Republican candidates appeal to religious conservatives

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U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz is introduced at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas on October 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Mike Stone 
*Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-FAITH-POLITICS, originally transmitted on Oct. 19, 2015.

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz is introduced at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas on October 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Mike Stone *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-FAITH-POLITICS, originally transmitted on Oct. 19, 2015.

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Each of the Republican candidates is seeking to appeal to a constituency that has major influence in early delegate contest states such as Iowa, South Carolina and Texas.

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  • ThreePalms II

    Who would want the above politicians be representative of Christianity. They are fraud Christians.

  • Jack

    That’s silly, ThreePalms. They’re Christians trying to appeal to fellow Christians, just as environmentalists do likewise with fellow environmentalists, free traders with fellow free traders, chess lovers with fellow chess lovers and all the rest.

    Is it pandering? Of course. Welcome to politics in a democracy.

  • “I believe 2016 is going to be a religious liberty election,” said Cruz

    Americans need to decide if they want a Theocracy or a functioning government. You can’t get both. Take a good look at Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India. Which of these religious countries is functioning and free?

    Every kind of reasonable religious liberty is already available in the USA. To say America needs more religious liberty is like saying America needs more air to breath! It is ridiculous.

  • Larry

    “To say America needs more religious liberty is like saying America needs more air to breath!”
    -Atheist Max

    In response:
    -Donald Trump.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    Just be thankful that there’s not enough christofascists in this country to carry an election and the support of far-right extremists may help one of them get the nomination only to lose the general election/

  • Fran

    They will either want (1) theocracy, God’s kingdom or heavenly government (Daniel 2:44), or (2) all of man’s governments (some of which may even “try” to be theocratic) to rule over them. You can’t get both. That pertains to every nation or country, not just the U.S.

  • Bernardo

    They can appeal all they want but it won’t make a difference because the R vs W voting bloc will win this election again. R vs W ? those (female and male counterpart) who have had abortions since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 and currently numbering 60-83 million voters.

  • Jack

    In other words, Max, you don’t understand what religious liberty is or means.

    Hint: It’s a first-amendment human right….you know, like freedom of speech, press, and assembly….that sort of thing.

  • Jack

    I don’t know about “christofascists” but apparently there are more than a few christophobes lurking about.

  • Larry

    “religious liberty in the wake of the Supreme Court sanctioning gay marriage.”

    In this case “religious liberty” is used here as wingnutspeak to describe efforts to enact legalized discrimination. Something having nothing to do with actual religious liberties such as the free exercise of religion and the separation of church and state which are codified in our 1st Amendment.

  • Larry

    But at least they understand the applications of the 1st Amendment and are not seeking to government approval for discriminatory behavior. 🙂

  • Jack,

    Religious Liberty is about as threatened in American as Gun liberty. The religious have so much liberty they think they invented it. Which is exactly what they did not do.

    Atheists invented religious liberty.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    There are, but they’re mostly generic relionophobes. The religious right has damaged the brand of Christianity terribly.

  • George Nixon Shuler

    There certainly has not been any serious effort to limit religious freedom of Christians in our lifetimes. ,Followers of Native American religion, Santeria, and Islam, not so much.

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  • Shawnie5

    “Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free; That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do…Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief.” –Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

  • @Shawnie,

    Atheists invented ‘religious liberty’ – not believers!

    was never said by Jesus, Yahweh, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Vishnu, Satan, Neptune, Agamemnon, Thor, Zeus, Diana, Ganesha…Or any other God.

    “…everyone who does not seek the Lord is to be put to death.” – YAHWEH (2 Chronicles 15:12-13)

    Separation of church and state – an idea invented by non-believers – is the only hope for humanity. Religion is rubbish.

  • Shawnie5

    Max: “You are free to believe in whatever you want” was never said by Jesus, Yahweh, Holy Ghost…”

    Jesus: “And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17.

    “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” Matt.8:22

    Max: “Atheists invented ‘religious liberty’ – not believers!”

    Constantine: “For the general good of the world and of all mankind I desire that you people be at peace and stay free from strife. Let those in error, as well as the believers, gladly receive the benefit of peace and quiet….May none molest another; may each retain what his soul desires, and practise it…For it is one thing voluntarily to undertake the conflict for immortality, another to compel others to do so from the fear of punishment.” — Letter to the Eastern Provincials

    Shorter Max: “Nuh-uh!”

  • Shawnie:

    Yes, Atheists did invent religious liberty.

    Thanks for pointing out that Constantine was an Atheist. I had no idea.

    Like all Atheists, he ignored Jesus’ Fascism:
    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints limit me! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    “Hate your parents…hate your life, or you are not worthy” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

    “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” – Jesus (John 6:53-54) (Mark 16:16).

    Yes, Shawnie, only a non-believer in this fascist dictator
    can permit religious liberty. Denying Jesus the right to rule over you is exactly what it takes to be ruled ‘by the people, for the people and of the people’ and not vacuous gods.

    Gods do not grant humanity any rights.

  • Shawnie5

    “Gods do not grant humanity any rights.”

    Every one of the founders disagreed. Jefferson, probably the least religious of the founders, ascribed the right to religious liberty directly to Almighty God Himself.

    This is why generalized ignorance has never run higher in our nation’s history than today. When I was in school studying the founding of the US we read long selections from the Federalist Papers. Now the kiddos are doing “web-quests” where they go out looking hither and thither for information on the Web that is as likely as not to be garbage. Even by today’s standard’s, yours would get an F.

  • larry

    Quoting Jefferson in order to make claims about Christian belief are pretty naff considering his disdain for such things personally. Please by all means keep pretending Jefferson had anything in common with your version of Christian belief.

    Quoting Roger Williams or William Penn would have been better. But then again, conservative Christians like to avoid referencing the progenitors of the separation of church and state. Their successors are sects whose views you largely discount or ignore. Religious secularists.

    Fundies like to put their “tramp stamp” on achievements they opposed in the past and claim it as their own. It’s a given.

  • @Shawnie:

    1. I SAID, God grants no rights to humanity. You have no rights under a god – you only have commands to be obedient and servile. There is no appeal.

    2. The Bible is a book of conquest, not freedoms. It outlines a magisterial, primitive fantasy – an imaginary god who, with the help of his son Jesus, overcomes the evil of an alternative imaginary god Satan. It was invented from ancient dualism, an outdated theory of human behavior; a blunder.

    3. “The founders knew that to put God in the constitution was to put man out. They knew that the recognition of a Deity would be seized upon by fanatics and zealots as a pretext for destroying the liberty of thought.” – Robert G. Ingersoll

    ONLY ATHEISM allows for the freedom
    to accept OR REJECT a divine authority.
    For that reason and others religion is inhumane and indecent.

  • Shawnie5

    Larry: “Quoting Jefferson in order to make claims about Christian belief are pretty naff considering his disdain for such things personally.”

    Except that I did not quote him to make any claims about Christian belief. I quoted him to expose Max’s absurd claim that “atheists” invented religious liberty. Nothing coud be farther from the truth. Jefferson did not believe that any fundamental rights, including religious freedom, could endure without the awareness of their transcendent source. Learn to read.

    @Max: It is BECAUSE there is no, rightly, appeal against God that the rights with which He endows us are inalienable. Good grief.

    “Only atheism allows for the freedom to accept or reject a divine authority.”

    Joshua 24:15: “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”

  • Shawnie:

    While you are quoting Jeremiah….

    “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn’t help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight!” (JEREMIAH 15:1-7)

    This is depravity. A god who ignores the appeals of humans!
    And you dare to speak of this god as if it cares for humanity? Shame on you. I’m glad it is just a silly legend and not real.

    Where imaginary gods tread humanity is doomed. Thank AN ATHEIST for the freedoms you enjoy!

  • larry

    Max is wrong here in the big picture. Secularism got its start from Anabaptist sects here a century before the revolution.

    You are wrong on the small picture pretending Jefferson ever attributed much of value to him to the Almighty God of Christian belief.

    The charter of Pennsylvania or Rhode Island makes for cleaner examples of the religious roots of our 1st amendment religious freedom. Most of the colonies had government sponsored churches. Especially Virginia.

    But again such references also invite acknowledgement of the separation of church and state. Something most conservative Christians try to lampshade as often as possible.

  • larry,

    You are correct – It was not Atheists but Heretics and Blasphemers which invented religious freedom. The Anabaptists were not Atheists but they were Heretics and Blasphemers.

    Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. But it is also a lack of belief in a particular God. Shawnie, for example, is an Atheist with respect to Zeus, Thor and Agamemnon.

    That kind of Atheism defined the Anabaptists – they did not believe in the Jesus of the Roman Catholics, for example, but a different one.

    My point to Shawnie:
    Heretics and Blasphemers (Atheistic impulses) invented Religious Freedom. The fact that the Anabaptists were Christians of a sort does not diminish their Heresy and Blasphemy.

    No God in history has ever approved of Religious Freedom,
    least of all Jesus, Allah or Yahweh. Want proof, Shawnie?
    Just look at how the Catholics slaughtered the Anabaptists as God’s Prime Directive:

    “Execute them” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

  • Shawnie5

    Your reading comprehension is as bad as Larry’s. I was not quoting Jeremiah, of course. But Jeremiah’s passage was not about people who are sorry appealing to God but about people who are NOT sorry at all on whose behalf the prophet himself was appealing. There comes a point when that no longer flies.

    “Thank AN ATHEIST for the freedoms you enjoy!” Nope, I don’t think I will. I’ll continue to thank the theists and deists who acknowledged both those rights and their Source in our nation’s founding documents and other writings.

    But I WILL thank you for your dishonesty which again demonstrates why atheists are the most distrusted segment of our population.

  • Raju G. C. Thomas

    The presidential candidates are all registered in the United States as Christians. Therefore, they must all be accepted officially as practicing Christians in their daily lives, whether they are immaculate and purposeful or not. None of us are unblemished and non-sinful Christians ever day of our lives. If they show genuine repentance, we should forgive them. Forgiveness is expected from us, according to Jesus Christ, if they have sinned.

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