tv Senator Ted Cruz R-TX Religious Rally in Des Moines Iowa CSPAN August 25, 2015 2:52am-5:15am EDT
the questions we have talked about. realize there was no way they can tell the whole story. there is no way we could be sure of an encyclopedia or having a serial red like the telephone book. to list and do justice for everybody. next the opportunities are open now. when i was in law school, i graduated in 1967, there were 13 women in my class of 500. today the law schools are 50-50. >> the key is he never liked people who put profit above the public good. his view was his parts where the american series belonged to the american people. they need to be handed on as places to awaken the spirit. >> i made a career out of my love for books. to help spread that love my hope texas book festival
and then the national book festival. while i love reading, i never thought i would write a book. certainly not one about myself. next the goal is in some ways a sense of urgency. to go to the old people in our family that can i'm them and get this story before it is too late. i have a father and daughter in los angeles who both came together. after hearing the talk and hearing about the book, the daughter said to the father, i am taking you to the coffee shop and you're going to tell me the story. >> history looks back and says ready plus million people [indiscernible] that is going to be quite a change. --te a market loser king martin luther king. bending towards
justice. there are is wrong with her -- health care bill. fluid. also very -- anduld pay off in the then it is easier to go back and exit. >> i try to do that with people .ho are less familiar >> the stage of my life, i cannot afford 10 years on millard fillmore or franklin pierce and there is no big person to go back to easily. i am bringing all my guys at the same time and i will write about leadership. that is really what i care about underneath it all. [applause] thank you. we just started. >> we're having questions coming in from c-span.
>> in his quest for the 2016 republican presidential nomination, ted cruz spoke at the iowa state where and also held a rally in des moines on friday. the two-hour 20 minute event called a rally for religious liberty featured speakers who had faced consequences for upholding their religious beliefs from losing a job to vandalism to losing a business. [applause] to the rally for religious liberty. welcome to iowa, some of you that are not from iowa. the vast majority are from iowa and we want to say thank you for coming out tonight, joining with us to rally for religious liberty.
this is a serious topic that we are gathered around tonight. is at thetopic that root of the foundation of the very country that we call home. most of us for many of us are who left other countries generations ago to escape religious persecution. a country where they could celebrate freedom. where our families worship god in ways that was not mandated by the government, that was not elseolled by somebody outside of their own conscience and their own understanding of what god called them to do and to live the sort of life that god called them to live. we live in a country that was handed to us by those patriots that took great risks. to leave their homes and to come
to america. they give us a place where we could raise families like one -- like one sees. if you are 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. , as we come together, we're going to talk about some serious subject. you're going to meet some evil who have experienced things that -- people who have experienced things that our for others did not believe could possibly happen. you will hear stories that i tonk will cause your heart 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 and sing patriotic songs and to also elevate the name of the lord and savior. and ultimately, that is why we are doing what we are doing. not just tonight. but why we have been engaged in this discussion about religious liberties for a long time. you are going to hear from folks who had a point in time where their conviction about the exercise of religious liberty came in conflict with their government. what you will find is with each individual, with each story, this is something that is an ongoing, long-standing component of who they are as individuals. the point int the point in time
where you are confronted and required to make a decision, will i stand on my principles, will i defend my faith among or will i obey a mandate from some authority figure that is calling me to violate those conditions. it is not that point in time where you make that decision. leads up today that that experience and it is your consistent walk and your consistent track and the education that you have likely had from your parents, your grandparents and that sort of thing, that creates the sort of character that causes you when you have become confronted with that situation to say, i cannot. i cannot violate what god has called me to do. so tonight, as we hear these people's stories, as we share in their experience, i want to make the that you do not miss point. the point of a lot of what you're going to see tonight is that their story is your
stories. the only difference is perhaps it has not happened to you yet. yet. when you hear the stories, and as you think about what would i do in that situation? internalize that question, because you are likely to be faced with that situation. i would venture to guess that many of you have in one way or the other. maybe sensitivity training that your work requires you to go through and you think if i am just quite enough and go through this i can go back to work and do what i need to do. maybe it's someone who comes and goes from a civic club, or social environment, where they are vocal about their beliefs and you have to decide will i tell the truth? or will i be quiet? and will i step back and let this opportunity go? i want you to understand that their
story is your story. this is not a time to gather thousands of people to come in and observe to be entertained, lift them up.to we want to lift you up tonight and acknowledge the sacrifices you have made, as you tell your stories. they are real and inspiring to us. if when we leave, we have heard some stories from people whom we really admire, we have missed what is going on here. their story is your story. their story and your story is inortant, in part because 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 into provide a service in accordance with our faith. important that it is that you and i stand together with these folks is not just because their livelihood is trend. not just because they are closing their businesses, but because at the base of that is that each one of us is called to share our faith with others. when confronted with those in situations, whether it is someone who walks into your shop , each of those opportunities for you to not just say this is what i believe, based on god's word, but that conversation opens the door for you to look that person in the eye and say we have shared situations.
you and i have a commonplace in that we are both sinful humans. we are in need of a savior. in this country, we still have the ability to share our faith freely. but it is being threatened. if it becomes criminal, which it , 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 is sent in your life, i mean, i presume there are many believers in the audience. [applause] you would not be there in that place. you would not be in that god, ifship with your
you had not come to a position where you understood that you are lost. that you are lost in your sin. eternity is a really long time. hell is a really hot place and you do not want to go there. someone cared enough about you to share the love of jesus christ and to say there is a savior who cared enough to die for you. that god sent his son to take , to die in himself your place and to demonstrate his power over sin and death by rising again. if it had been illegal for somebody to say that, how much smaller might our numbers be? the number we still live in a country that is blessed in the are, i believe, is because our founders, in amongst all of the rights that they , inized in our constitution the principles that are outlined in our founding documents, they
came from what those founding fathers learned from their preachers. in fact many of them were preachers. family aslook at the an example or the many young people, and think we want for them and brighter future. just like our parents wanted a brighter future for us than they had. focaly, the linchpin, the point for being able to do that throughout our history as a country has been to reserve our religious liberties. if for some, reason, a government or court can take away our religious rights, what is to stop them from taking their second desk from taking away the second amendment right. our rights come from god, not from the government.
[applause] tonight you are going to meet some great patriots. you're good to meet some folks who are examples of average, everyday people who certainly would not have imagined they would be sitting here tell you their story. yet when time for choosing came, chose their lord and savior over compliance with the court, or with the government. [applause] my hope is as we go through this evening, and we come to the conclusion, that you have identified enough with their story, that in your heart and
mind, you are prepared to say when it comes my turn, i'm going to stand with them, and i am going to stand with my god no matter what the government says. [applause] as we get started, we want to invite a local pastor to come and lead us in prayer. he is a pastor who has become a good friend of mine. he is someone who pastors a have anurch, but they influence that is far larger in community than their numbers would imply. part of the reason for that is pastor mike is unafraid. pastor mike is one of those guys who is bold here he knows what he is called to do. he goes and does it. heat himhe world without his fate. to comeg to invite him
and tell the story and share an experience he had, that he preached on the subject that is at the center of our discussion this evening, and then to lead us in prayer. pastor mike, if you would please. 2 -- [applause] >> it warms my heart to see you here. i am honored to be able to be a part of this experience, and to mr. cruz i am on with you all the way. i believe in his ability to articulate conservative principles, and i know he is going to fight and champion what we believe in. that is why it is easy for me to get behind a guy like that. i am honored to be able to be here with you. what i know is there is coming a day when a pastor standing behind a pulpit, preaching the
whole counsel of the word of god is going to be seen and deemed as a threat. pastorthat every continues to preach god's word undertook -- god's word unfiltered, unadulterated from the pulpit as loudly as they can. [applause] that is the only thing that will turn this country around again. i'm going to ask you if you're physically able to stand with us, as we address a righteous and holy got this evening. muchr god, we thank you so for who you are. the blessings that you have given to this great nation that we are a part 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, we repent. are people here, thousands across our land who say we want
our country back! next -- we cry out to you and say lord help us. stand firm in the torrent that is before us. i thank you, god, for the people who will be here. the examples that we see of courage and conviction and a culture that is so compromised. god, to never turn our backs on jesus. help us to always stand for truth. we pray this prayer in your blessing tonight, in the name of jesus christ our lord, amen. [applause] >> i was thinking as we were getting ready for this event about my kids. the sort of world we're going to leave to them. the sorts of discussions we have had around the dinner table a generation ago, you never would
have imagined. a parent talking to his son, not just explaining the biblical truths that i want my sons to operate by, but to then have to discuss the nature of our political environment and the society that we are living in. explain to them that this is god's truth. when you say this publicly, you are likely to come under persecution or pressure. say, hetor mike didn't put up a title of a message on his marquee that dealt with send. that's the dealt with sin. the folks who were convicted, vandalized the sign. called the news. amazing. a pastor is preaching on send. people thought it was newsworthy. i thought it was interesting too
. mike saw just a little glimpse of what some of our special guest tonight have been through. as a thing about my kids i think how amazing we have come to a point where i have to have these discussions. it causes me to think about my parents, grandparents, and i am notrents that different than a lot of you. is anyone else in here who is a granddaughter or grandson of the revolution? someone who's family was here early enough that your family was a part of the revolution. how about folks who were -- fought in world war i or world war ii. look at all the hands. how many folks have family members that are currently deployed or recently deployed in our current conflicts around the world? hands up all of the room.
the sacrifices that have been made by our forefathers. [applause] tonight i have the honor and privilege of introducing a friend of mine, he is someone who is very familiar to a lot of you. i've spent 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 political came up and discussions. over the years, i learned to admire not just his political accu meant, but his .hilosophical perspective his way of decompressing or dissecting an issue. boiling it down to not just the current state of affairs, but relating it to our history as an
individual or country. theght as we begin to lay foundation upon which we are going to have this discussion with our special guest. i would like to invite to the stage and introduce to you a good friend of mine and someone iowa, a good friend to congressman. [applause] ♪ >> thank you. thank you. 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 am very grateful to have the list to say some things that -- i want to compress it in a way that it adds meaning to the balance of what you will hear
tonight about religious freedom and the persecution. i think we need to understand about this country. i believe god shaped this nation with his hands, and that -- [applause] pilgrims andthe other settlers over here. he moved our founding fathers around like men on a chessboard to shape this nation. and manylot of things centuries before that to prepare the groundwork so that we could be this great nation. i will take you back to mosaic law. god sent moses up the amount to come down with a tablet. mosaic law. i do not know many centuries later i would find myself once to hear the arguments before the supreme court on whether or not we have enough religious liberties to set the tablets up
in states like texas. it was a bright day in about 2005, i stepped over there to the sprinklered building. i had a permission slip from the justices to hear their oral arguments before the court. a crowd of front was so thick, the only i could get to the front door was climb through the hedge. a bright sunny day. -- myb through the edge, pupils are all shrunken down. i opened the door come into the darkness. there stood a white shirt. i said i am cognizant steve king here, to hear the arguments. the man whom i couldn't see, he said in a deep voice, he said i am moses, and i am here to lead you. no, i am kidding. [laughter] .e led me in moses led me in and out. what i didn't know was up in front of the courtroom was going
to be the general of the state of texas. [applause] ago.was 10 years the attorney general is now the governor. the solicitor general is now the -- sitting in the front row tonight. and the candidate for the united states presidency. [applause] i am tempted to say the lord works in mysterious ways. i don't think it is that mysterious. i think it is obvious. grateful for the chance to have to connect the continuum of history. why do you think that america is shaped by the hand of god? i believe it was his divine guidance that shaped america. ofis simply the evolution the species of humanity. it could've happened in some other planet in the universe. i cannot accept that. mosaic law went to greeks. greeks that they had law, but
again from moses. said he had a right to face his accusers and he was innocent until he was proven guilty. robert when he said -- remember when he said -- he said jesus, did you really say those things? and jesus said ask them. he pointed to his accusers. the guard struck jesus for his insolent answer. he had a right to face his accusers. then jesus said if i've have spoken wrongly, you must prove the wrong. if i've spoken rightly, why have -- there, the birth of christ gave us redemption and all of the wonderful things we know that came from jesus, that flows out of the spirit. that all was the foundation laid across western europe, which rolled in law.
went into the dark ages. they forgot how to think. there brought it back again, because the bible was protected. had to relearn how to think. --re was the foundation published by adam smith that country. here to this we had the puritans. we had a manifest destiny to settle this continent from sea to shining sea. in the blink of historical eye. we became the greatest nation in the world. how can anyone think that is not the hand of god? [applause] did they understand that then? our four -- our founding fathers did. we hold these truths to be self evident, -- certain and alienable rights.
but 1865, february 12, civil war was not over. it was lincoln's last birthday, on sunday, the first black to speak in the united states capitol building [no audio] 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 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 and amid the lightning of cyanide. and given again by the son of god on the mount of beatitudes, while the glory of the father showed around them. a tillis that from the declaration of independence and the constitution, have obtained a guarantee of their political freedom and from the bible, they derived their claim to all the blessings of religious liberty, reedom to worship god. [applause] i recommend that you google reverend harry highland garnet and read that speech. in your self and the mindset that place and time. lincoln's last birthday, near the end of the civil war. the abolitionists and freedom
that the freed slave understood about wright's coming from god and think do our children know this? will our grandchildren learn this. will we know that this civilization must understand the principles that rights come from god? if they come from government, government can take them away. they are in alienable did i challenge all of us to step up and defend your rights that come from god that are enshrined in the declaration and constitution. be not afraid. be bold. be local. step up to the pulpit and preach the word. if the come along and take away your bible -- not-for-profit status. is anyone in here in it for the profit anyway? i will pray for you. if you will be there physically,
i will come stand you. i don't need to extend next you. i know you are there. we have to be confident. i recall a time when we i was giving a speech on the courthouse in sue county, iowa. an individual came out and said, you can't speak here. this is election year. we have elections here in november. state representative said if you can't excise or rights here, can you tell me where in the world can you? i am glad that we are standing here today. where good to hear the stories and continue with that. i am glad we have a leader who is steppedfirst two clauses of
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 -- american prisoners of war. when the case went to the supreme court, this 70 euros memorial which was put up the hands of world war i veterans was ordered to be torn down by the lower court and to be covered while the case went on appeal. the memorials calls was covered and chain was wrapped around the bottom. at the u.s. supreme court we were able to reverse the decision. the bag is off. the memorial is back up. it was the cousin ted cruz gave tremendous talent to millions of veterans. the u.s. supreme court cited our grief over and over as insufficient. if anyone has the background, the commitment and understanding to cover this issue, it is ted
cruz. i am thankful for him. as a friend and brilliant constitutional lawyer, and as a leader protecting our freedom. god bless you, ted cruz. thank you for hosting this rally. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the stage, brian english. [applause] >> one of the things that ted cruz has got the ability to do is put together a a team of folks from a variety of backgrounds did tonight i want to introduce to you another patriot, another person who has been in a leadership position in the state of iowa, somebody who many of you know. i would like to introduce to you the state chairman for our campaign here in the state of iowa, former secretary of state. -- former secretary of state daschle.
[applause] ♪ >> well, i have to tell you it is an honor to be here with you tonight. and even bigger honor to serve as ted cruz us state chair. i love this man. let me to you why. he is honest. he is honest and he stands up and he fights for what he believes in. we are at a crossroads in our country. we see the erosion of our families. our constitution is being shredded. the media cares more about the live of cecil the line than they do the unborn. [applause] i am married and i have five kids. i am deeply concerned about
where our country is going. courageoushampion, a conservative. someone who is going to stand up and fight for us. when heabout our savior went to the temple and so the money changers. what he do? he threw them out. going toomeone who is go to washington and throw the money changers out and to stop the washington cartel. [applause] when you read the scriptures, and 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. i believe this is one of those moments in time.
ted cruz is it that man who god has prepared for this moment in , to to be our champion fight for our husbands, wives, children and our grandchildren. for our country. ted cruz will restore our constitution. he will restore our beliefs in america. that's why i am supporting ted cruz. that's why i am asking each of and everyone of you to stand with me, as other courageous conservatives come in supporting my friend, our special senator who is here with us tonight, texas senator, ted cruz. let's give him a warm welcome. [applause] ♪
>> let's see those signs every body. show us those signs. ♪ [applause] thank you. god bless the great state of iowa. [applause] you know the word tells us where two or more are gathered in his name he will be with us. [applause] what an incredible gathering this is from across the 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. love is unique in the annals of history. we are a nation that was founded by men and women fleeing religious oppression. playing kings and monarchs who would oppress them, who would tell them who you may worship. men and women fled from all over the world to come to the new world, to seek out a land where everyone of us could worship the lord god almighty with all of our hearts, minds and souls. free of the government getting in the way. with aion was founded bloody revolution. a bloody revolution that under ordinary reason had no business
succeeding. columnistsroup of declared war on the mightiest army on the planet. yet with god's providential blessings, america prevailed. [applause] but there was a second revolution. a revolution more important than the revolution fought with guns and bandits -- guns and bayonets . it was a revolution of ideas. for millennia, man had been told that our rights come from kings and queens. like crumbs.
our country began with a fundamentally different constitution, that our rights do not come from government. [applause] as of the declaration put it so powerfully, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. king,re endowed, not by a not by a clean, not even by a president. they are endowed by their creator. [applause] with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. with those words, this nation sprung into existence. there is a reason why in the
constitution, and the bill of rights, the very first protection and the very first amendment is the freedom of religion. , if weannot worship god cannot live according to our faith then all of our other liberties fade away. steve talked about the 10 commandment case in texas. the 10 commandment case in texas concerns a monument that had stood there since 1961. , stood there for decades, disturbing nobody on the state grounds. atheist,individual, an a homeless man, walked past the monument and decided it is offensive. thinking toawsuit
tear down that monument. when that case went to the united states supreme court, does anyone here know how many times in the courtroom of the united states supreme court, the ?mage of the 10 commandments 43 times. that is very good. [applause] 43 times. 40 times the 10 commandments on the breast gates of the courtroom. when you walk out of the courtroom, there are two large wooden doors. and on those stores are two more images of the 10 commandments. you cannot walk out of the courtroom without seeing the 10 commandments directly in front of you. those justices when they heard the argument right above their , holdinglder was moses
the 10 commandments, looking down upon them. we won that case. [applause] what we wanted 5-4. tor justices were willing order the state of texas, tear down that monument that had stood on the state capitol grounds since 1961. we were one justice away. you want to know what this election is about? we are one justice away from the supreme court saying every image of god shall be torn down. thus saved man. talked aboutford the mojave desert. a lone white cross seven feet
tall, erected to honor the men and women who lost their lives in world war i. , a plaintiff at the is came in suit. the plaintiff said the image of the cross cannot be seen on federal land. here and iowa, there is litigation concerning the same thing. i will say this, the plaintiff was right on one thing. the cross has power. [applause] i will tell you it was humbling, moving. it was incredible to represent 3 million veterans, standing before the supreme court. we won that case also. [applause]
once again, it was 5-4. four justices were willing to say that monument to our veterans must be torn to the ground. anyone who has visited arlington cemetery and seen a row after row of tombstones with the cross and star of david, monitoring our -- honoring our soldiers who gave the last sacrifice. where one justice away from the supreme court saying we must tear those down. say these threats have been growing for decades. have the threats been greater to religious liberty than they are right now. media say these threats do not exist.
they are not real. gathering isf this to put a name and a face to these heroes. the purpose of this evening is to tell their story. there is a reason jesus spoke in parables. because that's how we understand . that's what touches our hearts and moves us. it is my hope that all of us gathered here today, all of the home parties come all of the churches that are watching online. levers across this country will -- believers across this country will come to know and love these ordinary men and women who were living their lives. they do not ask for conflict, confrontation. the government came after them and said choose between your faith and obedience to government power. and they said i follow a higher power. [applause]
and so in telling the stores, want to start with one that many of you know already. iowa, -- ts of [applause] grimes, iowa, they are an incredible couple that have gotten to know well. i want to start by playing a video and we are going to invite them to come to the states. we're going to have an opportunity to have a conversation. let's start the video. >> we're talking about their incredible journey about religious liberty. i am thrilled to have the
chance to share the story. -- when did you open it up? >> in 2008. >> 2008. >> we had beautiful weddings there for quite a few years. you can see the ambience. >> i guess you had the flower business. >> exactly. >> catering to? in 2009, the iowa law changed to include same-sex weddings. 2013, theseugust he wastlemen came in and the one who delivered the bad news. they left, we did not know. the very next day was on a sunday. we got the news that -- i signeding to >> they filed a complaint the day after.
of course it went viral. >> it is devastating to hear that we were bigots, homophobes, haters. >> because you declined to allow -- hosting a wedding that was contrary -- >> i kept thinking how could they be calling us these horrible things. don't know what is in our hearts. we have no hatred toward gay people. >> you have been hosting weddings in this church. litigation,of this you stop posting any weddings at all? >> yes. we do not have a choice. result, we> as a kept [indiscernible] by the end of august, we will be shutting our doors.
>> i tell you our country was founded by people who risked everything for religious freedom. you,t to thank both of number one for taking a stand. but number two for telling a story. your story is powerful. your story is inspirational. it inspires me. quest what we hope we can do is change the course as best we can in the years we have left. >> thank you for your courage. thank you for your conviction. [applause] >> victim betty ozark. -- that and betty ozark.
>> till all of us what your faith means? >> everything. it goes to the core of our being. how we live our lives. >> and you first found out you were being sued, how did that impact you? >> the whole event was devastating. it brought me down. the good house would never be the same. a secularask you what person might say. why didn't you just given you go did you just agree to allow the
>> our last wedding was november of last year. we had to get out of the business. we cannot take the risk. and put our employees and that wedge. month you close the business altogether. about what that means to you too close this business, hosting weddings that you love so much. tell us what that means. >> this was my passion. this is our passion. we worked for years to build the business. we lived there 60's week.
we loved it. -- we lived there six days a week. we loved it. hard to back up. toit looked much different compare for an auction than it does to prepare for a wedding. >> has it that auction occurred yet? >> october 3. >> you had a number of employees that work for you in the flour and catering business. of the businesses that help host these weddings. what happened to your employees? >> they have to work elsewhere. this youe it was of have been driven out of business. >> absolutely. >> your employees have lost their jobs. tell me about the public
reaction. >> confusing. we had a lot of supporters. we cherish those of course. the interesting part is many of those supporters didn't want to support us publicly. they didn't want to be seen supporting us out of fear. i don't know, you have to talk to those folks. learned moreen we about people than what we thought we know. >> i know a lot of ugliness and toward you.directed >> unbelievable. >> and that was an easy? >> no. never had a expense anything like that before. withpeople are familiar expressions that come after you,
but this is brand-new to us. surprise,took us by to be called a hater and big it. overnight you become something you don't recognize yourself. >> i know the terms that are used by those attacking you, both political activists and also many in the media. attempts to characterize you and me and all of us as somehow intolerant, and yet what is the -- what is the tolerance that is been demonstrated to you for following a buckle teaching? that marriage is one man and one woman? [applause] these two men that want to get married, there are other facilities.
,hey wanted it in your church for you to celebrate their union. let me say something to the two of you. i know this has been a hard journey. i want to say something. scripture tells us that god has ordered our steps. i will tell you i am convinced you're gone down this journey. you have endured the pain. you have endured the attacks. you have endured the hatred precisely to put you where you are here today for such a time. >> i know. i agree. [applause]
prayer. let me tell you your faith, inspires everyone of us to stand with you. thank you. [applause] >> gelatin, please welcome to the stage brian english. -- gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, ryan english. [applause] they are a treasure here in iowa. [applause] when the government said you will comply and violate your religious convictions, they said no. we are proud of them. [applause]
aloneey are not unfortunately to be put into that situation. tonight we are going to meet other folks who have been in a similar situation. the person who is want to visit with them is a good friend of mine that i would like to introduce. he is a man who has an ability to communicate the truth and do it anyway that cuts through the noise of our environment. he does it in an environment that is often very hostile to the gospel. i would like to welcome to the stage a good friend and another treasure here in the state of iowa. [applause] ♪
cook's you guys ever desks i've -- >> i have a bit of a reputation for being fiery. what you are about to see is going to make you angry. it is going to fire you up. it is going to be righteous anger, but we have to remember that we do not sin. so -- saul is traveling the road to damascus to kill christians. he encounters the living god in the flesh, jesus christ, who stops him and asked why are you persecuting my people? that is not what christ says. he says what are you persecuting me? remember that this is not about us. this is about the god we serve.
the saul that had that moment. [applause] thieves, fornicators, homosexuals, murders were not inherit the kingdom of heaven. that is a harsh teaching of heaven. -- but hein says stops and says -- all of us if we claim christ as lord have been one of those people. that's why we needed a savior. [applause] just as he died for us, and to die for the heroes that your good to hear from, he also died for those who are 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 numbers of their days as well. let us not forget that.
in the end, this is not a political struggle. it is an ideological struggle. this is a struggle for the soul. let's meet some people through this video who understand that. when it was their turn to choose this day made the right choice. >> when you have your own government tell you that you do not have religious freedom, that is disheartening. >> you don't have the first freedom. >> i did not anticipate that my career would end on such terms. >> no way would i ever thought i would be in this position. i 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. 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 really at risk. >> do i think so much less of
[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 and through standing for him, i learned to trust him so much and
>> 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 in the judicial and legislative branches in the u.s. senate and before the u.s. supreme court. and let's make him the next
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]
like the song, "god's not dead." which we'll be hearing very soon. neither is america. and her love of freedom and our people's willingness to defend our freedom. a nation willing to subject man's o the tierney of standard is not worthy to be alled a free nation. 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]
♪ welcome. i am so glad you can be here with us. >> thank you. senator: would you please tell site -- said.r >> this is my first time in des moines. he is a great dad. i was watching you with your beautiful daughter. it is heartbreaking. 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. note that today right now, said
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 in prison for loving jesus? [applause]
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.