Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Thursday bragged that he had defeated a homeless atheist man in court while serving as solicitor general in Texas -- a story he enjoys recalling in front of religious audiences.
"What I want to talk to you about this morning is... religious liberty," the Republican presidential candidate said during the Family Research Council's Watchmen on the Wall event. "Religious liberty is the foundational liberty upon which this nation was built."
"You know, I've been blessed to have the opportunity to stand and fight for religious liberty over and over again for the past two decades," Cruz continued. "Before I was in the Senate I was the solicitor general of Texas, the chief lawyer for the state in front of the U.S. Supreme Court."
"We defended the Texas Ten Commandments monument, [which] stands on the State Capitol grounds until an atheist -- a homeless man -- came along and sued the state, saying it offended him to gaze upon the Ten Commandments. We defended the Ten Commandments, we took the case all the way to the Supreme Court, defending the Ten Commandments, and we won."
The 6-feet-tall monument was donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles and placed on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in 1961. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the 2005 Van Orden v. Perry case that the monument was not an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion because it had historical value.
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