Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is clarifying a since-deleted tweet he posted quoting the Bible just hours after Sunday's deadly mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, The Associated Press reported.
Hours after the early Sunday morning shooting at a gay nightclub that left at least 50 people dead, Patrick sent a tweet from his personal account that quoted the New Testament: "Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."
The tweet received harsh criticism online and Texas' Democratic Party has called on the Republican Patrick to apologize.
The tweet was sent at around 7 a.m. and deleted four hours later. Patrick's campaign spokesman, Allen Blakemore, strongly denied the tweet was in any way related to the Orlando shooting. He said Patrick is out of the country and often pre-schedules social media postings quoting Scripture.
Patrick is a staunch social conservative who opposes gay marriage and anti-gay discrimination protections.
He later posted a statement online clarifying the tweet.
"This morning, as every Sunday morning for the past several years, we post a verse from scripture. Those posts are chosen in advance and scheduled in advance," Patrick wrote in a statement on his website.
"As noted to the media earlier, the post from Galatians, that received many hateful comments, was put on the schedule Thursday. Our scripture was not posted in reaction to the shooting."
"The verse has nothing to do with God’s judgement on any one person or a specific group of people," he continued. "If some chose to read into it what they wanted they either have never read Galatians Chapter 6 or have misread it."
© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.