There is a misplaced fear — shared, I’m sad to say, by many on the right — that Christian conservatives are zealots, theocrats and all-around bogeymen.
Ever since the advent of the moral majority during the Reagan years, establishment Republicans have been leery and sometimes contemptuous of them.
They resent having to deal with this block of “crazies,” who always muck up the right-wing coalition with their annoying Jesus talk and their injection of social issues into the mix. If they’d just quit talking about abortion and same-sex marriage we could take this country by storm. Instead we hand the nation to the Democrats on a silver platter, because no one likes those Christian scolds except fellow Christian scolds.
It doesn’t help the Christian conservatives’ cause that fellow Christians pile on with fingers wagging about the impropriety and unseemliness of Christians being involved in politics. “God is in control, so you should pray, but leave politics and statecraft to the politicians.”
I happen to agree that God is in control, but that doesn’t mean Christians should sit on the sidelines. I don’t believe He created us to be passive and unengaged and to not fight for what is right in the culture and in government.
Regardless, we politically engaged Christian conservatives face multiple challenges. Obama and his party consider us Bible-toting, bitter-clinging domestic terrorists in waiting, and a mortal threat to the fundamentally transformed America they crave and the selective groups and causes they believe are entitled to protection under the Constitution. And as we’ve seen, a good chunk of Republicans consider us sanctimonious intermeddlers.
Along comes Ted Cruz, son of a pastor, and a master orator with the delivery and style, according to certain critics, of a preacher — and boy do they mean that in a negative sense. Adding insult to injury, he is well-versed in the Bible and he advocates biblical principles — as opposed to citing Scripture opportunistically, inappropriately and awkwardly.
The establishment already has visceral contempt for Ted Cruz, so when he evokes Scripture, their disdain rises to the level of loathing. Not only does his Jesus talk annoy and frighten them, they don’t think he even means it. At the very least, he shouldn’t rev up his fellow Bible-thumping crazies with such talk, lest they “rise up” and do something, well, crazy.
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