Video: Ted Cruz Anointed By Pro-Religious War, Antigay Pastors
Over the last few years the religious right, rumored to be in decline, has receded from American secular consciousness. But amidst the current government shutdown, some of the more astute political analysts on the left, such BillMoyers.com producer Joshua Holland and the The Nation's Lee Fang are beginning to point out that, respectively, 1) today's Republican Party has, by objective measures, become truly radicalized and, 2) the main force behind the current government shutdown is the religious (and largely Christian) right.
Conforming to that pattern, over the weekend two of the leading Senate Republican Tea Party leaders behind the shutdown, Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, are attending the Family Research Council's annual "Voter Values Summit", at which, according to CNN, FRC head Tony Perkins - whose organization has been identified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of the FRC's promotion of anti-LGBTI propaganda - dubbed Cruz the "de-facto" leader of the GOP.
During the FRC event, reports the New York Times, both Senators, who are each considering a 2016 bid for the presidency, will meet with evangelical and right-wing power brokers such as Perkins and direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie.
The two senators could also be found last summer, along with RNC Chair Reince Priebus, by some accounts, being publicly blessed and anointed, with the laying-on of hands, by dominionist pastors, at the July 19th-20th 2013 Iowa Renewal Project pastors' gathering held at the Des Moines Marriott Hotel. Following the event, video from the event, the public blessing of Rand Paul, gained minor notice from the secular press. But video showing the blessing of Senator Ted Cruz is far more notable.
In the video, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by pastors who claim the Constitution is based on the Old Testament, appear to endorse biblical slavery, depict gay marriage as a socialist plot against the traditional family, and call for a Christian war on secular society.
The first two attributes in that list belong to an evangelical leader David Barton - who Ted Cruz has warmly endorsed, in a September 2013 statement to Politico in which the Texas senator called Barton "a good man, a courageous leader and a friend" whose "historical research has helped millions rediscover the founding principles of our nation".
In the lead-up to the Iowa pastors' event, in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, Ted Cruz suggested that gay marriage would lead to Christian pastors being charged with hate speech. During his address to the hundreds of pastors assembled at the two-day Iowa Renewal Project event, Senator Cruz cited militant Biblical scripture such as Ezekiel 33, depicted opponents of a Texas ban on late-term abortions as Satan worshipers, and claimed Christians in the military can be court-martialed for sharing their faith.
One of the pastors blessing and laying his hands on Cruz' shoulders was head of the sponsoring organization the Iowa Renewal Project - David Lane, who only a few weeks earlier had written an op-ed that called upon the faithful to "wage war to restore America to our Judeo-Christian heritage".
Only a few days after blessing Senator Cruz, Lane stated that "car bombs in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa" would be merciful punishment from God for legalized abortion and "homosexuals praying at the Inauguration". Without such divine "mercy", suggested Lane, America might "get judgment like Nazi Germany."
The Iowa Renewal Project is part of Lane's American Renewal Project, an effort targeting 12 US states that seeks to register voters, and politically mobilize Christian pastors, in advance of the 2014 election.
Lane's national project is in turn sponsored by the American Family Association, an organization designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. AFA spokeperson Bryan Fischer has stated that "Homosexuality gave us Adolph Hitler, and homosexuals in the military gave us the Brown Shirts, the Nazi war machine and six million dead Jews."
Another pastor laying hands on Senator Cruz was David Barton, former vice chairman of the Texas GOP who has played leading role in creating an entire genre of Christian nationalist revisionist history used to promote the myth that the United States was created as an expressly Christian nation. The genre is used to stoke anger among the faithful - because America's Christian heritage has allegedly been subverted and stolen - and thus fuel Christian right political activism.
Barton maintains that Jesus opposes the minimum wage, and claims the United States Constitution was based in concepts drawn directly from the Old Testament including the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. He also claims there's no such thing as the constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.
In September 2013, Senator Ted Cruz told Politico reporter Stephanie Simon that,
"David Barton is a good man, a courageous leader and a friend. David's historical research has helped millions rediscover the founding principles of our nation and the incredible sacrifices that men and women of faith made to bequeath to us the freest and most prosperous nation in the world."
But the fact that Ted Cruz is a personal friend to David Barton, described in 2005 by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America, comes as no surprise given a staggering revelation, in a 2011 book by former Special Assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush Timothy Geoglein, with a forward written by non other than Karl Rove, that ties Ted Cruz to very heart of of the what used to be called, in the days before the Tea Party, the "radical religious right".
As Goeglein recounts, in 1999 while working as a Bush for President campaign aide, Ted Cruz helped broker a deal with one of the top architects of the religious right - Paul Weyrich - who Cruz appears to at the time been a personal friend of. The deal Cruz brokered enabled the Bush campaign to lock down the Christian conservative vote and so edge out other contenders for the nomination, including Senator John McCain.
The fact that Ted Cruz, then only 29 years old, helped swing the 2000 election, because he was a personal friend to Paul Weyrich - a titan of the new right and religious right who helped create much of the early infrastructure that powers the current conservative movement - including the Moral Majority, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is astonishing. Cruz also served on the elite team of lawyers fighting the legal battle that revolved around the disputed Florida vote recount in the 2000 election.
But by then Cruz had already served as a legal aide to Chief Justice William Rehnquist, rumored to be a member of the secretive Washington D.C.-based elite evangelical association known as "The Family" or "The Fellowship", and the young Cruz had another, even more direct, in:
Another of the pastors next to Senator Ted Cruz at the June 19th, 2013 Iowa anointing was Cruz' father, businessman and pastor Rafael Cruz - who in 1979 joined another Paul Weyrich-cofounded effort, the Religious Roundtable, that mobilized millions of evangelical Christians to vote for candidate Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. As pastor Cruz told his audience at an August 10, 2013 religious rally in Ames, Iowa,
"[in 1979] I became very involved in an organization called the Religious Roundtable. The Religious Roundtable was a Judeo-Christian organization that mobilized millions of Christians all across the United States and helped elect Ronald Reagan. It was a precursor of the Tea Party, even before the Moral Majority."
During his jeremiad, pastor Cruz declared,
"Socialism requires that government becomes your god. That's why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That's what's behind homosexual marriage. It's really about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality - because you need to destroy, also, loyalty to the traditional family."
Rafael Cruz went on to deploy a version of a falsified history myth promoted by Davis Barton, regaling his audience with,
"Have you ever heard of the 'Black Robe Regiment' ? The Black Robe Regiment were a series of pastors that wore long black robes, many of them had the Continental Army uniform underneath the black robe. They would preach on Sunday, take off that robe, and with half their congregation they would go out and fight for independence."
Following pastor Cruz' speech at the event was his son Senator Ted Cruz, who depicted pro-reproductive rights demonstrators at the Texas State Legislature who protested legislation banning late-term abortions as satan worshipers, called for the abolition of the Internal Revenue Service, and declared, "if we can hold 41 Republicans in the U.S. Senate or 218 Republicans in the U.S. House, we can defund Obamacare."
During the June 19th, 2013 Iowa blessing of Senator Ted cruz, a voice leading the ceremony can be heard beseeching God, with urgent intensity,
"Father, we believe that, indeed, no weapon formed against him will prosper, and every tongue that rises up against him in judgment will be condemned - for this is the heritage of the servant of the Lord. And his righteousness is of you, Lord. Fahter, you have said that, and we believe that today. Father, we ask today that you would give him the tongue of the learned to speak that word. Father, we ask that your blessing would come upon our nation. Father, those like our senator, father, that they would receive these words."
A few months before, in a statement for the May 1, 2013 National Day of Prayer, Cruz stated,
"We understand that our rights come not from a king or queen, not from government, but from the Lord God almighty. But if America is going to continue to stand strong, we must first be on our knees." -- Senator Ted Cruz, National Day of Prayer statement, May 1, 2013"
Video: Ted Cruz Anointed By Pro-Religious War, Antigay Pastors | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)
Video: Ted Cruz Anointed By Pro-Religious War, Antigay Pastors | 5 comments (5 topical, 0 hidden)