WASHINGTON -- Since mass shootings in places like Aurora and Newtown, lawmakers have been searching for answers for how to stop future massacres, examining issues like gun control and mental health. But in a speech this month, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) pointed to different culprits: the legalization of abortion and a demise in religious values.
Cramer made his remarks during a commencement address at the University of Mary on May 4. He decried a local TV anchor who was fired after accidentally swearing on air and then became an Internet sensation, as well as the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.
From his speech:
Just in the last several days, a Bismarck news anchor mistakenly uttered vulgarity on live television. He's been heralded by celebrities from New York to California as some sort of pop icon. His bosses have been called goons because they fired him.
We learned this week that the Pentagon is vetting its guide on religious tolerance with a group that compared Christian evangelism to rape, and advocated that military personnel and colluding chaplains who proselytize should be court-marshalled.
Forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court sanctioned abortion on demand. And we wonder why our culture sees school shootings so often.
Cramer also mentioned the 9/11 and Boston Marathon attacks, saying, "Innocent people in New York have airplanes flown into their places of work, and marathoners in Boston are victims of bombs, yet Christianity is singled out as bigotry in our public institutions because politicians and academics lack the courage to speak truth. We've normalized perversion and perverted God's natural law to the point where the only thing not tolerated anymore is a stand for truth."
He added that he expected to face criticism for his remarks, stating, "I was asked recently by a reporter if I'm afraid that some people would attack me if I speak like this. And I said, 'No, I'm not afraid they will, I'm quite certain they will."
Watch in the video at the top of the post. Full video of Cramer's remarks here, with the aforementioned portion starting around 1:13:00.
Cramer's office declined to comment further.
James Dobson, evangelical pundit and founder of Focus on the Family, made comments similar to Cramer's in December after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
"I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn't exist, or he's irrelevant to me and we have killed fifty-four million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition," he said, adding, "I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that's what's going on."
In March, Cramer attracted attention for getting into a heated discussion with Native American victim assistance leaders during a conversation about the Violence Against Women Act. The congressman reportedly said he wanted to "ring the Tribal council’s neck and slam them against the wall." Cramer later apologized for his remarks.
UPDATE: 12:55 p.m. --This story has been updated to reflect a response from Cramer's office.