The Sunday before the midterm elections, Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, spoke at John Hagee’s church in San Antonio, Texas, where he spent an entire hour delivering a speech that was literally little more than an amalgamation of material that he has directly pilfered from other Religious Right speakers, most notably pseudo-historian David Barton.
As we have noted before, the elder Cruz is quite fond of lifting Barton’s misinformation about American history and the Constitution and passing it along during his own presentations, but the speech he delivered at Hagee’s church was quite remarkable for just how much of it was simply a rehashing of Barton’s standard presentation.
Cruz’s presentation was such a wholesale rip-off that he even managed to work in Barton’s false claim that the Supreme Court banned school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools because it could cause brain damage:
The Supreme Court, when it took the Bible out of public schools, said that this is without precedent; there is no precedent in our history for taking the Bible out of schools but this is the time to do it.
Now, if there is no historical precedent, why would they say the Bible has to go out of schools? I mean, everything we have in history says just the opposite, so why? They quoted Dr. Solomon Grayzel on the reason that we need to get the Bible out of schools … In the Supreme Court decision, this is what the Court said why the Bible has to come out of schools; the Court says this:
If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and had been, psychologically harmful to the child.
Time out. Let me see if I get this: if we keep reading the Bible in schools, our kids are going to suffer from brain damage? Yeah, that was the reason given by the Court for the removal of the Bible out of the classroom back in 62-63.
Of course, if you actually read the ruling in the case, you will find that this citation of Dr. Grayzel appeared at the beginning of the decision when the Supreme Court was merely describing the road the case had taken through the court system, noting that Grayzel’s testimony had been heard during the initial trial.
On top of that, Barton also utterly misrepresented the point of Grayzel’s testimony, which was to note that forced Bible reading from a Christian perspective in public schools was potentially damaging to Jewish students:
Expert testimony was introduced by both appellants and appellees at the first trial, which testimony was summarized by the trial court as follows:
Dr. Solomon Grayzel testified that there were marked differences between the Jewish Holy Scriptures and the Christian Holy Bible, the most obvious of which was the absence of the New Testament in the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Dr. Grayzel testified that portions of the New Testament were offensive to Jewish tradition, and that, from the standpoint of Jewish faith, the concept of Jesus Christ as the Son of God was “practically blasphemous.” He cited instances in the New Testament which, assertedly, were not only sectarian in nature but tended to bring the Jews into ridicule or scorn. Dr. Grayzel gave as his expert opinion that such material from the New Testament could be explained to Jewish children in such a way as to do no harm to them. But if portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and, in his specific experience with children, Dr. Grayzel observed, had been, psychologically harmful to the child, and had caused a divisive force within the social media of the school.