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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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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”


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