09 April 2016

Politics and God

  Remember Jeremiah Wright, the pastor of the Chicago church attended by the Obama family?  His fiery rhetoric attacking white people, Israel, (he asserted Jesus was a Palestinian), who opened speeches with "Salaam Alaikum"?  He was an enormous problem for the Obama candidacy in 2008 and threatened to derail it altogether, until Obama came out and flatly said he rejected those views.
As reported in the press:
  • "Wright first gained infamy after video of him delivering a sermon with the line “God damn America” began circulating around the time of Obama’s first presidential campaign. Obama said he left the church in 2008 and denounced some of Wright’s remarks.
  • A vocal supporter of the Palestinian people, Wright said in a 2009 interview with The Daily Press that he hadn’t seen Obama since his former congregant was elected president because “them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me.”

Well, there is another pastor in the news eight years later: Ted Cruz's father.   In a February 22, 2016 report from Mother Jones, we learn how Senator Cruz got into the race from  Rev. Rafael Cruz's statement on a syndicated radio broadcast:
My son Ted and his family spent six months in prayer seeking God's will for this decision. But the day the final green light came on, the whole family was together. It was a Sunday. We were all at his church, First Baptist Church in Houston, including his senior staff. After the church service, we all gathered at the pastor's office. We were on our knees for two hours seeking God's will. At the end of that time, a word came through his wife, Heidi. And the word came, just saying, "Seek God's face, not God's hand." And I'll tell you, it was as if there was a cloud of the holy spirit filling that place. Some of us were weeping, and Ted just looked up and said, "Lord, here am I, use me. I surrender to you, whatever you want." And he felt that was a green light to move forward.
Here are re some more snippets from the Mother Jones piece:

  • "For Rafael Cruz, the only legitimate government is one that operates according to his theological views.
  • Those views tend to be rather harsh. He has referred to the theory of evolution as a diabolical plot mounted by Marxists, "the number one tool for communism to destroy religion, to destroy the concept of God." Evolution, he claimed, "is one of the most effective tools to impose communism. ...
  • Obama, naturally, is propelling much of these underhanded machinations. The president, Rafael Cruz said three years ago, "needs you to see him as God." He's a Marxist, Cruz has charged, and his agenda "is to bring us down to a Third World country" and subjugate the United States to the United Nations. He has said that Obama "will side with the Muslims" and claimed that the Obama administration is "trying to take our God and our gun and if they do that, then they can impose a dictatorship upon us." He insists Obamacare does include death panels. He has blamed liberals for allowing terrorists to cross the border "on a weekly basis" and establish "terrorist cells all across the United States."
  • ...
  • (At a gathering of evangelicals in Iowa in 2013, Ted and Rafael Cruz joined in prayer with a pastor who said that "every tongue that rises up against [Ted Cruz] in judgment will be condemned.")
  • ...
  • Without saying it directly, Rafael Cruz calls for a theocracy. (He has often decried the notion of separation of church and state.) His religious rants are not irrelevant to the Ted Cruz campaign. Ted Cruz has consistently cited his father as a key influence in his life, and he has regularly deployed him as a political representative and surrogate. It's often tough to bring up the subject of a candidate's religious views during a political campaign. But Rafael Cruz's radical fundamentalism—which positions most Americans on the side of wickedness—and Ted Cruz's embrace of his father as not only a parent but a political partner and adviser raise an important question this campaign season: How much of the faith of his father does Ted Cruz share?

Was it fair to ask Obama whether he shared Rev. Wright's views?  I thought it was.  So now, the question is:  Inasmuch as Senator Cruz makes frequent references to God, and pushed hard to appeal to Evangelical voters in Iowa and the south, is it fair to ask how much of his father's views he shares? This is not about religion per se. This is about government. It's about Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson.  But not according to Ted: 
Speaking of the Constitution, Ted Cruz has said:
“ our rights don’t come from man. They come from God Almighty.”
 Whose God? Ted has cleared that up too:
"We can turn our country around, but only if the body of Christ rises up.”[Whatever that means!]

But not to worry:  this week Ted donned a red "Cruz, 2016" yarmulke and visited a matzoh factory in Brooklyn. I feel better already.  Hmmm, I wonder if he knows what REALLY goes into that stuff.

And then there's Donald, who last week skipped his grandson's Bris to campaign in Wisconsin where he got shellacked.  What do we learn from that?

And Bernie has gone back to his roots in Brooklyn, touting the borough as the place of his birth though he hasn't bothered to visit there for more than half a century. He's really up to date, suggesting one gets into the subway by putting a token in the turnstile slot, a process that was eliminated almost 20 years ago.  I wonder if he knows the Dodgers have moved to Los Angeles? And as to his major campaign theme, an attack on the big banks, when asked by Daily News about what he would do about the banks if he were president, he said,
  • "I haven’t thought about it a whole lot.”

Welcome home, Bernie.

One last political paragraph: Nostradamus and I agree: the R's will steal the nomination from Trump and give it to Cruz and The Donald will be so pissed off he will, one way or another, siphon off enough votes to elect Hillary by a landslide.

Ok, important stuff last:

The Mets have won two out of three. With that victory percentage, they are a cinch to win the league championship again, whoever gets nominated by either party!


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