Senator Ted Cruz, who has made religious freedom a major theme of his campaign, discussed how the First Amendment is under assault in a recent interview, slamming the Obama Administration for refusing to rule out pressuring religious schools that hold a traditional view of marriage:
“At the recent gay-marriage oral arguments, Justice Alito asked the Obama solicitor general whether, if they prevailed, the Obama IRS would then go after Christian colleges, universities and schools that follow a biblical teaching on marriage,” said Cruz.
“And the Obama Justice Department responded, yes, that was a very real possibility.”
Cruz indicated the problem wasn’t just the threat to religious liberties posed by the Obama administration, it was also its enabler in an all-too-compliant GOP, eager to avoid a fight.
Cruz also reserved harsh words for Republicans who have essentially dropped the issue in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling on marriage:
“One of the saddest things,” intoned Cruz, “in the wake of that activist, illegitimate decision purporting to strike down the marriage laws of all 50 states was just how many Republicans, including how many Republican candidates for president, ran for the hills.”
“They said, in essence, ‘It’s settled, it’s the law of the land, surrender, accept it, move on.’ Those are, word-for-word, the talking points of President Obama.”
This man who would be president, this son of a pastor, was having none of it.
“I’ve spent two decades fighting to defend religious liberty and I will never, ever, ever shy from defending the religious liberty of every American, and from fighting to defend marriage,” emphatically vowed the Texan.
Cruz sees the ruling as a chance to galvanize religious conservatives who didn’t vote in the 2012 election:
“I believe, if people of faith show up and vote in 2016, we will win.”
He had the numbers to back that up.
“In the last presidential election, 54-million evangelical Christians stayed home. There are 90-million evangelical Christians nationwide.”
Getting those votes is a significant part of Cruz’s strategy of cultivating the grassroots to reassemble the Reagan coalition.
“If evangelical Christians and Reagan Democrats, blue-collar Catholics, up and down the Midwest and up into New England … if conservatives come back to the polls, we will win and we will turn the country around just as we did in 1980 in the Reagan revolution.”
Cruz will likely continue his social conservative strategy throughout the summer. He has announced a religious liberty rally in Iowa for August 21st. But our question for him remains the same: will he fight for FADA?
Nick Arnold is a researcher for American Principles in Action.