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.

  4. Teddy, you're no Christian, and I'm not really sure if you're an American. You act like neither. You're a CHINO — a CHristian In Name Only.

    • Mr. Cruz if your a Christian start acting like one. How can you support a President who is constantly lying to the American people in his speeches about percentages,
      his accomplishments, and groups and causes he supports. He lies over and over again. You and the other Republicans took an oath to uphold the American Constitution and you did not do that in the Impeachment Trials. The Republican Senators are spineless. You are afraid to stand up to Trump because you know he was bought out by the Russian Mafia over 20 years ago when they bailed him out of bankruptcy. Putin controls the Russian Mafia and they both control Trump. All of you know anyone who crosses Trump is dismissed from the Whitehouse. Some employees at News agencies and journalists have also lost their jobs.
      Journalists, government officials, military personnel, etc who have spoken out against this monster of a President have had their apartments bugged, their offices bugged, their homes bugged, and/or their hotel rooms bugged. Trump has had people followed by foreign spies and their family members have been threatened. The Republican Senators (except Nick Romney) are not defending this country against this monster. You BIG Christian. STAND UP like Jesus Christ would against this communist-controlled Trump. Honor the oath you took. Christians are for human rights and against lying. Do what is right Mr.Ted Cruz Christian. The whole country is counting on you Republican Senators. Have you ever thought about what might happen if you guys fail the USA….millions of people????? It is time you quit falling at Trump's feet and do what Jesus Christ would do! Jesus would not turn away starving immigrants running from murderous governments. He wouldn't make immigrants work at the boarders for $1.00 an hour pay like Trump does. This is against the law and against our Constitution. Children are being denied food, water, and medical help. NO CHRISTIAN would allow this to happen. Do what is right. Promise me it is a great feeling in your heart and soul.

    • The fact is there's enough contradictory horseshit in the Bible that you can be a monster or a saint and find some excuse in the Bible to justify it. After all, the morally perfect and unquestionable authority on justice, righteousness, and all of that other crap…commands his people to commit genocide against other people, including the children, unless they find some virginal girls they want for themselves.

      One of the greatest social victories Christianity ever pulled off was getting other people to assume that all of its values are good.

  5. Well, of course, since Cruz belongs to a besieged and persecuted minority, he needs to proclaim and bear witness to it just like the early 'martyrs' of his faith. It only stands to reason that he's a christian first and foremost. Plus, Jesus founded America doncha know..

    • Haha. Good one,,

      Haha.Good one, though Roger didn’t get it. Why do people need to rate priorities? Declare their religious beliefs? Proclaim moral superiority? Only because their acts fail to convince anyone of their decency. Live in truth and kindness. You won’t need a liturgical soapbox. And, finally, if you only answer to Christ, consider his purported answer to the question of fealty to government or God. It’s not an either/or political trap.

  6. Oh, please. Most of the people who whine like this also ignore the most basic principles of Jesus’ teachings, including “Love thy neighbor* as thyself”, “Feed the poor”, and “Heal the sick”. You serve your own depraved prejudices, not God.

    *”neighbor” being defined elsewhere as “stranger from another country”

  7. Our country is founded on separation of church and state…for a reason. FREEDOM. Freedom from persecution, suppression and bias. Keep your religion out of civic affairs!!!

  8. Separation of church and state is in the Constitution with VERY GOOD, NECESSARY reason. To prevent any particular religious persuasion from forcing their views on others. That is one of the main reasons the founders of this country left their homelands. To escape the religious persecution they were under.. What if now the prevailing religious beliefs of the members of government were not ” Christians ” and we of Christian ” persuasion ” were in danger of being forced to follow Islam, or Hindu? Do not let this current tide of self righteous ” Christianity destroy what the founding fathers put in place. No matter how ” Good ” it sounds, no matter how necessary it seems to save the country. Because every religion believes exactly the same way.Its the start of a very dangerous ” slippery slope ” and will not save the country but gradually lead to totalitarianism

  9. The article is from 1/22/2016, when the Republican candidates were stumbling all over each other to appeal to the more backwards members of their pool of voters. This is still worth reading because no other American political group can get away with this without being nailed to the wall except for evangelical Protestant Christians. JFK – the first and to date only Roman Catholic president – had a hard time getting Americans to believe that he wouldn't be "getting his orders from Rome". So not even all Gringo-Christians could pull this off.

    This is relevant now, because unless ejected from office Trump will be saying the same kind of crap to help keep his (cess)pool of voters fearful and compliant.

  10. If you think as a POLITICIAN, that your religion should come before your duties as an elected official then it is YOU who has your priorities skewed. That’s part of the problem. All these politicians are so busy shoving their beliefs down everyone’s throat that they can’t do the job they were elected for

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