Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz' father, revealed much about himself, his son, and their agenda in a recent interview with Christian Broadcasting Networks' David Brody.
He began with an anointing:
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stumped in Iowa over the weekend, and his father Rafael Cruz was promoting his son’s possibly presidential candidacy to pastors and local Republican leaders during his trip. In fact, he said in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Networks’ David Brody that he told his son: “You know Ted, you have been gifted above any man that I know and God has destined you for greatness.’ And I started making declarations about the Word of God to him every day.”
He goes on to suggest that his son is destined to save freedom in America, and even Brody called Cruz’s political career “a thing of God.”
This isn't idle praise. The group Cruz and his fellow TeaBircher Rand Paul spoke to over the weekend was the Iowa Renewal Project, a gathering of pastors who were treated to an all-expenses paid weekend paid for by billionaires like Texas billionaire James Leininger, who was behind the big evangelical push to Rick Perry's bid for the nomination in 2012 and his runs for governor. Wherever Renewal Project David Lane is, you can expect to find billionaires in the background.
Mike Huckabee was the beneficiary of the Renewal Project billionaires in 2007 and 2008. It appears that the 2016 effort will be focused on Ted Cruz, and will involve mobilizing and plumbing the depths of the evangelical right to stoke enthusiasm for ultra-conservative candidates in 2014.
Rafael Cruz has some deep connections to the current movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation. That movement is really a rebranding of what we know as the "Religious Right", as they were called in the days of Reagan, but with a 21st century dominionist twist. Cruz was a member of the Religious Roundtable in the 1980s, an activist group of Christians who were committed to engagement in politics. He boasts in the interview of serving on the state board of that organization:
This was a coalition of Christians and Jews who was very instrumental in helping Reagan get elected. I was on the state board of the Religious Roundtable, so when my son Ted was eight years old, all we talked about around the dinner table was politics because I was so involved with the Reagan campaign. So during that time is when I asked him so many times, ‘You know Ted, when I lost my freedom in Cuba I had a place to come to. If we lose our freedoms here where are we going to go? There is no place to go.’
Rafael Cruz is a pastor with Purifying Fire Ministries founded by Suzanne Hinn, ex-wife and then wife again of Benny Hinn. The Hinns are huckster Christians, dealing in faux emotions and invented manifestations of the Holy Spirit at the most convenient and opportune fundraising moments. They are also smart enough to understand where the gravy train is, and so they've hitched their boxcar to the New Apostolic, or dominionist movement.
So has Rafael Cruz. He delivered a sermon in August, 2012 where he discusses how Christians should "take dominion over the earth." Cruz goes on to define what that means, saying "dominion is over every area -- society, education, government, economics..." That particular moment happens 1 hour and 12 minutes in, if you care to watch. It's instructive to see him deliver that line with dictatorial passion.
Dad did serve up a couple of interesting nuggets about a young Ted Cruz. Like this one:
Ted enters high school, the Free Enterprise Institute organizes a group of five kids, called them the Constitutional Corroborators, now Ted is reading the The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, and each of the five kids memorized the entire US Constitution.
He did, however, neglect to note that the Free Enterprise Institute is a project of Texas builder billionaire Leo Linbeck, III, and that Ted Cruz serves as Trustee of that organization. He is in august company, with fellow trustees ranging from powerful Texas Republicans to billionaires and bankers. It appears that the junior senator from Texas has connections in high places, and that his high school passion has paid off handsomely for him.
At the end of the interview Rafael Cruz delivers the dominionist line as it has been rewritten by the billionaires who bankroll the Renewal Project summits:
So before my son left high school he was passionate about the constitution. He was passionate about freedom and free markets and limited governments. Before he left high school he knew without a shadow of a doubt what his purpose in life was and it was to defend and protect freedom and the Constitution, to fight for free markets and limited government, and it became a passion in his life. So this is not a trajectory of three years, this is a trajectory of 30 years.
It's clear to me that the GOP has made a decision about 2014 and beyond. Rather than engage people of color and try to persuade them on the merits of conservatism, they've chosen to focus solely on white people, and most specifically on the religious zealots. Rafael Cruz may speak with a Cuban accent, but his message is intended for white evangelicals to rise up and take dominion. In the end, it could be that Cruz is being used to fire up a small minority of hard-core Cuban evangelicals in order to propel Rand Paul into the spotlight for 2016, but first they will set 2014 as the proving ground.