Cruz: Defeat Disguised as Victory

Ted Cruz

See some clarifications at the bottom of the post. 

Yesterday during an interview with Glen Beck, Ted Cruz said people had a right to suicide. The whole interview is bit confusing, but here is the money quote from Senator Cruz:

GLEN BECK: I assume you’re not for assisted suicide because that’s not toward life…or do you think people have a right to…

TED CRUZ: …I think if a person chooses to take his or her own life, they have the right to do that. I don’t support doing that. But I think each of us is a free and autonomous human being. …But we should be empowering individuals. If… If you… If anyone makes the decision to end their life, they can do that. And that’s between them and their Maker.

One wonders what argument Senator Cruz would use against sodomy or transgenders? Why can’t a man have sex with another man, it is after all their own body?  Why can’t I change from a man to a woman? After all  it is my own body.

A central problem in America and in American politics is the view that each of us  is a “free and autonomous human being. ” This philosophy is the foundation for almost all politics today, whether conservative, liberal, or libertarian. And that is why a Cruz presidency, while better than Trump, is not a win for conservatives.

Trump will be more painful in the short run, but better over the long haul for conservatives. Trump will expose the hypocrisy of the conservative movement. He will strip them naked. Trump is the presumptive conservative nominee. And he is not conservative at all. That tells you all you need to know about conservatives. For years conservatives have compromised on almost every issue that matters. Gender roles and the family have been destroyed  by conservatives. Postmodern ideas of individual freedom have supplanted any idea of transcendent morality.  Conservative fiscal policy has not been conservative for some time. Conservatives are notoriously hungry for war and their foreign policy has been a disaster. For years conservatives have been long on rhetoric and short on policy changes that matter. A few small wars and 9/11 kept us distracted from the actual state of conservative politics in this country. Cruz will keep up that pretense of a social, fiscal, and political conservatism, all the while his philosophy undermines it.  If Cruz is elected all this evidence of conservative compromise will be pushed aside because he will nominate a conservative Supreme Court justice and will be better than Trump on certain issues. But men like Cruz got us here.

Should we vote for Trump to hasten the demise of the “conservatives?” No, I don’t think so. This is not an encouragement to vote for Trump so much as a discouragement to see Cruz as the answer. Cruz is a better man than Trump and is solid on the key issue of our day, abortion. But his underlying philosophy is not as different from Trump as conservatives think or hope it is. Who will I vote for in the West Virginia primary? I won’t vote Trump. But will I vote Cruz? I am not sure. But I know that if I vote for him it will not be with any real hope of change or advance for conservatives under his leadership. If Cruz becomes president, which seems less and less likely, the next four years would be better than if Trump did.  But social, fiscal, and political conservatives would not actually be winning. They would just be holding off defeat for a few more years.

HT: The Bayly Blog

Clarification: 
I just listen to the Glen Beck podcast where the Cruz interview ran. The relevant portion is 1:32-1:38. I was going off of a transcript that did not give the full interview. Cruz does say he is against doctors helping people die, which to me is what “assisted suicide” means. If you kill yourself it is not assisted. Also he notes that it is a right to kill yourself. I guess he means suicide should not be criminalized. It is all in the context of talking about cancer, using the FDA, and bringing over medical devices from Europe, which are illegal here. Glen Beck clearly felt that Cruz was not giving the standard pro-life line about assisted suicide. If all Cruz was saying is, “Suicide should not be criminal” I am not sure Beck would have responded as he did.

Part of the confusion is the term used and Beck’s response. Cruz seems to be saying, “I think people should have a right to kill themselves. I wouldn’t do it, but others should be able to if they want. I don’t think doctors should help people kill themselves, not because suicide is wrong, but because doctors are supposed to promote life.”

But can I, since I am not a doctor, help my ailing grandmother kill herself? Cruz’s position, at least as it is given in the interview, would not rule that out. Plus the context is drugs, cancer, and end of life. All in all it was confusing and the terms used by Beck added to the confusion.

My main point, however, was the reason Cruz gave: human autonomy. That philosophical underpinning is why Cruz is not as conservative as people think he is.

Calvin on the Power of Holiness in Evangelism

Calvin 1Here is a portion from Calvin’s sermon on Acts 5:13-16

We are shown our responsibility. Once our Lord has brought us to the knowledge of salvation, we must so glorify him in our lives that people will realize we have not received the teaching in vain. That is why God’s teaching must not be preached in vain among us and why we must not, by our dissolute lives, give occasion to the wicked to say, as has been their custom, “Well it is true those people confess the gospel, but they do not know what that means, or at least they do not act like they do.”

And later:

That is why we are told our good life and behavior are to serve as an affirmation that the teaching of the gospel is good and holy and the way to life and salvation. It is not that God needs us to confirm his teaching, but it pleases him to use our holy and upright way of life to confirm the teaching in the eyes of men. That, I say, is what Luke admonishes us to do. So, if we profess the gospel, our lives must simultaneously correspond to it and reflect such holiness that the pitiable people who do not know the gospel may have the opportunity to think and say, “What is going on here? People say this teaching is false and a lie and considered heresy, but the fact is it has great power because those who have been instructed in it are completely changed. And we know it is a very difficult thing for a man to be made new. So, no matter what people say, that comes from God.” This, then, as I have said,  is why we should direct all our effort toward living upright lives: so that unbelievers themselves might be constrained to glorify God.

2016.Episode 9-Chronology of the Old Testament

Isaiah 2

I have always wanted to preach through the prophets. But that is a huge endeavor especially with some of the longer prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. I am going to use one podcast a week to examine the major chapters and themes in the Major Prophets (Isaiah-Daniel).  I begin by looking at the chronology of the Old Testament.