Jon Green | America Blog | February 12, 2016
The National Review‘s David French thought it was kind of silly that I and others took issue with Heidi Cruz embracing theocracy on behalf of her husband this week. In his telling, it isn’t at all problematic for Cruz to have said that her husband will govern with a “combination of the law and religion” because, well, that’s the way it’s supposed to be:
In reality, Heidi Cruz’s comment represents a standard (and accurate) expression not just of Evangelical beliefs, but also of American history…As for Cruz’s statement that our nation was built on “Judeo-Christian values,” only sheer ahistorical revisionism would downplay the role of the Christian faith and Judeo-Christian values not just with the Founders, but in the founding generation, and the generations that followed. Though there have been (and are) many notable and patriotic atheists who’ve made immense contributions to American life, atheism did not build the United States of America.
Moreover, it’s critical to remind Americans — especially when the media exalts and celebrates secularism — that, yes, our commitment to individual liberty is derived in large part because our earliest Christian settlers fled religious persecution and — ultimately — envisioned a nation uniquely dedicated to limited government and individual liberty — including religious liberty. The Establishment Clause, in fact, was envisioned as a guarantor of religious freedom — and not as it is used today, as a mighty hammer of state religious discrimination.
I agree with Heidi. A President Cruz would safeguard individual liberty because he’s a Christian, not in spite of his faith.
There’s a lot going on here, starting with the rather puzzling assertion that a President Cruz would protect individual (religious) freedoms after preaching a particularly intrusive and privileged brand of Christianity on the campaign trail. But perhaps even stranger is the way that French and Heidi Cruz both seamlessly transitioned between insisting that America was founded on “Judeo-Christian values” and reminding us that America has a particularly Christian (as in, not Jewish) character.