, ladies and gentlemen, we're going to have to make a decision, whom do we fear more, the one who can destroy the job or destroy the body and cast it to hell? whom do we fear? [cheering and applause] i've read and seen numerous interviews with you. [laughter] you're like bring it on, it's on like donkey kong. my wife says that's always harder on her, watching it happen to me. i view it as a cost of doing
business. in your case, watching this happen and watching your wife and her life dream, her business, watching this happen to her, how did it impact you? >> it's something you never want to see happen. to watch not only something she worked so hard on, but something we went in together, to build this business up and watch it be taken away by the very government that was intended to protect your freedom. watching it be destroyed by people who don't have tolerance whatsoever. i was never in a court. i have yet to be in a court. this was a bureaucratic entity that was built from the ground up to do the very thing that has happened to us. it is something that does not recognize the constitution. it is something that dictates a lot of the government as it sits right now. we're fighting for our religious freedom in a room filled with
bureaucrats that don't recognize our constitutional freedoms from the beginning. biases are the norm and that's what we're fighting and we need to all take a stand. [applaus [applause] >> i want to bring you into the conversation because you're the person on this panel who was won. you have fought for your freedoms and you have won, pending an appeal. make sure i get this quote correct, the judge in your case, said, quote, to print shirts was based on not the sexual orientation of the members, unquote. tell the audience what that means and why it was instrumental in your victory? >> we'll print for anybody. it didn't matter what their belief system was or who they were. it
was the message. if someone presents a message to me, that conflicts my beliefs and contradicates my beliefs, that's the line. the judge looked at the history of our company and we have rejected messages from different groups across the board, not just one specific group. we also had shown that we worked with homosexuals. he could see it was about the message. it wasn't about who came in the door. that was the point all along is hey, i'll work with everybody but not every message i could print. >> he really unlocked the rosetta stone to winning this argument. this isn't about discrimination. this is about whether someone, anyone, regardless of what they may be doing in their private lives,
can walk into your place of business or your home and demand that you do things with it that violates your consance. would we tell them they have to print hateful things from westboro baptist church, would anybody side that that is right? even though we may disagree, we would side with him because we believe in freedom and liberty. amen? [applause] would we tell a black man that he has to provide the food and drink for a white supremacy wedding, could he say no? you
know, what's ironic about it, when there was a crowd campaign, it was canceled because it violated the terms of service of the organization that hosted the campaign. is that not ironic. i want to bring in sergeant monk because you have a unique calling in this conversation, phillip, in that you took an oath. you are willing to lay down your life for the people that disagree with you. for people whose values you may not share, you are willing to do that as a soldier. can you tell the audience what your story is and how it impacts and let them know what's going on with religious freedom in the military. phillip, we're going to tell those of you, in uniform, that you're not allowed to have the very freedoms you're
willing to lay your life down for? >> i'll say right from the start, you called me today and i will drop everything and i will go anywhere this country needs me and i will put my life down for you, whether you're gay, straight, young or old. we will do that. [applause] i'm just saying. [applause] but i will tell you, in the military right now, you cannot speak biblical truth about marriage. i come back from a deployment to an open lesbian
commander commander and she backs me into a corner and wants to know my views on marriage. i'll tell you this, when i'm backed into a corner between a major and a maker, i know where i'm going. amen. [cheering and applause] between a commander or my creator, i know where i'm going. [cheering and applause] and i'll tell you what, when i was deployed to iraq, there were 600 of our men and women that were fighting for their lives over there and every one of them is over there thinking that they are preserving the freedoms
right here in america and the most heartbreaking i had with one of those guys that returned was that, he felt like, in the ten years -- ten-plus years we've been fighting overseas, the real war for america was happening right here. [applaus [applause] >> we've got just a couple of minutes left, i want to go around, rapid fire. final word of encourage and/or challenge for the people in the audience and watching around the country. melissa, go first. >> oh, gosh. i guess, you know, for me, to encourage all of you -- i can tell you that before all of this happened, i had a very large lack of trust in my god and i hate to admit that, but i did and through this
>> i learned three lessons going through what i'm going through. i believe all of us as believers should take note. god always prepares his children for suffering. that's lesson number one. lesson number two, there are worldly consequences for standing for cleist and for standing for biblical truth. that's lesson number two.
lesson number three is there are also kingdom consequences for standing for christ and standing for biblical truth, and the kingdom consequences are always greater than the worldly consequences. [applause] americans should not have to choose between living out their faith and keeping their jobs. if you ever are faced with the choice of living out your faith or keeping your job, living out your faith is always the right hoice. >> sergeant? >> if you are a serviceman or woman out there soisk and you face something like this, i tell you what, you've got a three fold avenue. the very first thing i tell you
is drop to your knees and pray to the great i am that he will see you through. two, call in reinforcements. get on the phone and dial their experts in this field, they're military experts who will join up with you. then i will tell you get off your knees and stand up and fight because when you fight ack you win. >> i want to speak directly to the youth or the kids in this room. i want you guys to really listen to the stories that have been told tonight because, you know, you guys are the next eneration. mentioned ost as i in that video with my kids, the reality is if i sign up to follow christ there is a
genuine cost in soisk him. number two, don't ever substitute love for truth. they have to go together. love and truth go together. so speak truth in love and don't give up on that. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, tonight's heroes. give them a round of applause. [applause] >> thank you, guys. >> this is the fundamental issue of this campaign.
it is our first freedom. all of our other freedoms derive from this. we can't have god given rights if we can't have our god. there is someone in this audience who at the highest levels of goffed and two of our three branches has already shown that he will fight for these rights. he's done it in the judicial branch, all the way up to the u.s. supreme court, and he's won numerous cases that have helped keep our rights secured in this republic. and now he is doing it in the united states senate. the key thing and the reason why i am supporting this gentleman, the number one reason, because this is a fine field and you'll notice that the senator has been very gracious to all the people who have entered this race, it's a deep field. there are good candidates who morally would be more than qualified to be up on this stage here today. there is one thing i think that
sets senator cruz apart from everyone else. he understands that even more important than right vs. left, it is right vs. wrong. ahn that sometimes to preserve and defend those god given rights, to honor that oath of defend o preserve and and protect the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic means sometimes those domestic emies are wearing your jersey. sometimes they're on your own team. ultimately it is about what is best for the american people not any political party not any ideology and that ultimately when you take that oath of office it is so help me god, not the media. not the tick call party. not the polls. but so help me god. that's why i'm going to ask you to join me in doing everything we can these next five months to see that he has the same opportunity to fight in the executive branch, in the white house, that he has shown both
moving testimony. it is my hope that every man and woman in iowa and that every man and woman across this country listens to those stories. listen to those stories, understand these threats are not imagined. they're not made up. these are real people leading real lives who found themselves facing persecution. simply for living out their faith. ere is a war on faith in america today. in our lifetime, did we ever imagine that in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we would be witnessing our government persecute its citizens for their faith?
we are blessed today to be in the presence of heroes who serve as an example to all of us of what it means to sacrifice for the kingdom. heroes who have suffered for living out their faith and their personal conviction. their stories are real and they're personal. , betty and n iowa dick forced to close down their wedding chapel because of their beliefs in the scriptural teachings of marriage. a woman hington, faced the same consequence for her courage after she and her flower shop had been sued. karen and melissa klain, their bakery in oregon and blade adams' t-shirt business in
kentucky. atlanta fire chief calvin cochran, what a vision for god. and senior master sergeant philip monk, who both after laff times of service were forced to depart their stations ecause of their faith. as aaron klein has said so powerfully, my fight in this situation is religious freed. it is the ability to live and work by the dictates of my faith without being punished by the government and all americans. should be free to do that. think of the stories on this stage. these are people for whom right and truth will always mean more than going along to get along or looking the other way when right is replaced with what is wrong.
these heroes have boldly resisted the state encroaching on their first amendment rights. they have fought back against the washington elites' war on faith. as have other heroes across the country like the little sisters of the poor who have stood for faith although the federal government is litigating against this catholic charity to force nuns to pay for abortion inducing drugs in others. is it any surprise that the federal government we have today would use obama care to assault people of faith and to try to deprive them of their constitutional rights? we should ask ourselves, don't need to know the full truth behind the administration's decision to come up with
statutes and regulations discriminating against and persecuting people of faith? don't we have a right to know about what government officials were involved in that process, what e-mails were sent, what outside groups were involved in making the decision that the federal government is now an enemy of the religious liberty rights of our citizens? we are seeing today an unprecedented assault on freedom, on faith, and especially on life and marriage. i don't have to remind anyone here of the atrocities committed each and every day by planned parenthood. these videos that have been made public. make vivid what we already knew. that those who support them have none straitd an utter
disregard for human life. innocent lives should not be up for debate. innocent life should not be treated as a business transaction. [applause] selling the body parts of unborn children is a federal crime that carries with it 10 years in prison. and if i am elected president i will instruct the u.s. department of justice to open an investigation into planned parenthood and prosecute any criminal action. cheering and applause]
life is a precious gift from god. as thomas jefferson proclaimed, . e god who gave us life once the government can take away the right to life, it can take away anything, even marriage. -- i few months ago, appreciate you expressing your first amendment rights -- [cheering] -- but the rule of law -- [cheering]
and just a few months ago we lived through the most tragic supreme court decision since roe vs. wade. five black robed lawyers attempted to redefine marriage for all 50 states. justice scalia wrote in his dissent, the supreme court of the united states has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of john marshall and oseph storey to the mystical aparism of the fortune cookie. the fortune cookie rules and the moral truth that has been evident to every civilization recorded history has become
declared obsolete. during the oral arguments, we witnessed a frightening lthough clarifying exchange. justice samuel alito asked the united states solicitor general whether a university's tax-exempt status could be revoked, "if it opposed same sex marriage." the solicitor general's response was not reassuring. i don't deny that, justice alito. it is -- it is going to be an issue. the tax-exempt status of christian universities, of christian grade schools, christian charities, even of going to , itself, is the federal ecause
ruling denies the definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman could easily be used as a pretext to prosecute and persecute anyone who believes in the scriptural teaching and biblical understanding of marriage. [applause] you listen to these incredible, brave stories, and you wonder, is the next victim of persecution your pastor standing at the pulpit on sunday morning. is it the grade school that your little girls go to? is it the charity where you volunteer your time at a crisis pregnancy center? we have descended from an attack on life to marriage and now from marriage to religious liberty. because it's not enough for these advocates to tear down marriage. now the washington elite want to silence those who bleamb in
the biblical definition of marriage. their goal is to keep people of faith from being able to live by the dictates of their conscience and to freely express their bleaf. the tactic we have heard over and over again is to bully people of faith into silence. how many of these heroes told stories of people saying, i'm with you but only in secret? because i cannot stand the condemnation that comes if i stand with you in the light of day. religious freedom is and always has been central to the american experience. it cuts across class lines, racial lines, ethnic lines, party lines. it unifies us. it is who we are as an american eople.
i'm reminded of a line from the movie "the usual suspects." the greatest trick the devil ever played was to convince the world he didn't exist. i will suggest a corollary. the greatest trick the left has ever played is to convince conservatives that americans on't share our values. [applause] america is and remains a center right country. we are and remain a country built on judeo christian values. that is who the american people are. cheering and applause]
and we here today must renew our resolve to protect our god given rights from all of those eager to try to take them away. we gather today here in the heartland of america to take a stand against religious bigotry and intolerance. and for those brave heroes who have lost their livelihoods and their positions of honor by standing for faith. this rally is a chance to stand for freedom and for the idea that rights don't come from black robed lawyers or from politicians in washington. they come from god. [applause]
it is this understanding, this revelation that has made america an exceptional nation and indeed the exceptional nation in the history of the world. [applause] now is the time for each of us to ask for the courage of daniel and esther and jeremiah. this is about freedom loving people of faith vs. those who want to silence our faith to take away our freedom. history shows us that in order to gain control of the people, you must first destroy their
moral fiber, destroy their faith. but what scares the extremists is most is that there are more of us than there are of them. cheering and applause] you have heard tonight of two tremendous groups. the liberty institute and the alliance defending freedom. two groups i have been proud to volunteer to work with to support for many, many decades. let me tell you, these groups, if you are finding yourself persecuted for your faith, these groups exist to defend our first amendment rights, our religious liberty. they have lawyers on call that will come often and represent you for free because they believe and understand if we lose our religious liberty we lose every freedom in america.
many of you know my father is a pastor. [applause] he saw freedom taken away in cuba. and it breaks his heart to see the same thing happening in america. my father travels around the country, 76 years old, and he is on the road seven days a week with the energy of a teenager. and he delivers a tough message especially to fellow pastors. he stands and addresses pastors and tells them, if you look at the plight of the nation, no one bears more responsibility han the pastors. if the flock stumbles in a ditch, you don't blame the sheep.
you blame the shepherds. in this country right now there are roughly 90 million evangelical christians. in the last election 54 million evangelicals stayed out. 54 million. you wonder why we have a federal government that comes after our free speech rights, that comes after our religious liberty, that comes after life, that comes after marriage, that comes after our values. it is because 54 million evangelical christians stayed home. i'm here to tell you, we will stay home no longer. cheering and applause]
i'd like to ask every pastor o is here with us today to lease stand. theaning you. thank you for your leadership. thank you for standing for faith. thank you for the impact you're making in your congregation and your community, standing up together, helping all of us awaken the body of christ to restore this nation. [applause]
we are building an alliance of pastors with a pastor and faith leader in each of the 99 counties across the state of iowa. up and we will stand we will show up. we are a self-governing people nd we will defend our liberty. we will not be shut out because we still hold truths to be self-evident. we will not be silent. we will not take court rulings as a mandate to forget our faith while washington elites try to force their values upon s. [applause] that is why i am so incredibly
grateful for the thousands who have come out today for the home groups and church groups across iowa and across this country. it gives all of us hope that what has been lost in our nation's capital is alive in the hearts of those who believe. [applause] and i give you my solemn word, if i am elected president, on my first day in office, i will instruct the department of justice and the i.r.s. and every federal agency in washington that the persecution of religious liberty ends today. cheering and applause]
and to show all of us where this can go, we've seen the persecution here at home. we've seen sergeant monk's powerful testimony of our soldiers fighting for us who said the real battle was and and yet it is worth remembering, that it can still get much, much worse. horrific as the persecution is growing here at home, christians across the globe are facing torture and murder, are facing imprisonment. and what i would like to do now is recognize one more hero. one more hero that i have grown to respect and admire. said.fe of pastor [applause]
we have missed his embrace for over three years. he will not back down from his faith in jesus christ. he has been tortured and beaten. he has been in prison for two years now. he has gone from prison to prison because he has not only not denied his faith but he has shared his faith with other men in prison with him. [cheering and applause] so, he is in the hands of the hardliners and they are angry. they have told our government officials that he has not learned his lesson. he has not denied his faith in jesus christ but he tells others about it and that is the way he shows his love. that is the way -- that is how he found life in christ. he is a passionate follower of christ. [applause]
senator cruz: many of you here know his story. he is an american citizen. he and his wife and their two children, their family resides in idaho. the pastor traveled to iran. and was sentenced to eight years in prison. for the crime of preaching the gospel. it has been three years that he has been locked up. in an iranian prison. as we think about the threats we face here, it is a powerful reminder of what can happen. said as a husband and a father. iran, he he went to was usually best he would
usually open his suitcase because we were working on an orphanage. he would tell the kids to bring their toys and close -- clothing so that he could take it to the orphanage. get -- he would tell them to bring the things that they really liked. was four the last time they saw him. they would cry and bring their favorite toys. i would get mad thinking -- why would you do this to the kids? he would say that you always give got your best. [applause] best you always give -- you your best. god you always in still faith in
god. my daughter will be nine next month and she was five. it is heartbreaking the a few weeks ago, i noticed she stopped drawing said in the family pictures. it is a way of showing that she has given up hope. she has opened for every birthday that this would be the birthday. i think it has become a coping mechanism for them to say that this is life with mommy and this is how it is going to be. jesus them to trust in and that we serve a good god. if things do not work out on our timeline, ours is not to question. god --like my faith with
when i hit rock bottom, i discovered christ in a more intimate way. i can never question god's goodness. i am grateful for that. [applause] senator cruz: when the pastor was first sent to prison, he was sent to a brutal prison in iran. for theurned out ayatollah, that it was not good enough. they transferred him to an even worse prison. this is where they keep their death row. hole the worst hell entire iranian prison system. the day that they transferred him, was the day that the iranian ayatollah celebrates. it is a holiday in iran. it is the anniversary of iran
taking american citizens hostages in the 1970's. he leads chance -- death to america. that was the day that they transferred the pastor to this prison. how is his health holding up? they do not like him because he represents america but also because he represents jesus christ. those are two things that the radicals who are holding him do not like about him. he is not doing very well. i wish i could say he was. he is in one of the worst prisons in the world. the beatings he endured the first month were pretty horrible. he was put in solitary. he has put in and out of solitary three or four times. he has never been treated. doctors say he needs surgery. years hospitalized last
but the iranian government refuses to treat him. part of their torture is to allow him to suffer. yet, in the: and face of this darkness, one of the most extraordinary things is that from that iranian prison cell, pastor said has led numerous of his fellow prisoners and his captors to christ. [applause] we know that god has it in his power to free said from prison. and silas -- an earthquake shattered open their prison and they walked out. with their captors ready to take their own lives. in god's power.
they inspire everyone of us. god's love shines from you. i would like to give everyone an thattunity to see a video their children made for their father. if we could play the video. dear president obama. please help bring our daddy home. him so much. to be homey daddy for my birthday. >> i don't want to miss another birthday with him. >> i don't want him to miss another birthday or christmas or father's day. >> please help bring him home. daddy need to be
before we wrap up and welcome in the newsboys to the stage for the concert, i would like to invite each of the heroes to come back to the stage and i want to close this portion of the program in prayer. as we stand together, we welcome each of the heroes that changed -- that shared your story. let me say to the folks at home, to the folks who are watching on live stream, to the folks who are watching in-home groups or church groups -- i would encourage you to please, sign our national petition in defense of religious liberty. it is at the website. tedcruz.org. or you can text the word liberty to the number 41444.
seen with these what it meansoes to speak the truth to a world that sometimes refuses to listen to the truth. we have seen what it means to suffer for it both here at home and abroad. us must stand for truth. and i would ask each of us to heroesgether for these and for our nation. and if we would all stand and pray. today god, we come to you on our knees. glory,ting your celebrating the courage and followf these heroes who the teachings of the word, who
reflect in the countenance, the redeeming love of our savior jesus christ. and father god, we come here today claiming the promises of the scripture. that he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind. to set at liberty those who are said, but jesus also whoever denies me before men, him i will also deny before my father who is in heaven. five:1 it tells us to stand fast in the liberty by which christ has made us free. again not be entangled with the yoga of bondage.
blessed ares -- those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. we claim that promise tonight. father god. tells us to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of christ. are not standing alone. surrounded bying with prayerotection warriors and intercessors in this room, across the state, across this nation, across this world. the body of christ is standing together. celebrating their kurds and praying for peace. currentrating their
--courage and praying for peace. for the peace that surpasses all understanding. father god, we claim the promise of psalms 35, that tells us we -- weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. we claim that promise together. we celebrate. and we thank you. for your everlasting love. we thank you for the peer of fine, sanctifying blood of jesus christ. and we thank you for this great .ation in which we live with the religious liberty that each of us is guaranteed under our constitution and we pray that you will awaken the body of christ across this nation. the believers and lovers of liberty. that we stand together. .o reclaim this nation
c-span3, a focus on veterans issues. onwill show you a series health care, suicide prevention, and whistleblowers at the veterans affairs department. veterans advocate gary sinise at the national press club. that will be tomorrow between 1:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> i am so thrilled and excited to be here and i want to thank c-span for covering this national book festival. we have a beautiful, sunny day. i hope the camera shows how big the crowds are. >> exceptional dissidence. they are the exception. >> thank you all for coming today. this is a wonderful event. it has been said that heaven is a library.
if that is the case, heaven has gone outside today. and we are in heaven at this national book festival. >> young people are not the leaders of tomorrow. youth leader for today. >> that was an article for the atlantic trying to show that we had this mask. when you went to interview people, the divide was not a chasm. it was a little divide. there were political scientists in town. the idea that the country is as polarized as washington is wrong. i do not know a single political scientist that believes that. >> i wish all people would realize that whatever they have done in life is something that ought to be recorded and passed on to next generation. that is the way we learn. for the future about -- by trying to understand the past. all of us have a past. >>