Ted Cruz: ‘I’m a Christian first, American second.’ Imagine if Muslim or Jewish politician said that

By Ian Reifowitz | 22 January 2016
Daily Kos

“I’m a Christian first, American second, conservative third and Republican fourth…I’ll tell ya, there are a whole lot of people in this country that feel exactly the same way.”

His Christianity is probably the last thing Ted Cruz ever thought would give him problems. However, a new ad produced by Americans United for Values attacks him for being, get this, a “false prophet.” Among other slings and arrows hurled, the ad slams Cruz for not tithing—donating 10 percent of his income to charity—something many Christians believe is a sacred obligation. Cruz, it seems, has donated only about one percent of his income—which came to around $1 million annually—to charity between 2006 and 2010.

In response to the ad and other attacks on his Christianity as well as his conservatism, Cruz responded:

“I’m a Christian first, American second, conservative third and Republican fourth…I’ll tell ya, there are a whole lot of people in this country that feel exactly the same way.”

The politics of this aside, I want to highlight here something we might call Christian Privilege. Could you imagine, for example, a Jewish candidate for president saying that he or she was a Jew first and an American second? Now imagine the sheer outrage if a Muslim American of any prominence whatsoever declared that he or she was Muslim first and American second. People’s heads would explode.

On a related note, imagine a presidential candidate saying he or she was black, white, or Latino (or any other ethnic group) first, and American second. President Obama—and, having done extensive research on his conception of ethnic and national identity, I believe he sincerely feels this way—made crystal clear before 2008 that his identification as an American took precedence over his blackness.  Without doubt, he could not have been elected president without having done so.

I want, no, I demand, a president whose first loyalty is to the Constitution, and to the people—all the people—he or she was elected to serve. Only a Christian has the privilege—and only ones like Ted Cruz, who present themselves as holier than thou, would have the gall—to claim otherwise.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. Ted, how do you define Christiany? Please show us where you applied the values of Jesus from the Beatitudes, while you were in congress.

  2. Let me get this right. God is to play second fiddle to America???!!! Hmm makes me really wonder about who we really are. And how we have come to this set of values. It explains the sad state of violence we face daily. Our priorities are way off base. But this is just one man’s opinion.

    • For anyone in a position of power in our government, yes. Christianity is one of thousands of religions. Just because a christian believes their religion is the only right one doesn’t make it so. There is also separation of church and state. Unfortunately, government officials forget about that sometimes.

    • Tribalism, referencing ANY aspect of individual or ’group’ identification, is a denial of our natural existence as a ”life force” on the planet we collectively refer to as ”EARTH”. Like ’identity politics’, tribalism represents a range of differentiation – from self-aggrandizing egotism through fearful defensiveness to demeaning subordination. Vestiges of our evolution from ’primitive’ to ’civilized’ self-assurance remain, resisting humanity’s potential to unify in pursuit of ’natural’ advancement.

      We have a LONG WAY to go!

    • Who you are is determined by 1st the genes that produced you. Your values are taught by your parents or your choice of religious affiliation And your teachers Who are also determined by you where you live and the choices your parents make for you to have your religious and academic education. While stating that you are Christian 1st Defies the pledge of by the People for the people of the people. Jesus Preached truth and honesty .I don’t see much of it coming out of our majority In the senate today today.

  3. I agree with your perspectives. I belong to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. It’s clear that many evangelicals believe they have the right to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else in this country in clear violation of the first amendment to the US Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Mr. Cruz, Pat Buchanan, frank Graham, Mike Pompeo, William Barr, Donald Trump and many others need to be tried for their flagrant disregard of our first amendment rights. Their continual imposition that their beliefs are preeminent is disgusting, but, more critically illegal as are many of the intrusive policy acts of The Family (reference:Netflix).

    So, keep exposing this rank religious fascism.

    • In the UK we keep religion out of politics, in fact it you started ranting on about religion you would have no chance of being elected, in fact most people have rejected religion and looking at how the USAs politicians in the states use their position to enforce their views onto everyone else I am glad we are more secular.

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