U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaking at an event intended to bring light to the vicious persecution of Christians began his speech at the In Defense of Christians’ gala on September 10 as keynote speaker ":
“Good evening. Today we are gathered at a time of extraordinary challenge. Tonight we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight we are all united in defense of people of good faith who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare to disagree with their religious teachings.”
Murmurs around the room, which had begun with the senator’s greeting, grew louder when Cruz continued:
“Religious bigotry is a cancer with many manifestations. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and their state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East.
Sometimes we are told not to lump these groups together, that we have to understand their so-called nuances and differences. But we shouldn’t try to parse different manifestations of evil that are on murderous rampage through the region. Hate is hate and murder is murder.”
Instead of hearing Cruz’s remarks as a rallying cry to unity for those who are facing the same enemy, a small but very vocal group booed and heckled. Shouts of “Stop it!” and “No!” arose. Although Cruz persisted for some minutes, he cut short his speech and walked off the stage after saying that
“my heart weeps that the men and women here will not stand in solidarity with Jews and Christians alike who are persecuted by radicals who seek to murder them.”