Rafael Cruz, the father of Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, invoked the Holocaust at length to make the case on Tuesday that pastors should be politically active.
"You think the government today fears the pastors?" he asked during a speech at Bible Baptist Church. "No, they laugh at the pastors, and they use them as pawns: 'You just stay in your churches, singing hallelujah, while the country's going down the drain. You just stay in there.'
"You know, Hitler did the same thing," Cruz continued. "Hitler went to the pastors, put his arms around them, and said: 'You take care of their souls inside of the church — I'll take care of the nation.' And because the church did not get involved, six million Jews were exterminated."
"And I'll tell you what, it is said that when the trains — those churches that were close to the railroad tracks — when the trains were going by, taking Jews to the camps, that they would just sing their hymnals louder, so they wouldn't hear the train going by," said Cruz. "God help us. The time to be passive has long passed."
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Ilan Ben-Meir is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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