George Graham

Tea Party’s New Face is a “Christian Conservative”

You might find this hard to believe, but Tea Party Republicans are heralding Ted Cruz as their newest poster boy. According to a recent profile in Mother Jones magazine:

George Will calls Cruz, the Princeton- and Harvard Law School-educated son of a former Cuban revolutionary, “as good as it gets”;National Review dubbed him “the next great conservative hope,” gushing that “Cruz is to public speaking what Michael Phelps was to swimming.” Political strategist Mark McKinnon channeled the thinking of many in the party when he proclaimed Cruz “the Republican Barack Obama.”

When I heard Cruz smearing Chuck Hagel with unfounded insinuations during the recent senate hearings,  I wondered at the man’s lack of basic decency. He certainly didn’t seem Christlike to me. So when Mother Jones described him as as a “Christian conservative,” I was left scratching my head.

What on earth, I asked myself, is a “Christian conservative”?

OK, so it’s someone who opposes abortion. I get that. But I believe Jesus would agree with Bill Clinton that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.” Above all, Jesus was understanding. He would understand that a woman should have the privacy to make such painful choices. And he would never deny doctors the right to save a woman’s life by terminating her pregnancy.

Of course, all I know about Jesus is what I read in the Bible, and I can’t find anything about abortion in the Gospels.

What I do find in the Gospels – over and over again – is the supremacy of love and the admonition to share what you have.

And that’s definitely not what “Christian conservatives” like Ted Cruz are about.

The Mother Jones profile described Cruz as “an amalgam of far-right dogmas.” And I can’t see anything Christian about that.

Mother Jones also called  the 42-year-old Texas senator “the thinking man’s tea partier, an intellectual face on a movement and ideology that have long simmered beneath the Republican mainstream.”

Ted Cruz an intellectual? He sure fooled me!

Born in Calgary, while his parents were working in the Canadian oil industry, Ted Cruz moved to Texas with them when he was 4 years old. When he was 13, his parents enrolled him in an after-school program that – according to the Mother Jones profile – was designed “to groom a new generation of true believers in the glory of the free market.”

The fact that Cruz retained his right-wing notions after graduating from Princeton and Harvard Law School only makes me question the value of an Ivy League education. It certainly doesn’t make me compare Ted Cruz with President Obama!

So he has a trophy case full of debating awards, so what? That simply tells me he is adept at rationalizing false ideas. It’s an ancient art called sophistry. “Thinking” men – or women – aren’t likely to be so glib; they would be more aware of the shades of gray that undermine the surety of dogma.

To me, the term “conservative thinker” is an oxymoron.

And so is the label “Christian conservative.”

The Jesus I encountered in the Bible was no conservative. He was so progressive the establishment had Him crucified.

Click here to read the Mother Jones profile.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for