Horror author Stephen King said that Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is “very scary” because he “is a fundamentalist Christian.” He went on to say in an interview with the Daily Beast:
“He’s very scary. I actually think Trump, in the end, would be more electable than Cruz because Cruz is a fundamentalist Christian and it would almost be like electing the analog of an Imam — someone whose first guiding principle would be the scripture rather than the Constitution.”
Is there any evidence in Cruz’s political career that he has in any way acted like an Islamic Imam? He argued before the Supreme Court nine times. Did he argue like an Imam? On what basis did Cruz make his arguments? The Constitution of the United States.
During a Republican debate, Cruz said the following: “I’ve spent my entire life defending the Constitution before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Is there any indication that Cruz acted like an Islamic Imam at Harvard? Liberal Alan Dershowitz never mentions it. Dershowitz said the following to CNN’s Piers Morgan in 2013:
“One of the sharpest students I had . . . I’ve had 10,000 students over my 50 years at Harvard . . . he has to qualify among the brightest of the students.”
Many of our nation’s earliest founders were Christians. I suspect that Stephen King would have disparaged them as well except for the fact that they, like Cruz and other politicians who are Christians, understood the role of the Christian religion in political life and how it serves as a foundation for a Constitution that has no greater ultimate authority than “We the people.”
There is a rich Christian heritage among many of our founders and later Presidents and Supreme Court Justices. Justice David Brewer (1837-1910) wrote a short history on the topic that was published in 1905 as The United States: A Christian Nation. According to Brewer, “This republic is classified among the Christians nations of the world. It was formally declared by the Supreme Court of the United States. In the case of Holy Trinity Church vs. United States, 143 U.S. 471, after mentioning various circumstances, added ‘these and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.”
There is also Benjamin F. Morris’ 1000-page book The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United State first published in 1864 and later republished by American Vision in 2007.
Let’s take a look at the sixth President of the United States John Quincy Adams and the First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Jay:
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)
Sixth President of the United States
Member and Vice President of the American Bible Society
“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper, till the Lord shall have made “bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”1
Joel McDurmon writes that “in 1839, in a speech to the New York Historical Society on the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington, John Quincy Adams, then representing Massachusetts’s 12th district in Congress, drew from the biblical tradition of the Jubilee to combine an ideological history of the formation of the United States with a stylized biography of our first President under the Constitution.”
Two years before, Adams wrote the following:
“Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon the earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfilment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?”2
There was a time in his political career when Adams put the Christian religion above the Constitution, and for a very good and appropriate reason:
“Nicknamed ‘The Hell-Hound of Slavery’ for relentlessly speaking out against slavery, John Quincy Adams single-handedly led the fight to lift the gag rule that prohibited discussion of slavery on the House floor.
“In 1841, John Qunicy Adams defended 53 Africans accused of mutiny aboard the slave ship Amistad. He won their case before the Supreme Court, giving them back their freedom, stating: ‘The moment you come to the Declaration of Independence, that every man has a right to life and liberty, an inalienable right, this case is decided. I ask nothing more in behalf of these unfortunate men than this Declaration.’
“African slaves brought to America were purchased at Muslim slave markets, where over Islam’s centuries of history an estimated 180 million were enslaved.”3
And what is the source of those rights? They are, as the Declaration of Independence states, an endowment from the Creator, a point not made directly in the Constitution but indirectly in the closing section just above the signature of George Washington.
John Jay (1745-1829)
First Chief Justice of the United States
“Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous. Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” – John Jay, First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (Letter to John Murray (October 12, 1816), published in William Jay, The Life of John Jay: With Selections from his Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers, 2 vols. (1833), 2:376.)
“He . . . very abruptly remarked that there was no God, and he hoped the time would come when there would be no religion in the world. I very concisely remarked that if there was no God there could be no moral obligations, and I did not see how society could subsist without them. He did not hesitate to admit, that if there was no God, there could be no moral obligation, but insisted that they were not necessary, for that society would find a substitute for them in enlightened self-interest.”
Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and Hugo Chavez considered themselves to be acting in terms of “enlightened self-interest.” On what basis does a society determine what constitutes the right kind of self-interest in the era of Darwin?
- William H. Seward, Life and Public Services of John Quincy Adams (New York: C.M. Saxton, Barker & Co., 1860), 248-249. [↩]
- “Speech on Independence Day,” July 4, 1837. [↩]
- Bill Federer, “U.S. president: ‘No book deserves to be so studied as the Bible,’” WND (February 20, 2015). [↩]