Ted Cruz, speaking Saturday at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition summit (of their fears):
Today’s Democratic Party has decided there is no room for Christians in today’s Democratic Party. There is a liberal fascism that is going after Christian believers. It is heartbreaking. But it is so extreme, it is waking people up…. We were founded by men and women fleeing religious persecution. We need leaders who will stand unapologetically in defense of the Judeo-Christian values upon which America was built.
I don't know if Mr. Cruz has ever read the intellectual histories of the great Perry Miller, America's finest historian of the colonial era. But if he has, he read and chose to ignore Perry's deeply researched observations, such as "Professional patriots, especially those of New England descent, are fond of celebrating the Puritans as the founders of the American tradition of rugged individualism, freedom of conscience, popular education, and democracy. The Puritans were not rugged individualists; they did indeed believe in education of a sort, but not in the 'progressive' sense; they abhorred freedom of conscience; and they did not believe at all in democracy" (from Miller's essay, "Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening").
I also don't know if Mr. Cruz has encountered the marvelous work of that most eminent historian of our revolutionary era, Bernard Bailyn, in whose widely revered volume, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, one will find references to "natural rights, the contractual basis of society and government" and the "uniqueness of England's liberty-preserving 'mixed' constitution" as the bases of American revolutionary thought, and only scattered, fleeting references to the Abrahamic tradition. The European Enlightenment, from which we derived our founding principles, was itself a celebration of secular thought.
Mr. Cruz would know this, if he had read anything about that on which he pontificates and demagogues. Perhaps, with his Princeton and Harvard educations, he does know this, which would make his demagoguery more egregious. But I'll cut him some slack and assume, from his own words, that he is merely a highly educated ignoramus.