Ted Cruz: “We Must Defend Religious Liberty”!

Ted Cruz was a guest on Face the Nation Sunday morning to discuss birthright citizenship and the fight for religious freedom. When host John Dickerson asked him about same-sex marriage and religious liberty he responded by saying we must defend religious liberty no matter the cost.

John Dickerson: We know that that would be a part of your presidency. What in a Cruz presidency would same-sex marriage look like?

Ted Cruz: Well, when it comes to religious liberty, religious liberty has been a foundational passion of mine for decades. And I have a long record of standing and defending religious liberty and winning successfully, whether it was defending the Ten Commandments monument on the state capitol grounds, winning 5-4 before the U.S. Supreme Court, defending the Pledge of Allegiance, the words “one nation under God,” winning unanimously in front of the Supreme Court, or defending the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, a loam-white Latin cross, where I represented three million veterans defending that memorial.

We won 5-4 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. This is a deep passion. And today we’re pre-taping at this rally here in Iowa that has thousands of people in support of religious liberty. And what this rally is doing is, it’s telling the stories of ordinary people across the country who are here today who stood up for their faith and who were persecuted.

And a lot of folks in the media that — they belittle the threats to religious liberty. They say they’re not real, they’re made up. This rally is all about putting names and faces and people to the persecution.

For example, one couple who is here is Iowa’s own Dick and Betty Odgaard. They’re a wonderful couple, an older couple. They own an historic Lutheran church. For many years, the Odgaards hosted wedding in their church. A couple of years ago, two men came to them and wanted to have a same-sex wedding in their church.

And the Odgaards, who are devout Mennonites, they very politely, very respectfully said that hosting a homosexual wedding ceremony in their church was contrary to their faith. They couldn’t do it. They were sued. They went through protracted litigation. They paid $5,000 to settle the case. And they promised never again to host another wedding.

They have gone out of business. They have laid off all their employees. Why? Simply because they stood up for their faith and religious beliefs. We’re a nation that was founded on religious liberty. And the liberal intolerance we see, trying to persecute those who, as a matter of faith, follow a biblical definition of marriage is fundamentally wrong.