Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, lashed out at a young woman of indeterminate age whom he accused of questioning his faith at a Montgomery County Tea Party PAC meeting Monday.
The woman, who was standing with an older man near a corner of the event space, asked Crenshaw about his prior statement on hero archetypes where he compared Jesus Christ to a fictional character.
"To give context to anyone who hasn't heard, Crenshaw said, quote, 'The most important thing here is that we have important hero archetypes that we look up to,'" she said. "'Jesus is a hero archetype. Superman is a hero archetype. Real characters, too. I could name a thousand - Rosa Parks, Ronald Reagan,' end quote."
"I can't wrap my head around this," she started before Crenshaw interrupted her.
"Well, I'll help you. Put a period after the word Jesus and don't question my faith," the Texas Republican said while the crowd jeered in defense of the questioner, whom one voice audible in the video called a ten-year-old girl.
One person in the crowd even called Crenshaw a "moron."
"You guys can ask questions about all of these things and I will answer them," Crenshaw said. "But don't question my faith."
A video taken by a crowd member and posted to social media Tuesday soon went viral.
"I didn't question your faith. This is what you said," the questioner responded.
She quoted Crenshaw from a podcast interview he gave to promote his 2020 book, "Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage," but left out the last sentence.
"These people embody certain attributes that the American people think, 'This is good,'" Crenshaw told host Jocko Willink on the "Jocko Podcast" in March 2020.
"Nowhere in that quote am I saying that Jesus is not real. That's a ridiculous statement," Crenshaw said Monday.
"You are saying two different things," the young woman said. "You can say that on a podcast, and you can say this here."
Crenshaw then accused her of twisting his words.
"On the podcast, no one would have understood it that way. I think you're twisting it that way, which is not very Christian," he said. "And I'm not going to have my faith questioned."
Many on social media condemned the Republican congressman's behavior.
"Dan Crenshaw is really tough. Also, MAGA is eating one of their own and it's great," Wahajat Ali, columnist for progressive leaning outlet The Daily Beast tweeted Tuesday. "MAGA" is a reference to the "Make America Great Again" slogan from former President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
When asked for comment by USA TODAY, Crenshaw's spokesperson Justin Discigil referenced a Twitter thread posted Tuesday by Jameson Ellis, conservative candidate for Texas' 2nd congressional district and Crenshaw's opponent.
In the thread, Ellis says the 10-year-old girl is actually an 18-year-old adult. He does not reveal any relationship to the questioner, who was also allegedly pictured holding Ellis campaign yard signs before the event started.
"It is sad that our opponent is so desperate for attention that he used an 18-year-old to question Dan's faith as part of a cheap political stunt," Discigil told USA TODAY.
The incident was not Crenshaw's first public clash. The polarizing representative has squabbled with his own party, labeling members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus as "grifters" and "performance artists" and calling Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene an "idiot" for criticizing his desire to involve the Federal Emergency Management Agency in COVID-19 testing efforts.
Reach out to Chelsey Cox on Twitter at @therealco.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dan Crenshaw shuts down young woman who questioned his faith