Speaking before a crowd, Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke disputed the call of an audience member who said that the only thing that can save America is the word “Jesus.” When the man stated that “America is becoming more and more violent,” O’Rourke responded, “I just wanted to add something to what you said, which is that everyone in a developed country has cell phones, has video games, probably has a lower attendance at church than you do here in the United States, but comes nowhere close to the level of bloodshed and carnage …”
Additionally, when the audience member mentioned returning to Jesus, the audience booed him.
The man confronting O’Rourke started by stating, “What’s happening in America today is that there’s less religion; there are less goals; people are not getting married; people are not looking forward to goals and stuff in their lives. Basically the fiber of America is what’s failing. When I was little … I had goals. I’m a son of immigrants and we prayed in school.”
He continued, “Our worst problem was chewing gum under the desktop. So there were goals and our country made it to the moon. Now what’s happened; all of this has gone away, and because all of this stuff has gone away, people are what’s failing … America is becoming more and more violent. We have a tendency to violence. The only thing that can save America is the word ‘Jesus.'”
The crowd booed.
The man, undaunted, asserted to O’Rourke, “And last thing. You will be responsible and you are responsible, because you are a political leader —”
Another attendee yelled, “Separation of church and state!”
O’Rourke finally interrupted the tumult, saying, “We’re gonna let you have the microphone without interruption.”
The man told O’Rourke, “The only thing I encourage is, remember, as a leader, you will either lead people toward more godliness or you will lead them —”
Another attendee yelled, “Shut up! And go to church!”
O’Rourke interjected, “Hold on a second, hold on a second. Please, please, please. And someone just reminded me that was my bad for giving the mic out … I appreciate your perspective, sir … I just wanted to add something to what you said, which is that everyone in a developed country has cell phones, has video games, probably has a lower attendance at church than you do here in the United States, but comes nowhere close to the level of bloodshed and carnage …”
O’Rourke’s dismissive answer is not out of line with other views he espouses, such as his position on protecting the unborn. On Monday, speaking at a campaign event at the College of Charleston O’Rourke was asked, “You were at a town-hall meeting just like this in Cleveland and someone asked you specifically about third-trimester abortions, and you said that’s a decision left up to the mother. I was born September 8, 1989, and I want to know if you think on September 7, 1989, my life had no value.”
O’Rourke answered, “You reference my answer in Ohio, and it remains the same. This is a decision that neither you, nor I, nor the United States government should be making. That’s a decision for the woman to make. … I don’t question the decisions that a woman makes.”