Sen. Ted Cruz Tells Liberty University Students to Stand Up for Religious Freedom; Obama's Favorite Tycoon Lobbies for Higher Taxes While Minimizing His Own

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 3, 2014 | Go to article overview

Sen. Ted Cruz Tells Liberty University Students to Stand Up for Religious Freedom; Obama's Favorite Tycoon Lobbies for Higher Taxes While Minimizing His Own


Byline: Tom Howell Jr., THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday told graduating students at Liberty University they should stand by their principles because religious liberty is under threat by the Obama administration's birth-control mandate and immersed in other skirmishes at the intersection of religion and secular life.

The Supreme Court recently heard a challenge from two family-owned corporations that say the Affordable Care Act contraception mandate violates their religious beliefs. It is "a critical case that goes to the heart of religious freedom," Mr. Cruz, Texas Republican, said in his convocation speech to the Christian college founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell in Lynchburg, Va.

"Today, religious liberty has never been more under assault," he said. "We are called to action as believers, not to sitting quietly and hiding our faith under a bushel, but to stand and speak no matter what the consequence."

The outspoken freshman senator has clashed with the White House, congressional Democrats and members of his own party during his short tenure on Capitol Hill.

Cheered by the tea party and grassroots conservatives, Mr. Cruz was accused by some Republicans of causing a government shutdown last fall by demanding that Congress defund Obamacare as part of any federal spending deal.

Months later, he forced Senate Republican leaders into tough votes on the nation's debt ceiling. But he has won supporters along the way and is considered a rising star and potential contender for the party's presidential nomination in 2016.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cruz focused heavily on America's founding principles of religion and freedom in a speech that ranged in subject from the Bible to Martin Luther King Jr. to America's founding, sounding in turns like a history professor and/or a pastor delivering his Sunday sermon.

The senator said he wasn't there to talk politics, but delved into the various flashpoints between atheists and religiously affiliated groups. …

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