Rep. Dave Brat was shocked by the “rudeness” he experienced at a recent town hall where the crowd literally booed when he mentioned the name of God.
The Virginia Republican met with his constituents Tuesday for a town hall held at a church, no less.
“I have never seen such rudeness displayed in public as what I experienced at my town hall this week,” the congressman said in a statement to The Resurgent. “A sizable group of people in the audience mocked the pastor’s invocation prayer, mocked the mention of church, and mocked the idea that in the Western tradition our rights come from God.”
— Dave Brat VA 7th (@DaveBratVA7th) May 12, 2017
Fits of screaming and yelling from the crowd erupted at the gathering at Clover Hill Assembly of God in Midlothian, Virginia, as Brat made a stand for religious freedom, CNN reported.
“As a seminary graduate, do you believe in the separation of church and state, and would it be acceptable to you for churches to support specific candidates?” the lawmaker was asked.
“Now that’s a loaded question. Alright, so it’s in the Constitution. They got it pretty good — that politics should not establish any religion, right? Everyone good with that one?” Brat said to a little applause.
“But, you should all, under the First Amendment, have the free expression thereof,” he continued. “Right? So the founders nailed this pretty good. And now, going one step deeper: Do you want a total separation of church and state?”
“Yes!” came the resounding response from a crowd main up mostly of those who supported of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders , according to CNN.
“Let me check you on that a bit. I don’t think you do. Some of you believe health care is a right. In the Western tradition, rights come from God,” Brat replied, sending the crowd into a rage. “The role of government is to protect those rights. The job of the government is to protect those God-given rights.”
The situation grew so tense at points that obscenities were shouted both at Brat and at other members of the crowd. One man jutted out his middle finger at some Brat supporters when they tried urging others to be quiet. A few people held up red signs of disapproval when the opening prayer was being delivered at the beginning.
For an hour and a half, Brat tried to address 35 questions that were submitted on yellow index cards and read on stage by a moderator.
The town hall was the first for Brat since passage of the American Health Care Act which the congressman, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, voted for last week.
As Rep. Dave Brat was leaving his town hall last night, some people in the front sang “nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye.” pic.twitter.com/fZ6JaY0TKM
— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) May 10, 2017
Brat blamed the crowd’s booing and shouting on the “post-President Trump effect,” telling reporters after the event that people who disagree with the president were taking out their anger on him, CNN reported.
In his statement to the Resurgent, Brat noted that there was an underlying difference in the crowd and its reaction.
“This is not the classical liberal tradition of the Democratic party we all grew up knowing. Something new and toxic is brewing,” he said.
“I don’t think many of my Democratic friends are happy about this new debasement of their tradition. Even Democrats left my town hall early because they were upset and wanted nothing to do with the behavior they witnessed firsthand,” Brat concluded. “It will be very interesting to see who emerges as the next spokesperson for the Democratic Party.”
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