There used to be a time when Democrats would pander to the American people regarding their religion; they would tout the bible as their “favorite book,” and speak about their deeply held faith in God. While that time hasn’t fully passed, faith-pandering has certainly taken less of a central role among Democrats because as the the party becomes more and more openly socialist, faith in God is replaced by faith in the state.
Among Republican circles, however, faith is still a key element. Candidates speak of their faith openly and with varying frequency–depending on the state they’re trying to win. Among conservatives, religious credentials are an asset.
To many on the left, conservatives’ deep respect for candidates of faith is confusing; they don’t understand the appeal. Conservatives prefer candidates who have strong religious backgrounds because–and I speak from personal experience–it indicates a level of personal character and integrity. To many on the left, religious candidates are scary.
During an interview with The Daily Beast, author Stephen King trashed Ted Cruz because of his faith, and his looks:
“He’s very scary. I actually think Trump, in the end, would be more electable than Cruz because Cruz is a fundamentalist Christian and it would almost be like electing the analog of an Imam—someone whose first guiding principle would be the scripture rather than the Constitution. But I don’t think he could get elected. And, even if he was able to govern without blowing up the world, could we look at a guy who resembles a cable game show host for four years? He has that awful plastered-down hair and everything.”
First, note the ad hominem attack. Don’t have any substance on which to base your criticism? Use an insult! Ew, Cruz isn’t a supermodel. He’s unfit to lead. But Hillary and Bernie–can you say “Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition?” Hawt!
Anyway, on to the more substantive part of King’s attack.
There’s an assumption among many non-believers that Christians in political office are all theocrats. This isn’t a totally unfair belief. Some religious Republicans are inclined to lay out an agenda that is less aligned with the Constitution than their own faith. Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee come to mind when I think of theocratic Republicans. However, that’s not the majority, nor is it the point.
For example, Ted Cruz has said multiple times that the definition of marriage should be left to the states, per the Tenth Amendment. This is not a position taken by a theocrat, but by a strict Constitutionalist. Gay marriage is the biggest social issue of our time, and one about which many religious conservatives are concerned. If we believe Stephen King, rather than give marriage to the states as a Constitutionalist would do, Ted Cruz would follow his faith on the issue, and try to implement a gay marriage ban. He might even try to use an executive order to do so.
Despite Cruz’s personal belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman, he knows that per the Constitution, marriage is to be defined by the states–if by any government force at all.
That’s just one example. Looking to Cruz’s record, he’s as Constitutionalist as they come. The suggestion that Cruz would be some kind of theocrat simply because of his personal faith is baseless, and amounts to fear-mongering.
Everyone bases their lives on sets of principles. Christians, Muslims, Jews–and yes, even Atheists–all behave within the structures of a belief system. An Atheist’s belief system may not come from a book, or a God, but it still exists. Every human has an ethical system that guides them, regardless of religion. So to say that Cruz’s “first guiding principle would be the scripture” is to say that he’s human, and that he’s guided by a moral compass. That compass happens to be the bible. Say it isn’t so!
This is what the left does; they stir up fear about religious candidates. Regardless of their record, if a Republican is religious in any way, they will be a theocrat! The left plants that insane seed in the minds of voters with the hope that it metastasizes into full-blown panic. But it’s irrational. As I said before, there are Republican theocrats. They key is to look to their record. It’s not that difficult. And Ted Cruz’s record is indicative of a strict Constitutionalist.
Moreover, I would be afraid if my candidate wasn’t faithful. At least I know that a truly faithful candidate–not someone just waxing religious to get elected–has some kind of measurable moral foundation. A candidate without faith is what scares me. Their belief system could come from anywhere, and it can change at any time, because it lacks an anchor.
Look at Hillary Clinton’s alleged evolution on gay marriage. She went from staunchly opposing it to embracing it in about a decade. It just so happens that public opinion polls perfectly align with her “evolution.”
But Cruz is a Christian who looks like a game show host, so, don’t vote for him.