A surprise Ted Cruz win in Monday's Iowa Caucuses left many evangelical Christians beaming at the prospects of a Cruz presidency.
It's hard to blame them on the surface. When you browse the official Ted Cruz website, you'll see quotes like these.
"Our rights do not come from government. They come from God."The site also notes that Cruz stood by Kim Davis "in defense of her right to live in accordance with her faith" after the Kentucky clerk refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow it.
"As we have witnessed an unprecedented attack on citizens' first freedoms, Ted Cruz continues to champion Americans' religious liberty."
There are many other credentials at this link that show Ted Cruz, on paper, should be evangelical Christians' candidate of choice, and in this week's convincing Iowa Caucus victory, he appears to be.
And he is admittedly well-spoken.But what many of these supporters fail to realize is that they are essentially voting against their own interests when they vote Ted Cruz. Here's why.
The next president could conceivably appoint four Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.In a CBS News report from January, it was pointed out that the next president of the United States could conceivably appoint as many as four Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.
If evangelical Christians could elect someone to the presidency with that power, they could effectively scale back the two major hot-button issues they've lost on: legalization of abortion and legalization of same-sex marriage.
But to do so, they would need to nominate someone electable -- someone sympathetic to these causes in the background, but who runs on issues that resonate more closely to what matters most among the general population.
Republicans -- and Democrats, too, for that matter -- can pick the candidate with which they most agree, but unless that person can sway enough of the independent vote, they will lose in November, period.
Looking at 2008 and 2012 and the rise of Barack Obama, the most anti-religious of modern (20th Century and beyond) presidents, it's clear the majority is no longer of the evangelical Christian persuasion.
For the most part, independent voters' views can be summed up as, "Stay out of my wallet, and stay out of my bedroom."
In other words, they don't think the government should spend more than it takes in, and they don't think that government should be in the business of telling people how to live their lives provided that one person's decisions do not encroach on the safety or inalienable rights of another.
Of the choices in this election, Rand Paul is the only candidate that remotely fits that description. Donald Trump is a likely second if you can look at his "religious views" in the proper context (i.e. that they are pandering lip service he doesn't really mean).
Ted Cruz wears his beliefs on his sleeve, and appears to be earnest in those convictions, and that creeps out enough of the independent vote to ensure he would have zero chance against a Clinton or Sanders.
While it may be difficult to hold one's nose and vote for a Trump or a Paul, the alternative is that Hillary or Bernie wins the presidency and appoints a U.S. Supreme Court that is far more liberal than anything evangelical Christians have seen.
So yes, evangelicals, you gave Ted Cruz a victory in Iowa, and made him the true frontrunner for the GOP nomination. But as the old saying goes, "be careful what you wish for, you just might get it."
You think your religious liberty is in danger now? Just wait until Hillary or Bernie wins the White House; then you can see where Monday's Ted Cruz victory got you.