TIME Religion

Ted Cruz’s Father: “The Bible Tells You Exactly Who To Vote For”

Rafael Cruz
Rafael Cruz speaks during a tea party gathering on Jan. 10, 2014, in Madisonville, Texas. Pat Sullivan—AP

At a conference for pastors, Rafael Cruz explains the biblical prescription for the ballot box

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rev. Rafael Cruz, has voting advice for Christians nationwide who find themselves unable to decide at the ballot box.

“Let me shock you a little bit,” he said Thursday in Washington, D.C. “Did you know that the Bible tells you exactly who to vote for?”

He made the claim at the Family Research Council’s annual Watchmen on the Wall briefing, where Cruz counseled some 600 pastors and church representatives that it is time to put Judeo-Christian leaders with Biblical morals in office. In the last election, by Cruz’s calculation, 48 million evangelical Christians did not vote. “If the righteous do not run for office, if the righteous are not even voting. . . that leaves the wicked electing the wicked,” he says. “We get what we deserve.”

The Bible, Cruz went on to explain, tells you exactly how to vet a politician. He turned to Exodus 18:21 and made his case. Moses is in the wilderness trying to govern the Israelites, where his father-in-law gives him leadership advice: “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, ruler of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”

Then Cruz broke down the specifics:

1. Able men. “And women of course,” Cruz added. “That means elect someone who is capable of doing the job—don’t elect the village idiot!”

2. Fearing God. “That means you follow a Judeo-Christian ethic,” he explained. “It is a moral code by which you live. . . honesty, integrity, individual responsibility, hard work, the rule of law, and yes, limited government and free enterprise.”

3. Men of truth. “Haven’t we had enough men and women of lies in government?” he asked, to the audience’s applause. “Look at what has been happening with this administration: they would tell you a lie to cover up the previous lie. And it’s lies after lies after lies and we see scandal after scandal,” he added, referencing the recent Veterans Affairs situation.

4. Hating covetousness. “Covetousness in government doesn’t have to do so much about money as it has to do with power and control,” he said. “These politicians covet power and they covet the control that that power gives them over your lives and mind.”

5. Rulers of thousands, ruler of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. “That’s equivalent to federal government, state government, county government, local government. . . . That’s Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, that’s the 9th Amendment, and that’s the 10th Amendment,” Cruz explained. “If it isn’t there [in Article 1 Section 8], the federal government’s got no business being involved.” He gave two examples: education—“Does it make sense that some unelected bureaucrats in Washington DC would tell us how to educate our children and our grandchildren? Absolutely not.”—and environment—“The EPA is the single most agency for thwarting economic growth in this country.” The crowd, again, erupted into applause.

Pastors, Cruz concluded, should set up voter registration tables in their lobbies every Sunday, preach sermons about Christian issues, provide voter guides to congregants and encourage churchgoers to vote for candidates with Biblical values.

Cruz’s son, Ted, is eying a 2016 presidential run. One has to wonder: will Ted, like Moses, listen to a father’s advice?

 

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