Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck

Talk-radio host Glenn Beck attracted scorn and ridicule over the weekend when he urged his Facebook followers to join him in a fast “for Ted Cruz, our country and the Nevada caucus.”

Predictably, left-wing outlets derided his comments. But some of his own followers also raised criticisms, and some otherwise conservative websites appeared to mock him.

The Drudge Report also profiled the announcement in its headline for a time on Sunday.

But Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, doesn’t understand why there was a backlash to the statements.

“Fasting is something that many people of faith have practiced,” Cruz told WND. “It’s just a way of you not focusing on your fleshly desires and concentrating on God and concentrating on prayer. I don’t see any reason to mock someone of faith for seeking God and seeking God’s wisdom and direction and God’s mercy upon this country, which is at a critical juncture.”

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Rafael Cruz, author of “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America,” noted George Washington once called the nation to a time of fasting and prayer. In fact, our first president was a man of prayer himself, as were many Founders of the United States.

“It is said that Washington did not go into any battle without being on his knees first and seeking God’s wisdom and God’s direction and God’s will,” Cruz said. “He was a man of prayer like many of the Founding Fathers were. Those people were on their knees quite often, and that’s why I believe the Constitution of the United States of America has lasted over two centuries, because it was forged on the knees of the framers.”

Cruz believes it’s only natural for a person of faith to call for fasting and prayer when he or she beholds the condition of America today.

With the recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Cruz believes the Supreme Court, and nation, is at a tipping point – one more left-leaning justice and Americans could lose many of their religious freedoms, gun rights and other liberties they hold dear.

“America hangs in the balance, and it is only natural to seek God’s hand to intervene in the country because the future of our country is in peril, and when we are in desperate conditions, it’s only natural that we turn to God and invoke God’s mercy and God’s help,” Cruz said.

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Beck responded to criticism of his proposed fast by stating, “I’m not running from this” on his Facebook page.

Historian David Barton, author of “The Jefferson Lies,” fully supports Beck’s position.

“He should not run from it. It says a whole lot about today’s culture, including about Drudge, that fasting becomes a top-line story. With all the things going on in America, it’s a top-line news story to call somebody out for calling for a time of fasting? Are you kidding me?”

The practice of fasting in America goes all the way back to the time of the Pilgrims, according to Barton.

Rafael Cruz

Rafael Cruz

The Pilgrims had two annual prayer days a year – one was a day of thanksgiving, and the other was a day of fasting. Barton said during the Revolution, the Continental Congress issued 15 national calls to prayer, and roughly half of them included a call to fasting.

“By 1815, you had 1,400 government-issued calls to prayer in America, and about half of them were for prayer and fasting; the other half were thanksgiving,” Barton said. “So it’s a longstanding American tradition that has gone for centuries after that.”

Prayer is so important because it is the “heart, soul and guts” of religious expression, according to Barton.

He noted once the Supreme Court banned prayer in public schools in 1962, it opened the door for secular forces to attack other aspects of religious expression as well. So the court banned Bible reading in public schools the following year, and soon public displays of the Ten Commandments were forcibly taken down, and then Christmas Nativity scenes in public places were taken down, and on and on.

“Prayer is the quintessential religious practice, and it’s the heart, soul and guts of religion,” Barton said. “Without that, you don’t really have that much in the way of religious practice, so it’s always the first one to be attacked and the first one that needs to go if you want to have a secular society and a secular culture. And so anytime prayer comes under attack, it’s not going to stop there.”

Cruz encourages Americans to continue to pray for their country, just as their forefathers did.

“I encourage people to join with other believers across the nation praying that God will have mercy upon America and will guide us to do the right thing and to see America again restored to the fundamental principles that have made America the greatest country on the face of the earth,” he said.

SPECIAL OFFER: Get an autographed copy of Rafael Cruz’s powerful new book, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America,” at a discounted price, from the WND Superstore.

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