Urgent message to my fellow New Hampshirites who are puzzling over who to vote for in next week’s primary:
Please don’t vote for Ted Cruz.
I know, I know, he’s got a lot of what you’re looking for in a president: he’s arrogant, he tells bad jokes, he can make his voice do all those weird things when he gives a speech—that quiver, that whisper, that calculated pause that reminds you so much of the televangialist about to pick your pocket.
But whatever appeal he has for you, consider this: the New York Times reported that Cruz believes a president should spend every morning on his knees in prayer, asking for guidance from God. Now that may sound good, but in reality, it’s hard to know when God is talking to you, and when you’re talking to yourself. The last president who so openly made a point about praying on his knees to God was William McKinley in 1899. Back then there were many in the United States who were proud of the fact that we, unlike the Europeans, had never wanted an empire. Yes, it would have been nice to remind them of all the land we took from the Native-Americans and the Mexicans, but at least we were not trying to colonize Asia and Africa. Then along came the Spanish-American War, and the question of the Philippines. We had defeated the Spanish with the help of the Filipino freedom fighters, but then what? The Filipinos wanted independence, but McKinley got a message from God:
I walked the floor of the White House night after night until midnight; and I am not ashamed to tell you, gentlemen, that I went down on my knees and prayed Almighty God for light and guidance more than one night. And one night late it came to me this way—I don’t know how it was, but it came: (1) That we could not give them back to Spain—that would be cowardly and dishonorable; (2) that we could not turn them over to France and Germany—our commercial rivals in the Orient—that would be bad business and discreditable; (3) that we could not leave them to themselves—they were unfit for self-government—and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain’s was; and (4) that there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God’s grace do the very best we could by them, as our fellow-men for whom Christ also died. And then I went to bed, and went to sleep, and slept soundly…
In other words, God told McKinley to double-cross the Filipino rebels. For Christ’s sake. The results were a three-year war–the USA against the rightful leaders of the Philippines–25,000 dead fighters, an unknown number of civilian deaths, brutal massacres, diseases, ….the usual horror stories.
God also forgot to clue McKinley in that the Filipinos were already Christians—7 million out of 7.6 million people. OK, OK, …so they were all Catholics, so maybe what God meant was that He wanted McKinley to get out there and turn them into good evangelical Protestants, like….hey! like Ted Cruz!
Cruz wants to carpet bomb ISIS–is that what God told him? Why not just use a nuclear weapon? The sky’s the limit when you clear your mind of the facts in order to chat with the Creator.
So let’s ask for a little less God in our president, a little more reason, and a lot more integrity.
If you liked this, try “God’s Plan” or “How to Ruin the World“