David Barton wasn’t the only prominent speaker (see here, here and here) at the Texas Renewal Project event on April 3-4 in Austin. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, were among the list of right-wing evangelical speakers at the gathering of hundreds of pastors and their spouses.
Huckabee has been a regular speaker at many Renewal Project events around the country. Mixing in a variety of jokes during his talk in Austin, Huckabee still focused on abortion and same-sex marriage. For example, Huckabee suggested that women who get abortions are “probably” pressured into doing so:
“I do suggest that you always remind the people in your church that in every abortion there are two victims. One is the baby, and one is most often that birth mother who probably was pressured into the decision by a mother, a grandmother, a boyfriend, or by a husband.”
Huckabee also criticized judges who rule in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples:
“We have allowed people in black robes, unelected in most cases, unaccountable for their decisions, to overturn not only the will of the people, but to attempt to overturn the word of the living God.”
Rafael Cruz, a Dallas pastor and director of Purifying Fire Ministries, has become known for his outrageous statements about President Obama, evolution and other topics. He insisted at the Austin event that separation of church and state isn’t in the Constitution but that, even if it were, it would be only “one way” (from the audio clip above; emphasis added):
“And if you read Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, it is absolutely clear when he says that matters of faith and worship, no one has the right to interfere; they’re only between you and God. And then he cites the First Amendment of the Constitution. It is absolutely clear when he said legislature has no right to establish a religion or interfere with the free exercise there of, thus there is a wall of separation between church and state, it is absolutely obvious that Jefferson was talking about a one-way wall, a one-way wall to keep government from interfering in the [inaudible because of applause]. In no way, shape or form was Jefferson implying that we should not have an influence on every area of society. God has called us to be the head and not the tail, not only in the church, but also in the media, in arts and entertainment, in sports, in business, in education and even in government.”
This is, of course, the core strategy of religious-righters: use government to promote their ideological agenda while insisting that government otherwise leave them alone.