In an interview with Iowa-based conservative radio host Steve Deace on Friday, Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, repeated his frequent assertion that Supreme Court rulings limiting government-sponsored prayer in schools led to spikes in violent crime and teen pregnancy, claiming that until then, the “Bible was the principal textbook in all schools all the way to universities.”
Cruz, who spent the first half of the interview telling Deace that his son is the presidential candidate who most loves America, discussed his work travelling the country to convince conservative pastors to become more involved in politics.
“The church is actually more responsible to the place where America is today than anybody else,” he said. “Because if we go back to 1962 and 1963, two abominable decisions of the Supreme Court. 1962, prayer was taken out of schools; 1963, Bible teaching was taken out of schools. You know, for generations kids prayed in school before starting the day. The Bible was the principal textbook in all schools all the way to universities.”
The “church remained silent” in the face of those Supreme Court decisions, he said. “The consequence of that, we can see it in the statistics. Teen pregnancy skyrocketed after 1963 and so did violent crime, all as a result of taking Bible-reading and prayer out of schools.”
Cruz, as usual, did not mention that rates of violent crime and teen pregnancy have actually been plummeting in recent years, without the imposition of government-mandated religious education.
Cruz also went back to one of his favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 29:2, which he quotes as, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, people mourn.”
“Well, when the righteous, the people of principle, the people of faith, the people that have a moral compass are ruling, we see progress, we see happiness, we see moving forward,” he said. “When we have people that don’t believe any of the fundamental principles that have made America great, we see chaos. But what has happened is this, if the people of principle say ‘politics is their business, I don’t want any part of it,’ then what’s left? The wicked electing the wicked.”
Calling the idea that churches should stay out of politics a “lie,” he warned, “Politics legislates morality all the time. The problem is if we have the wicked ruling, they are going to legislate their wicked brand of morality.”