Religious Right activist David Lane has been organizing a series of meetings in early primary states between pastors and GOP presidential candidates, who seem to be not at all bothered by the far-right record of the ardent Christian Nationalist who believes gay rights will lead to a wave of car bombings and divine punishment against America.
The Des Moines Register reports today that Cruz told a recent Lane event in Iowa, which included an appearance by his right-wing activist father, Rafael Cruz, that President Obama is “an apologist for radical Islamic terrorism” and railed against gay marriage as part of an “unrelenting assault on traditional marriage.”
Judges who strike down bans on same-sex marriage, Cruz said, are “ignoring their oaths, ignoring the Constitution and legislating from the bench.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz cast himself as a leading Republican opponent of same-sex marriage during an appearance before a crowd of evangelical Christians in Des Moines on Monday.
Cruz, R-Texas, described the ongoing shift toward legal recognition for gay couples as an “unrelenting assault on traditional marriage,” and castigated judges who have struck down prohibitions for “ignoring their oaths, ignoring the Constitution and legislating from the bench.”
The issue is one that Cruz said distinguishes him from other potential candidates in what looks to be a crowded 2016 presidential field. While others have de-emphasized or dropped altogether their opposition to same-sex marriage, he said, he would continue to make it a priority.
Cruz delivered his speech to a crowd of about 200 Iowa religious leaders and their spouses behind closed doors in a hotel ballroom in Des Moines. Although the American Renewal Project’s “Pastors and Pews” event was closed to the press, reporters were able to hear and record Cruz’s remarks from the corridor outside.
His remarks also emphasized his opposition to Iran and support for Israel and sharp criticism of President Barack Obama, whom he called “an apologist for radical Islamic terrorism.”
The event also featured Cruz’s father, evangelical pastor Rafael Cruz. The senator’s appearance before the group culminated with attendees laying hands on him in an extended prayer.
Just down the hall from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s speech to conservative evangelicals in Des Moines on Monday, a group of liberal religious leaders offered a different view.
The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa held a press conference seeking to clarify that political views and policy prescriptions offered by conservative Christians are not universally shared in Iowa.
“Many faiths live by one version or another of the Golden Rule, the guiding principle to treat others as you would be treated,” said Connie Ryan Terrell, executive director of the interfaith alliance. “We wish that the American Renewal Project, David Lane, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and all the clergy in attendance today would not just speak those words, but live by them.”