Back in November, a disturbing incident occurred in the Ted Cruz campaign, but because of accelerating Donald Trump weirdness, the moment was swept under the internet rug. Now that Cruz is rising, the internet is starting to realize that he, too, has had some batsh*t crazy campaign moments. None of this has anything to do with Cruz’s alleged Zodiac Killer status, for this is all too serious. The Texas senator attended the Freedom 2015 National Religious Liberties Conference. As its name indicates, the shindig involved the celebration of religious freedom, which — to these extremists — included advocating for gay genocide.
Speaking in a resurrected moment, which was aired by the Rachel Maddow Show, event organizer Pastor Kevin Swanson insists (to applause) that unrepentant gays must be executed. Then the guy introduces Cruz like it’s a perfectly natural transition to welcome a presidential candidate after dropping anti-gay rhetoric. This is the brief clip circulating on Twitter, which features Swanson shouting, “It’s not a gay time!”
When this went down, Maddow was one of the only mainstream media members paying attention to the conference, which saw Cruz trotting out on stage to add, “Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief of this nation.” Maddow had a few things to say about this whole spectacle:
“It is not necessarily news any more that there are people like this on the right, who view homosexuality according to their version of biblically-ordained judicial principles. But it is news, it is always news, when people from the purported mainstream of American politics, people who are vying to be the next president of the United States, show up at events like this and speak from the same stage where pastors are justifying the death penalty for gay Americans. For Ted Cruz, he can’t really say he didn’t know what was going on at that conference, and there’s a case to be made that he should be ready to answer some real questions.”
Maddow continued to press the subject until the Cruz camp finally sighed and released a statement, which said Swanson’s call to execute gays was “not explicit.” The senator’s reaction was that nothing was amiss, and he’d probably now prefer that you pay attention to his newest endorsement by a leading conservative publication. No, that’s not what’s important here. This full November segment of Maddow going to town needs more attention.