Christian supremacist Ted Cruz ducks question about endorsing “kill the gays” pastor

Ted Cruz has made religious freedom a focal point of his campaign, railing against the “atheist Taliban” that seeks to suppress the voices and rights of committed Christians around the country.

Relatedly, Cruz is also set to join Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal at a religious liberty confab with Pastor Kevin Swanson. If you’re unfamiliar with Kevin Swanson, Right Wing Watch has put together a rather comprehensive survey of his body of work as it relates to LGBT people, among other things. Swanson celebrated the murder of an abortion provider, argued that sex slavery is actually better than social welfare programs, believes that God gave gay people AIDS as an “act of kindness,” and thinks Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill should be a model for the United States — among many other things that are, as Ted Cruz would say, politically incorrect.

One would think that someone committed to religious freedom, but not religious supremacy, would at the very most be willing to let Swanson hold his hateful views and go about his business. Anything more than that, and you’re running up on an endorsement of some views that are the literal opposite of “live and let live.” But Cruz, when asked by Jake Tapper if he considers it at all problematic that he’s attending the conference, Cruz seemed positively unbothered:

JAKE TAPPER: Quickly if you could, you are speaking at a conference this weekend, the National Religious Liberties Conference in Des Moines. It’s organized by a guy named Kevin Swanson. You’ve been very outspoken about what you deem liberal intolerance of Christians, but Kevin Swanson has said some very inflammatory things about gays and lesbians. He believes Christians should hold up signs at gay weddings holding up the Leviticus verse, instructing the faithful to put gays to death because what they do is an abomination. I don’t hold you responsible for what other people say, but given your concern about liberal intolerance, are you not, in some ways, endorsing conservative intolerance?

TED CRUZ: Listen, I don’t know what this gentleman has said or hasn’t said. I know that when it comes to religious liberty, this is a passion of mine and has been for decades and that I have been fighting for religious liberty for everyone. Fighting for religious liberty for Christians, for Jews, for Muslims, for every one of us to practice our faith. And in the last six and a half years under the Obama administration, we have seen an assault on religious liberty from the federal government. You know, couple months ago I hosted a rally for religious liberty in Iowa had 2,500 people come out. The single biggest political event in the state of Iowa this year and we had nine heroes, people who stood up for their faith who just told their stories and it was powerful. You can go and watch those stories on our website, tedcruz.org and you know, the amazing thing is many in the media diminish threats on religious liberty say they’re not real. What I tried to do in that event is withdraw myself and have the focus be on them telling their stories.

Ted Cruz says he doesn’t know what Swanson has said or hasn’t said? Bullshit. And if you really didn’t know, well, there’s Jake Tapper telling it to your face. At least take the opportunity to say that Swanson’s comments, if true, are horrible and offensive and that we can be all for religious liberty without killing people. Instead, you dissembled about fighting for religious liberty for members of all faiths — intentionally leaving out those who don’t belong to any of the three major monotheisms.

Ted Cruz is about to go to Iowa to shake his tush for voters who literally want a large subset of the American people killed off. In a public, celebratory manner. If he’s really so over it when it comes to political correctness, he’d come right out and say so. If he’s uncomfortable acknowledging the views of the voters he needs in order to win the Republican nomination, then maybe he’s ready to admit that some political views really are incorrect after all.

(h/t Joe.My.God.)


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • Butch1

    Yes, they try and down play it as though he really didn’t understand that he was a “communist.” Baloney. He couldn’t have been that obtuse.

  • carolo6000

    His own party hates him. You gotta be kidding me! He’s as nuts as Allen West and Joe Wilson were and you see where that got them.

  • carolo6000

    The FBI needs to be checking on this dude. He’s no better than the nutty preacher in FL who burned the Korans keeping the hate coming our way as well as the freak who made that Muslim video. Advocating the death of others is certainly not a good thing.

  • carolo6000

    Cruz’s father was a solder for Fidel Castro. He’s pretty nutty from what I’ve heard come out of his mouth which is passed onto his nuttier son.

  • Butch1

    It has always been acceptable to protest against the gay minority without worrying about it hurting your credibility among the republicans it seems. They have had no problem expelling the Log Cabin gay republicans without it hurting their causes and the people in their party do not seem to even care. This party is destined for failure if they continue down this path in my opinion. You cannot survive hating the way that they do.

  • Ghostdreams

    THAT is what I was beginning to suspect. Jindal, Huckabee and Cruz.. all three attended this rally, a rally that had NUMEROUS right wing wackos yelling “kill the gays” but none of them seem phased what so ever. As it’s turned out – yup. They all are in some fringe right wing wack religious “hate the gay” group. Jindal says he’s an “evangelical catholic” (which means if you take the gay hate of the evangelicals and the gay hate of the catholics, add them together and square root it..That’s what Jindal is – shudder). I’m gay. I am not.christian. I can’t stand the lot of them. They’re vicious and hateful..BUT if ANYONE stood in front of me and said, “Christians should all be killed,” I’d have a FIT. I don’t know even ONE gay person who would think it’s ok to say such a thing either. None of us would tolerate someone pushing violence like that. The other side however.. They’re more than willing to have us tortured, killed, gay women raped.. Name it. These mad xtians have been around for some time now but I am truly concerned at this point. Yesterday we had a sitting governor, a sitting congressman, an ex governor – all three are GOP presidential hopefuls – show up at what was essentially a “kill the gays” rally AND not one of them repudiated the endless calls from these fanatics to “execute the gays.” Swanson said it. Kayser yelled it… So did several others..They just sat there smiling away like fools. I think Butch1 is correct. These men really believe we should be executed. Also.. where is the outrage? Why wasn’t this all over CNN, ABC, CBS .. ? If it were ANY other minority group and these GOP idiots attended knowing the sponsors were pushing to that particular ethnic group killed off…The news outlets would be on it non-stop!.How it is this that story seems is taking a backseat to “college football goes on strike,” ?? It’s maddening!

  • Butch1

    Ted Cruz and his father belong to the Dominion sect which believes in the bible verses, literally! Their religion believes that gays should be rounded up and all of us should be put to death! He believes it and his father believes it. He didn’t answer the question, but just made a filler word salad statement of nothingness so he wouldn’t have to answer that question.

    His religion also preaches they would like to change our country from a democratic-republic into a theocracy. Of course he isn’t going to come right out and say these two things to the public and ruin his chances for the presidency; that isn’t how republicans work. They never tell the truth to their constituents or the rest of the public. Most of his bills that have made it to the senate floor have been anti-gay ones so it’s obvious what his agenda is and what it would be like if he were president of this country.

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  • mf_roe

    Don’t be so quick to discount this prick. Cruz is smart and he has standing with the Power Class. At the moment I rate him the most likely Repug choice.

  • 24chester

    Tailgunner Ted Cruz (R. Canada/Cuba) is a christofascist asshat who has no business running for POTUS. His teavangelical base is only a tiny part of the population in this diversified, heterogenous country. He should become a preacher like his cuckoo bird daddy or a commentator on FIXED news.

  • Bob Alexander

    Is this guy his pastor? Hope the fucktard who wrote this article held Obama accountable for all the shit Jeremiah Wright has said.

  • 2karmanot

    Cruz may go Indie and form the Talicruzban Party

  • 2karmanot

    The Hand Maiden’s Tail

  • Indigo

    Like the joy of being Canadian this week.

  • Bill_Perdue

    He’s backpedaling.

    Good.

    Few want to be associated, at least openly, with the US christer backed Kill the Gays movement.

    It was bought and paid for in Uganda by right wing scum like Obama’s BBF Rick Warren, who thankfully pulled back when it looked as if a state sponsored murder camping might begin in Uganda.

    The central reason that thugs like Rick Warren, Scott Lively and Kevin Swanson backed the Kill the Gays movement was to provide an opportunity to export it back to the US other countries. All of them, and their political associates in both parties, are guilty of crimes against humanity.

    Lively is being sued along those lines – Sexual Minorities Uganda v. Scott Lively – assisted by the Center for Constitutional Rights. It’s a very important case. https://ccrjustice.org/home/what-we-do/our-cases/sexual-minorities-uganda-v-scott-lively

  • Don Chandler

    The Party of Poop doesn’t have control over the uncool shiz ™–how do i raise that to the power?

  • gratuitous

    And the media follow up will be . . . ? Oooh, listen: Crickets!

    Yet they will ask the same, tired Benghazi questions again and again, as if they haven’t been answered a dozen times over. Will anyone follow Tapper’s lead and ask Sen. Cruz about his affiliation with Swanson? Cruz is on notice, after all, that Swanson might be a less than reputable fellow. Doesn’t he have an affirmative duty to find out for himself what Swanson has said or hasn’t said?

  • The_Fixer

    You may very well be right – I might be a little too dismissive of Cruz. However, I don’t think that the Party of Poop™ is behind Cruz. They openly booed him recently after another one if his shutdown threats. Of course, the Republicans are fickle, and winning does seem to be the only thing that will get them to rally around someone.

    The strangest things have been happening in this election cycle (as a result, we’re worthy of the ridicule and scorn that the civilized world is heaping upon us). Who knows what will happen until it happens? It’s absolutely crazy.

  • nicho

    You know, Jon, if you try to chronicle every stupid, bigoted thing said by a GOP candidate, you’re going to end up with repetitive motion injury. Can we just stipulate that they are all mentally deranged, bigoted, stupid, greedy, or any combination of the above — and are not close to being fit to run anything, much less a country — and turn our attention to other things?

  • Don Chandler

    Colorful language! I just wish you were right about him not having a chance. He’s the most likely beneficiary of a descending angel, Huckster. And should Trump and Carson implode, Cruz, NOT Rubio, will get the votes. The general election will be the most nasty ever with Cruz vs Bernie or Hillary.

  • The_Fixer

    Oh, he knows very well what Swanson has said, otherwise he would not be associating with him. One can cover bullshit with chocolate, but it is still bullshit.

    This is more of the Christian extremists’ looking for religious supremacy, not liberty. Cruz and his nutty father clearly do not understand that religious liberty involves more than the “big 3”, and includes “non.”

    Thankfully, it does not appear that Cruz will see the oval office as anyone more than a visitor. That’s something for which we should all be grateful. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t – and won’t – cause considerable damage to true religious liberty in his pursuit of it, and in his Senatorial career.

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