A few weeks ago, I said that I would try not to write too much about the 2016 presidential primaries and election.

However, it is important to point out a few things with regard to the Republican — GOP (Grand Old Party) — candidates for my fellow churchgoers.

Donald Trump

https://i0.wp.com/thumbs2.picclick.com/d/w1600/pict/381337539333_/Donald-Trump-For-President-2016-Campaign-Posters-Rally.jpgDr Ben Carson formally endorsed Donald Trump on Friday, March 11, 2016.

(Photo credit: picclick.com)

The retired neurosurgeon suspended his campaign last week. The media are expressing surprise that he went to Trump rather than one of the other candidates. (Trump’s other GOP candidate endorsement came from Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey.)

The good doctor laid out his position yesterday (emphases mine):

Carson said earlier in the day in a Fox News Radio interview with John Gibson that he would be open to being an adviser for Trump.

I’m willing to be an adviser to anyone who is going to have a significant effect on the future of our nation,” he said.

Trump and Carson both have homes in West Palm Beach and proved to be friendly adversaries throughout the nominating process …

In Thursday’s radio interview, Carson suggested that there are two versions of Trump.

“There’s the Donald Trump that you see on television and who gets out in front of big audiences, and there’s the Donald Trump behind the scenes,” Carson said.
 
“They’re not the same person. One’s very much an entertainer, and one is actually a thinking individual,” the retired neurosurgeon said of his personal experience with his former rival.
 
Carson went on to describe Trump as someone whom one could “reason with very easily and who is very comfortable talking about issues and recognizing that he doesn’t have all the answers.”

The media are still confused. So, it was time to wheel out Ralph Reed, as is customary for every GOP presidential campaign. I remember Reed back when he was the fresh-faced young adult seen to be the future of Evangelical politics. Dobson, Fallwell Sr and many other faith and family types loved him.

On March 10, he wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal about Evangelical voting patterns this year and the support they are giving to Trump. N.B.: To read the article, open the link in a private window.

Reed says that whilst one-third of Evangelicals are voting for Trump, this is likely to narrow when the GOP race is between the billionaire and Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz, the notional Evangelical standard bearer.

He explains that Evangelicals’ concerns are the same as those of many other Americans:

Mr. Trump benefits from an issue mix custom-made for an outsider businessman promising toughness on the international stage. After the Great Recession of 2008 and the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino late last year, Americans desire a strong leader who will revive the economy and protect the homeland. This is true for evangelicals too.

Despite what liberal pundits imagine, they don’t vote solely based on abortion and gay rights. A February Quinnipiac University survey found that the top issues for evangelical voters in the Republican primary were the economy (26%), terrorism (21%) and immigration (9%). Only 6% listed abortion.

Looking back to the 1980 election campaign, during which Reed was interviewed regularly:

Reagan, while he was a deeply spiritual man, rarely attended church and eschewed the label “born again.” But evangelicals admired him because he was pro-life and cast the Cold War in starkly moral terms. Those stands trumped Mr. Carter’s piety.

Reed then makes the error of saying this is more about class than religiosity. In fact, Trump’s numbers show that he is steadily attracting highly-educated, high-income people at the ballot box, not just the low-information voters.

However, Reed’s conclusion is spot on:

Mr. Trump may not worship at the same church or share the theology of most evangelicals. But he is a voice and vehicle for the disenchantment they feel toward Washington, and their yearning for a strong leader to transform it. Republicans would be wise to figure out how to harness this force in a positive—and winning—direction before it runs them over.

In other news, one Hollywood conservative has endorsed Trump. Jon Voight declared his support on March 9:

“When he decided to run for president, I know he did it with a true conviction to bring this country back to prosperity,” Voight’s statement read. “He is the only one who can do it. No frills, no fuss, only candid truths.”

There are many Republicans fighting to keep him from winning the Republican nomination,” noted Voight. “You know why? Because he has no bull to sell, and everyone will discover the bull most politicians spew out is for their own causes and benefits. They never dreamed they would be losing control.”

Just so.

Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is supposed to be the GOP candidate Evangelicals are voting for. However, even the deeply Christian state of Mississippi went for Trump. Trump has taken more southern states than has Cruz.

(Image credit: brandchannel)

Note how the flame suggests that of Pentecost. It is unknown whether that is intentional or coincidental.

On February 10, Cruz’s wife Heidi said that he:

was showing America “the face of the God that we serve” through his faith-based Republican presidential campaign …

“We are at a cultural crossroads in our country, and if we can be in this race to show this country the face of the God that we serve—this Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country,” she said. “Our country was built on Judeo-Christian values. We are a nation of freedom of religion, but the God of Christianity is the God of freedom, of individual liberty, of choice and of consequence.”

However, scratching beneath the surface, things are not as straightforward as that.

Whilst Cruz stands to do very well, if not win, states that are similar in outlook to Idaho, neither Cruz nor his wife is entirely independent of large, globalist ties.

It’s ironic that former GOP candidate businesswoman Carly Fiorina said this in her endorsement of Cruz on March 9:

It is time to take our party back. It is time to take our government back. It is time to take our country back. And so it is time now to unite behind the one man who can beat Donald Trump, who can beat Hillary Clinton, who can beat the cartel.

On January 18, The New York Times had an excellent article on Heidi Nelson Cruz, powerful businesswoman and former Seventh Day Adventist (sect). I highly recommend reading it in full.

The article describes Heidi’s bout of depression in 2005, from which it took some time to recover. Ted was supportive throughout this period and:

It did not take long for Mrs. Cruz to find her footing. She soon joined Goldman Sachs, where she was early to arrive each day and among the last to leave, impressing her boss at the time, Peter Coneway, who helped recruit her to the firm in 2005 and later recommended her to lead the office.

Mr. Coneway recalled Mrs. Cruz’s thriving in a region where the money management industry was largely a men’s club.

As she built a network of clients, she found politics to be an icebreaker and her husband a willing partner at dinners with prospective investors.

Hmm.

There’s also this:

On the campaign trail, Mrs. Cruz can appear at turns upbeat and disarmingly sincere. Greeting supporters at a luncheon recently in Andover, Mass., she toggled between the warm, conspiratorial tone of a close friend and the campaign fluency of an operative.

Heidi is a driven woman. The NYT says this was true even when she was a student at Claremont McKenna College. After earning her degree there, she took a job with an investment bank — JP Morgan, no less — before she:

earned a master of European business degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and enrolled at Harvard Business School.

Working on George W Bush’s campaign in 2000 not only propelled her further upwards but also enabled her to meet Ted:

In 2000, she secured a spot on George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign as an economic policy aide in Austin, where she met Mr. Cruz, another Bush policy adviser. Their first date was a dinner that lasted nearly four hours. In a 2001 New York Times Magazine article about couples who met while working on the Bush campaign, Mr. Cruz said he had driven her to the airport so she could fly back to finish her Harvard M.B.A.

The couple married in May 2001. After Bush assumed office that year:

Mrs. Cruz climbed the ranks of the Bush administration, eventually working at the National Security Council under Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Cruz’s Washington track stalled, prompting him to return to Texas, where in 2003 he was appointed solicitor general, an influential post.

After many months of living apart, Heidi returned to Texas — and to investment banking, at Merrill Lynch. She was working in Houston, he in the state capital of Austin, but at least they were only 160 miles apart from each other.

It appears the NYT left out an interesting detail about Heidi’s career. The Marshall Report says that she

sat on a Council on Foreign Relations task force for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? Yes right up until 2011 when Ted announced he was running for the Senate!

Furthermore, The Marshall Report discovered that she was Special Assistant to Robert B. Zoellick, U.S. Trade Representative. Zoellick has been a vice chairman of Goldman Sachs between 2006 and 2007 and was also the president of the World Bank between 2007 and 2012. He has worked on the biggest international trade agreements in history. His involvement in these agreements made him a source of controversy when Mitt Romney put him on his 2012 campaign team.

So, Heidi is definitely involved in globalism, at a high level. You can see further proof on at least one Council of Foreign Relations page.

This puts Carly Fiorina’s words in sharp relief about Heidi’s husband being the only one who can ‘break the cartel’. If anything, Americans will be soaking in globalism with no means of escape.

What about Cruz, you ask? After all, he’s the one running, not she.

Speaking of ‘the cartel’, The Conservative Treehouse exposed Ted Cruz’s donors and funding on February 2. Whilst Cruz claims to not want or get money from DC lobbyists or power players, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and the Club for Growth are among his donors. Read the Treehouse post to find out more and see actual documentation.

Therefore, it does not appear that Cruz will be divorcing himself from ‘the cartel’ anytime soon.

On matters religious, in 2013, Cruz’s father Rafael gave a sermon at the New Beginnings Church of pastor Larry Huch, in Irving, Texas. Alternet reported at the time that:

Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests”, thus helping to bring about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth”, from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers. link to video of Rafael Cruz describing the “great transfer of wealth” and the role of anointed “kings” in various sectors of society, including government, who are to “bring the spoils of war to the priests”.

I wrote about the roots of this dominionism in 2010. This is highly dangerous and goes against the New Testament — regardless of what a small minority of misguided Christians say.

On February 8, 2016, Cruz’s father Rafael joined a handful of men led by televangelist Kenneth Copeland in his church (emphases in the original):

Ted Cruz‘s father joined with televangelist Kenneth Copeland in his church on Sunday to announce that the Texas senator has been anointed by God to be the next president of the United States.

But, you say, Ted Cruz is a Southern Baptist. Indeed, he is. However, Religion News points out that the acorn does not fall far from the tree:

Anyone who has watched Cruz on the stump knows that he often references the important role that his father, traveling evangelist Rafael Cruz, has played in his life.

One of Ted Cruz’s most trusted advisers is David Barton. Religion News tells us that (emphases mine):

When Cruz says he wants to “reclaim” or “restore” America, he does not only have the Obama administration in mind. This agenda takes him much deeper into the American past. Cruz wants to “restore” the United States to what he believes is its original identity: a Christian nation.

But before he can bring the country back to its Christian roots, Cruz needs to prove that Christian ideals were indeed important to the American founding. That is why he has David Barton on his side.

For several decades Barton has been a GOP activist with a political mission to make the United States a Christian nation again. He runs “Keep the Promise,” a multimillion-dollar Cruz super-PAC.  He’s one of Cruz’s most trusted advisers.

Barton is the founder and president of WallBuilders, a Christian ministry based in his hometown of Aledo, Texas. He writes books and hosts radio and television shows designed to convince evangelicals and anyone else who will listen that America was once a Christian nation and needs to be one again.

Incidentally, in 2012, Barton completed a book notionally demonstrating that Thomas Jefferson was not a deist but, in fact, a committed Christian. Publishers Thomas Nelson pulled the book from print, it was so loaded with historical errors.

Think Progress notes that Cruz:

typically concludes campaign events by asking voters “to caucus for him, to sign up to volunteer and persuade others, and to pray and ask God to continue the awakening.”

That implies more than simply voting for him as a GOP candidate.

Whilst Cruz himself might not be a dominionist as his father is, questions do need to be asked. The media need to do it. As a post on Patheos says:

Cruz should be asked if he agrees with his father that he has been anointed to be a king apostle to rule in the political sphere. Does Cruz believe that adultery, unruly children, and homosexuality should be recriminalized? Does Cruz believe that civil law should reflect and restate his interpretation of biblical morality? Does he believe in an “end time transfer of wealth?”

Since Cruz is using his religion as a facet of his appeal to voters, we have a right to know what the implications would be for his public policy positions as president. Political reporters might find those questions difficult but … such questions would get at the heart of what the public needs to know about Ted Cruz and those animate his campaign.

I’ll take an honest sinner any day.

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