By Nathan Jones
How critical is Christianity to the success of Democracy?
We asked this question on Christ in Prophecy of our special guest, Rafael Cruz, the father of one of the United States senators from Texas and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. He joined us to discuss what he believes are some of the greatest dangers to American democracy and freedom.
[Note: Lamb & Lion Ministries does not endorse any particular presidential candidate. The following interview has been lightly edited for grammatical purposes.]
Christianity and Democracy
Dr. Reagan: Let's look at what Clay Christensen, a renowned professor at the Business School at Harvard University, had to say:
Some time ago I had a conversation with a Marxist economist from China. He was coming to the end of a Fulbright Fellowship here in Boston. I asked him if he had learned anything that was surprising or unexpected, and without any hesitation he said, "Yes, I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy. The reason why Democracy works is not because the government was designed to oversee what everybody does, but rather Democracy works because most people, most of the time, voluntarily choose to obey the law. In your past, most Americans attended a church or synagogue every week, and they were taught there by people who they respected." My friend went on to say that, "Americans follow these rules because they had come to believe that they weren't just accountable to society, they were accountable to God."
My Chinese friend heightened a vague but nagging concern I've harbored inside, which is that as religion loses its influence over the lives of Americans, what will happen to our democracy? Where are the institutions that are going to teach the next generation of Americans that they, too, need to voluntarily choose to obey the laws? Because if you take away religion, you can't hire enough police.
Dr. Reagan: "If you take away religion, you cannot hire enough police." Mr. Cruz, what is your response to Professor Christensen's statement?
Rafael Cruz: What happens is when you destroy, I would say Christianity more than religion, what takes its place is another religion which is called Secular Humanism. Secular Humanism basically says there is no God, for you are your own God. On that premise there are no moral absolutes. As a matter of fact, their mantra is, "If it feels good, do it." Secular Humanism embraces a lot of chaos, a lot of immorality, and a lot of corruption. It causes a situation that deteriorates more and more and more. That's exactly what we seeing happening in America today.
Dr. Reagan: You are of the age where we have witnessed in our lifetime the deterioration of America. When I was a kid growing up, we did Bible readings in school. We prayed in school. Our English Reader was made up of Bible stories. We were taught morality.
In 1956, when I graduated from Waco High School, on any given day there were a hundred pickup trucks in the parking lot, and every pickup truck had a gun rack. There was a deer rifle, there was a shotgun, there was a 22 rifle, and usually a pistol in the glove compartment. Nobody was worried about those guns being on the school campuses. Today we have moral pygmies killing each other over tennis shoes!
This erosion has to do with the fact that we have simply eroded our Christian standards. As that has happened, we have increased violence in the schools. We have violence in society. We see society falling apart. What I can't understand is why people who are non-Christians cannot recognize the connection.
Rafael Cruz: What has happened is this so-called religion of Secular Humanism started as far back as 1933. There was a document printed in America in 1933 called the Humanist Manifesto. One of the principle authors was John Dewey who was considered the Father of American Education. He was also a member of the American Communist Party. He was our so-called our top educator! Then in 1962, prayer is removed from school and in 1963 the Bible is removed from schools. The consequence of those two abominable decisions of the Supreme Court was that teen pregnancy skyrocketed over 500%, and so did violent crime.
But, the sad thing is the Church remained silent. They called it a political issue. How can you call prayer a political issue? How can you call Bible study a political issue?
Dr. Reagan: I remember under the military dictatorship in Poland at one point the government decided they were going to take the crucifixes out of every classroom in Poland, for every classroom had a crucifix. The people went into the streets and declared, "You will do that over our dead bodies!" The Communist regime backed off.
In contrast, the Church didn't stand up to keep the Bible and prayer in the classrooms. We didn't speak out. This moral slid has has happened over a long period of time.
One of the Supreme Court decisions the just infuriates me is when they threw the Ten Commandments out and ruled that schools cannot even the Ten Commandments posted on the walls of the schools in America. They said the reason is because the children might read the Ten Commandments and decide to obey them. They actual said that in the decision!
Nathan Jones: In the Fall of 2015, the Oklahoma City government in the middle of the night snuck the Ten Commandments Monument off of the capital building.
Rafael Cruz: The thing that amazes me is that if these Atheist really don't believe in God, why are they so afraid of the cross? Why are they so afraid of the Ten Commandments?
Nathan Jones: Because they know there truly is power in the cross.
Rafael Cruz: There is power in the cross, and they know it.
Dr. Reagan: It's really strange the way things have developed in this nation, a nation that was founded on Christian principles. America is a nation that has been blessed like no other nation since ancient Judah. And yet, we have turned our back on God. We are shaking our fist at God. I think we are just begging for the destruction of God.
Rafael Cruz: Absolutely! But, I am still very, very encouraged. I think America's best days are still ahead, because I believe there is a point when the people of God are finally going to say, "I can't take it anymore!" I think the decision on June 26, 2015, to legalize homosexual marriage, I think the Devil overplayed his hand there. Now, all of a sudden, we have a frontal attack on the family, and the family is the fundamental unit of society. It is the very first institution that God created. As the family goes, so goes the nation.
In the fourth and last segment of our interview of Rafael Cruz, we'll look at what the Bible has to teach about voting.