If you ever wanted a reason to NOT vote for Ted Cruz, you have only to…well, look at him yeah, but listen to him. And listen to his supporters, who are as vile in their own way as Trump’s. Look at Glenn Beck, who says in no uncertain terms that Cruz has been sent by his God to rule over us.
And his God says Indiana is really, really important. Apparently, being an all-powerful God doesn’t mean you can make a state vote one way or another, so God literally does not, even to the Religious Right’s way of thinking, really get a vote. Which is good, if he thinks Cruz is the man for the job.
Just for good measure, while trying to sell Ted Cruz to Hoosiers in La Porta, Indiana, Beck misquoted Thomas Paine, the guy he and his friends think was an Evangelical Christian, and, according to Beck, a bona fide Tea Partier. This is Paine according to Beck:
“Heaven knows how to attach a proper price to something so sacred and celestial as freedom.”
Paine, of course, did not use “sacred” but referred to freedom as “goods” as though it were a form of merchandise to be obtained, as indeed it is. Paine’s actual words in 1776’s The American Crisis:
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.
Maybe the ancient Gnostics were right and the god of this world really is Satan. Beck’s endorsement would seem to suggest just that. And one thing is for sure: Beck’s god is really creepy. A stalker, according to Beck, addressing the rally in La Porte:
“Make no mistake, we are being watched. We’re being watched by our maker … Every single state is being required and I believe — and they’re going to rake me over the coals for saying it; so be it — I believe that’s the Almighty God saying, ‘Each one of you, I want you to stand and you choose: good or evil? Which way will we go? Am I still your God and are you still my people? Choose who you serve.’
“Before I walked out on stage, Ted and I got down on our knees and we prayed. And we didn’t pray for us, we prayed for the nation and for you. He is a servant at heart. He is a man who was raised for these times. People don’t believe that stuff any more, but I do. If God raised George Washington and Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, if He put that collection together, He is the Almighty, I think He can send us one guy!”
There are a lot of “if’s” in there – particularly those relating to deists like Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine. Paine, in particular, put paid to any notions that Beck’s god is a guy worth listening to when he wrote The Age of Reason, a book that was so anti-Christian that it made him very unpopular even during the so-called the Age of Reason.
And it was Jefferson who cut out all the miracles and so forth from the New Testament and turned it into a collection of Jesus sayings.
The Founding Fathers are not men who should be lightly quoted in any cause, but particularly not in the cause of religious tyranny, the thing Ted Cruz is masquerading before us as religious freedom. Trump, though it is in vain, at least has the right idea in going for millennials. What Cruz and Beck are selling will have no more appeal to young people than actual religious liberty does to Evangelicals.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.