Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick believes Christianity and love will fix racism in America.
Patrick expressed the sentiment on Wednesday during an appearance on “Fox News@Night.” He was originally discussing critical comments former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made about President Donald Trump.
On Wednesday, Mattis released a statement to The Atlantic in which he criticized Trump’s ability to unify the country. He deemed Trump “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”
Patrick considered Mattis’ criticism of Trump a distraction from other pressing matters.
“I think the timing was terrible, Shannon,” Patrick told host Shannon Bream. “And I think there are a lot of people speaking up now that are creating real distractions and undermining what we’re all trying to do in this country.”
“I look at this, and it breaks my heart what I’m seeing — from the original crime that was committed by the police officer on George Floyd to what’s happening in our streets,” Patrick said.
He accused the left of having a vendetta against Christianity that has allowed racism to flourish.
“We have racism in this country, Shannon. But it’s really an issue of love. It’s loving God,” he continued. “If you cannot love your fellow man, if you don’t love God — and we have a country where we’ve been working really hard, particularly on the left, to kick God out. We need a culture change to address this racism.”
Floyd died on Memorial Day after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin pressed a knee into his neck for more than eight minutes. Chauvin and three other officers were charged for the death.
Patrick called Floyd’s death “a crime against all black America and against humanity and we’re coming together. We’ve got a lot of healing to do and we can’t do it unless we turn to God and we need to do that now more than ever.”
The politician painted Chauvin as a bad apple who isn’t representative of all police officers.
“This guy [Chauvin] has a bad record [from] before, still should not have been a police officer,” he said. “But we have 700,000 police officers, men and women. And they are extraordinary, for the most part.”
The comments incensed critics on social media.
Many of them brought up comments Patrick made in March, when he said the elderly should “take a chance on your survival” to save the economy.
“No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
“And that doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that,” he continued. “I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me. … That what we care about and what we love more than anything are those children,” he added.
Those comments were not forgotten by some of his critics
“This xenophobic, homophobic, ‘grandparents should be willing to die so we can get wall street going again’ motherf—-r is trying to sell Christianity as the cure for racism?” wrote Jesse Cox. “The same Christianity that was used to justify it?”
“Texas Lt Gov @DanPatrick goes from ‘grandparents should die for the stock market’ to ‘the only way to end racism is for you to love god,’” tweeted Eva Blake. “This man MUST be voted out of office.”
Others noted he was a Southern Baptist, the faction of the Baptist denomination that broke away because they were pro-slavery. According to Pew, 85 percent of Southern Baptists are white.
“This is rich coming from the exact denomination of southern Christianity that defended slavery with the Bible. Dan Patrick wants a white theocracy and I’m SICK of it,” said filmmaker Adam Best.
“Want an interesting fact about Lt Gov Dan Patrick of Texas? He often is a Pastor at Second Baptist Church in Houston,” wrote another Twitter user. “This Denomination exists because it left the main branch to support slavery and some still think those of dark skin can’t go to heaven.”