Claim: Rafael Cruz, father of Senator Ted Cruz, believes atheists should be separated from the devout and placed in special "camps."
Example:[Collected via Twitter, March 2015]
Papa Cruz takes wingnut to a new level.RT "@TheNewslo: Ted Cruz's Father Suggests Placing Atheists in 'Camps'
Origins: On 14 November 2013, the site Newslo published an article titled "Ted Cruz's Father Suggests Placing Atheists in 'Camps.'" The site claimed to present "hybrid" content involving real and satirical (or fake) news stories, but it differed from similar sites in its style of presentation.
Buttons at the top of Newslo pages offered readers the ability to "show facts" or "hide facts," and selecting the former altered the text presented to highlight the factual basis of the story in yellow. The unhighlighted portions were tacked on as an embellishment (underlined below):
Rafael Cruz, father of Texas Senator and Tea-Party favorite Ted Cruz, spoke recently against atheism and secular humanism at a gathering of an Oklahoma Second Amendment advocacy group. He claimed that the belief systems are two of the main ills facing our society, that they lead to sexual perversion, sexual abuse, and the complete loss of hope, and that people following these two views should be rounded up and placed in special 'camps' to keep them separated from the rest of America.
"If there is no God, then we are ruled by our instincts," he said. "Of course, this leads us, when there are no moral absolutes, leads us to sexual immorality, leads us to sexual abuse, leads us to perversion and, of course, no hope. No hope!"
As the site noted, some elements of the article were factual. Rafael Cruz spoke in November 2013 and decried secular morality, but he did not suggest atheists be rounded up into camps of any description. The gist of the article is fiction, as indicated by Newslo's disclaimer:
Newslo is the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web. Readers come to us for a unique brand of entertainment and information that is enhanced by features like our fact-button, which allows readers to find what is fact and what is satire.
Separate items from the same website involving Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent (written in mid to late 2014) also spiked in circulation in March 2015. The claim about the elder Cruz likely recaptured attention after his son's 23 March 2015 announcement of his candidacy for the 2016 presidential election.
founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
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