Rafael Cruz, the father of Senator Ted Cruz, is a political activist in his own right. One of his favorite targets seems to be President Barack Obama whom he says should go “back to Kenya.”(19:20) Which seems to be a mix of both birtherism and general racism. But Rafael Cruz’s fringe political views go further than believing the president was born in another country, they also include the belief that his son – and all true Christians – are anointed by God to take the country back.
In April, Rafael Cruz, the father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), spoke to the tea party of Hood County, which is southwest of Fort Worth, and made a bold declaration: The United States is a “Christian nation.” The septuagenarian businessman turned evangelical pastor did not choose to use the more inclusive formulation “Judeo-Christian nation.” Insisting that the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution “were signed on the knees of the framers” and were a “divine revelation from God,” he went on to say, “yet our president has the gall to tell us that this is not a Christian nation…The United States of America was formed to honor the word of God.” Seven months earlier, Rafael Cruz, speaking to the North Texas Tea Party on behalf of his son, who was then running for Senate, called President Barack Obama an “outright Marxist” who “seeks to destroy all concept of God,” and he urged the crowd to send Obama “back to Kenya.”
Putting aside that many of the founders were not Christians, certainly not fundamentalists – does Senator Cruz agree with his father’s public statements?
Ted Cruz utilizes his father for his campaigns both in citing his immigration story for bona fides with immigrant groups and bringing him along on campaign trips to Iowa. Rafael Cruz has even served as a campaign surrogate.
And Rafael Cruz is no amateur off on a rant. He is a pastor who directs a Christian group called Purifying Fire Ministries and a professor of Bible and Theology studies. His speech is a reflection of his studied and considered beliefs, not a spur of the moment gaffe. Nor is it the first time he has expressed those views.
He insisted that the advancement of Christianity (his fundamentalist version of it) depends on political battle, noting the need not just for a “spiritual savior” but a “political savior.” (The idea of states’ rights, he said, was based in the bible.) Obama, Cruz proclaimed, believes “government is your god.” When Cruz was a keynote speaker at a tax day rally hosted by Texas tea partiers in April, he told the crowd that conservative Christians need to take over “every school board in this nation.” At a Texas tea party rally in September 2012, he claimed that Obama has “a clear agenda…to destroy American exceptionalism”—and “to achieve a “worldwide redistribution of wealth” and “make us subject to the United Nations.”
If Pastor Cruz is any indication, we are in for a very spirited 2016 Republican Presidential Primary if Senator Cruz enters the fray. Rick Santorum might have some competition from the fringe. Is there a sweater vest in Ted Cruz’s future?