(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Ted Cruz was called by God to run for president. His preacher dad said he knew that Cruz would win. God told him so. Cruz said God would raise up his people and elect him, that God was going to accomplish this. How could Cruz have failed? Why did God fail? Trump beat God.
God failed Cruz because Cruz like all evangelicals was delusional. Evangelicals say we were created. We’re jumped up primates that evolved. Evangelicals say climate change isn’t real. Yet my lawn is dying as I have watched the tides get higher in my (literal) own front yard over the 35 years I’ve lived in my home on the tidal flats of a Massachusetts marsh. Evangelicals think Billy Graham is a great man, though all he spent a lifetime doing was adding to the number of deluded Americans who really think they hear God talking to them… telling them things such as that they will win the presidency, or beat cancer through prayer, or that they will go to heaven when they die, or that (on the left) if you blabber about “social justice” you’re sane,… even if you also say you believe in a literal virgin birth…
That’s how Rafael Cruz, Ted’s father and a born-again pastor, described his son’s decision-making process– like a virgin birth political “I’m just trusting God for this” miracle. Speaking on a syndicated radio show the elder Cruz recounted that during a Sunday prayer session at a Texas church, Ted Cruz and his family sought God’s guidance as to whether the senator should enter the presidential race, and after two hours of praying, God sent a message to Heidi that essentially said: Go for it, God has chosen you!
Face it: be evangelicals of the left or right the heavy baggage of “bedrock beliefs” that they must carry with them means that by definition evangelicals are clinically insane, or pretending to be. As I describe in my book WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace they are certainty addicts, so “sure” they are in touch with God that they have quite literally reshaped their brains.
I say pretending to believe because does anyone really think that most evangelical leaders left or right, really believe their own bullshit? I’ve known many of them over the years. Left or right these are Trumpian empire builders. On the right they want to be president, or at least presidents of evangelical colleges. On the left they want to be– Bono.
The “giants” of the evangelical left and right share one thing: they are in the God business. Paychecks and one’s ego and entire identity are the whole deal, not belief. Can you really picture leaders from Franklin Graham, to the editors of Christianity Today to the “good guys” on the left like the folks at Sojourners just honestly announcing one morning: “Sorry folks, this is all just too fucking dumb don’t send anymore donations!”
But was/is Cruz anymore deluded than those on the evangelical left? I don’t think so. Talk about social justice, and all the rest, accept gay marriage, whatever, all you want but the fact remains that the so-called evangelical left is just Ted Cruz minus the overt hate.
When the bedrock theology of salvation through belief in the (ever more backward) Bible remains the passport to the title of evangelical (not to mention a passport to writing best sellers for the deluded as marketed by the cynical) there is no way finally to distance one’s self from the stark fact that once the “progressive” tolerance decorations are cleared away what remains is… sorry… just plain nuts.
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
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