Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Wednesday night claimed that the root of America’s racial problems was the lack of faith by “the left.”
Speaking after more than a week of demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, Patrick tried to pin the nation’s long and deep-rooted racial problems on people not being religious enough ― and more specifically, “the left” not accepting Jesus Christ.
Patrick said on Fox News that Floyd’s killing and the unrest breaks his heart and that it’s an issue of “loving God.”
“You cannot love your fellow man if you don’t love God,” he said. “And we have a country where we’ve been working really hard, particularly on the left, to kick God out.”
Patrick also said laws can’t fix racism, only Jesus and God can:
“You cannot change the culture of a country until you change the character of mankind. And you can’t change that unless you change the heart, and for billions of us on the planet, we believe you can’t do that unless you accept Jesus Christ or unless you accept God. God has been left out of this equation through all of this and we need tremendous healing. We cannot heal through commissions and blue-ribbon panels and more laws.”
Fox News host Shannon Bream agreed.
“The Bible tells us it’s not optional,” she said. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Patrick neglected to mention that while many use faith as a means to share a message of love and integration, others have done just the opposite. Religion ― including Christianity ― has been used to justify both racism and slavery.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the KKK and other white supremacist groups use the Bible and believe the book “is the family history of the white race.” Slate reported that the fires of Klan cross burnings “symbolize faith in Christ.” And the Bible was used historically to justify slavery in the United States.
See more of their interview below:
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.