Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Forbes Opinion Piece On Ted Cruz

I stopped subscribing to Forbes magazine years ago because it was so bizarrely political. It had a slant that I disliked. I wanted investment information, which it did contain, but it also contained political essays by Steve Forbes and others that left a bad taste in my mouth.

So, it's kind of odd to find a Forbes opinion piece that I agree with, online of course. Rick Unger is the author of Ted Cruz's Announcement Disrespects The Founding Fathers, American Tradition And Non-Christians:
Somewhere along the way, I picked up the notion that when someone announces their candidacy for the Office of President of the United States, they are announcing their intent and desire to be the president of all Americans, irrespective of race, religion or other considerations.

As a result of this tradition—and while recognizing that such an announcement does, in the reality of our times, serve as the launching point for the grueling primary gauntlet most candidates will be forced to endure—the moment of tossing one’s hat into the presidential ring has, without exception so far as I can tell, traditionally taken place on ‘neutral’ territory designed to convey commitment to the civic interest rather than religious belief.
Later, he is critical of Ted Cruz:
Apparently, Texas Senator and newly announced candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination, Ted Cruz, has little use for this important American tradition.

Yesterday, the Tea Party favorite chose a location to announce his quest for the presidency that has, so far as I can ascertain, never been chosen before in our nation’s history—a religious institution that, according to it’s own description, offers “a world-class Christian education” for the purpose of “training champions for Christ”.

Unless someone can show me where I’ve missed another moment in our history where a presidential candidate chose to launch his or her candidacy at a religious institution, the significance of Cruz’s decision should not go unnoticed. Cruz embarked on his march to the White House before a crowd of some 10,000 students at Liberty University—a number that would have been terribly impressive for such an event were it not for the fact that attendance was compulsory —where the Senator would spent the first part of his speech extolling the virtues of Jesus Christ and the importance the Christian faith played in keeping his family together.

While I respect any peaceful religion just as I respect anyone who practices their particular religion in a peaceful manner—and I have no doubt that Senator Cruz participates in his own religion in such a manner just as I appreciate and honor the benefits his religion bestowed on his family—I have to admit that, as someone who was not raised in the Christian faith, I felt kind of left out of the party.
Unlike Unger I don't really respect any religion. I respect the laws that say that there is freedom of religion and I respect freedom of speech.

I do agree with the main theme of Unger's opinion. The United States should not be exclusionary when it comes to its own citizens. As an atheist I certainly know the feeling of "I felt kind of left out of the party".

Ted Cruz seems to be running on a platform of:
  1. Christians are being persecuted by atheists. This persecution must stop. 
That is it.

I find it ironic that a writer for Forbes feels "kind of left out of the party". That's how I felt when I subscribed to the magazine.

The rest of Ted Cruz's Announcement Disrespects The Founding Fathers, American Tradition And Non-Christians is quite good. He takes on the "America was founded as a  Christian Nation" myth. He closes with:
If Senator Cruz really wants to ‘imagine’ a better America, he might begin by imagining a campaign that begins with a statement of inclusion and belief in all of America’s people, not just those who meet his own religious litmus test.

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