Rafael Cruz’ list of dangers to America

By WND Staff

Constitution42

When Sen. Ted Cruz gave his victory speech in Iowa after winning that state’s caucus Feb. 1, the one man who has been such an instrumental figure in shaping both his love of the United States of America and Jesus Christ was standing just behind him: his father, Rafael Cruz.

In Rafael’s new book, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America,” Cruz presents a simple underlying message, as crystallized in the jacket copy:

For Christians, Jesus Christ should be the foundation of the lives they build and they should be active in making a difference in the world around them. In practical terms, that means Christians should strive for a free society that respects each of God’s children; should embrace the Judeo-Christian values of love, joy and peace; and should seek a relationship with the living God. It means people of faith should actively participate in the political process to combat the debilitating and deceptive progressive mantra that there should be a separation of church and state.

“A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America” is the story of one man’s quest for refuge from Cuban persecution to realizing the American dream. It is a story about one man finding true freedom that comes from faith in Jesus Christ. It is the story of this great nation that was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and why it has fallen from grace.

It also is a wake-up call to the faithful across the land to step up to the challenge of entering the public arena and take on the forces at work to destroy the guiding principles that made this country great.

The message is: Religious people must saddle up. They must vote and volunteer and campaign. They must get in the political game. The followers of Christ are, in His words, “the light of the world.”

But for a light to have its effect, it has to shine in the darkness. That’s why Christians should “declare,” as St. Paul said, “the whole counsel of God.”

Published by WND Books in January 2016, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America” includes a powerful foreword by Glenn Beck and a 3,000-word epilogue by Sen. Cruz himself. Below, WND.com has excerpted one of the chapters Rafael is most passionate about, as he outlines the five greatest dangers to the United States of America if it doesn’t change course.

A Time for Action: Five Dangers if America Doesn’t Change Course

By Rafael Cruz

On January 13, 2012, Captain Francesco Schettino was commanding the helm of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of the island Isola del Giglio in Italy. Normally, the ship remained five miles offshore, but that day, the ship’s maître d’hôtel asked the captain, who hailed from the island, to perform a “sail-past.” A sail-past is a salute to a crewmember’s family or friends that is performed by steering a ship close to shore.

Schettino agreed, and then turned off the alarm system for the ship’s computer navigation system so he could navigate by sight. Realizing that the ship was about to hit the reef, he ordered an abrupt turn, but it was too late. The ship’s hull ran into the rocks, listed, and then lay down in the water. Thirty-two of the 4,252 people on board perished. Captain Schettino was found guilty of manslaughter of the thirty-two passengers and sentenced to sixteen years in prison.

America, too, is headed straight toward a perilous reef. If we don’t make an immediate change of course, the dream of our Founding Fathers and many conservative Americans today will perish.

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.

In this chapter, I will describe five dangers, five monumental changes that will take place in our country and jeopardize our freedoms, unless we do something.

DANGER #1: FREEDOM OF RELIGION COULD BECOME FREEDOM OF WORSHIP.

While “freedom of religion” and “freedom of worship” sound alike, they differ a great deal. Let’s review what the First Amendment of the Constitution says about religion:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Nowhere in the US Constitution or its twenty-seven amendments does the word worship appear. So what’s the big deal?

Action220In an alarming online article on Catholic Online, dated July 19, 2010, Fr. Randy Sly exposed President Obama’s change in terminology (which actually began during Bill Clinton’s presidency). The Obama administration now equates the “freedom of worship” with the “freedom of religion.” In fact, the federal government now uses the term “freedom of worship” instead of the constitutional “freedom of religion” in its mandatory test for immigrants who want to become US citizens.

What’s the difference between the two? Ashley E. Samuelson, in a 2010 article for First Things, explained:

“To anyone who closely follows prominent discussion of religious freedom in the diplomatic and political arena, this linguistic shift is troubling.

“The reason is simple. Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. It’s about the right to dress according to one’s religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don’t go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves, yet “freedom of worship” would protect none of these acts of faith.

“Those who limit religious practice to the cathedral and the home are the same people who want to strip the public square of any religious presence. They work to tear down roadside memorial crosses built to commemorate fallen state troopers in Utah, to strip ‘Under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance, and they recently stopped a protester from entering an art gallery because she wore a pro-life pin.”

They also challenge worship in the home by banning home Bible studies, employing weak excuses such as “Too many cars are parked on the street,” or “Zoning ordinances don’t allow them,” or the people in attendance are “disturbing the peace.”

In Cuba and other communist countries, you can talk about religion and share the gospel inside a church building, but if you do it outside of a church building, you can be arrested. That is freedom of worship as opposed to freedom of religion. Incidentally, the government also places spies in those worship services to monitor what is said.

Is it any coincidence that President Obama appointed extreme homosexual activist and Georgetown University Law School professor Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? Ms. Feldblum is on record as saying, “We should . . . not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender. . . . Protecting one group’s identity may, at times, require that we burden others’ belief liberty. . . . It is essential that we not privilege moral beliefs that are religiously based over other sincerely held core, moral beliefs.”

The shift from the free exercise of religion to the freedom of worship means people can practice their faith only in corporate worship. But if you read this Obama appointee’s words closely, she expressly urges that the government should be able to discriminate against people with any religious beliefs that differ with her own politically correct beliefs.

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.

This shift is frightening and must be stopped!

DANGER #2: THE GENDER LINES COULD BECOME BLURRED, AND THE FAMILY FUNDAMENTALLY REDEFINED.

Houston mayor Annise Parker’s attempt to allow people to choose their public restroom based on their choice of gender identity is just the beginning of a continued blurring of gender lines.

In the same way, the media has celebrated Bruce (who now calls himself “Caitlyn”) Jenner’s decision to try to transform himself into a woman, with ESPN granting him the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. Not long after that, the E! network rewarded him with an eight-part, one-hour reality-television series.

Since then, transgender issues have become the newest lifestyle trend in Hollywood. CBS announced that a transgender actress will star in a transgender legal drama series. That same person was named to People magazine’s 2015 list of the world’s most beautiful people. Also, a fourteen-year-old transgender girl was recently given her own show on the TLC network and became one of the faces of a skincare line.

Men becoming women and women becoming men is bad enough. But boys becoming girls and vice versa, before they even exit puberty and fully understand themselves, then holding them up as role models for young people to emulate is ridiculous!

What could possibly be worse?

Recently, the University of Tennessee Office for Diversity and Inclusion asked students to replace gender-specific pronouns, such as he or she, with genderless pronouns, like ze, hir, or hirs. UT’s Pride Center director, Donna Braquet, explained their reasoning: “Transgender people and people who do not identify within the gender binary may use a different name than their legal name and pronouns of their gender identity, rather than the pronouns of the sex they were assigned at birth.”

The university also advises students to ask their peers, “What pronoun do you want me to use for you?” Perhaps a “he” wants to be called “she” or “ze.” Imagine trying to remember the different pronouns for every person you know. The task is overwhelming, troubling, and undoubtedly blurs the lines of gender.

When Obama nominated Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, concerned citizens protested because she had signed the Beyond Marriage statement. This statement calls for an entirely new definition of marriage rights that, in their words, extends to “households in which there is more than one conjugal partner” (in other words, more than two romantic partners). In Ms. Feldblum’s opinion, companies and the US government should be forced to extend benefits to people in open marriages.

If we continue down the current path, new draconian regulations, called Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) laws, will affect Americans in multiple ways:

1. Businesses and business owners will be forced to violate their moral and religious convictions. As we discussed in chapter 8, everything from mom-and-pop restaurants to large corporations – and those who own them – will be mandated to violate their faith or risk lawsuits and be driven out of business.

2. Christian-based companies will be unprotected by religious exemptions. While churches and clergy sometimes receive minimal protections, those same protections typically do not apply to Christian-based companies, such as Christian bookstores, religious publishers, and religious television and radio stations. Much less to the run-of-the mill business, owned by faithful believers. Forced policies to embrace homosexuality will assuredly compromise the values of those companies.

3. Privacy rights will be sacrificed in order to conform. If transgendered people can choose which bathroom to use, what prevents sexual predators from entering the bathroom of the opposite sex as well? Men would have the right to walk directly into the women’s restroom and gawk (and vice versa), and no one could prevent it. The laws would also permit them to use the same showers as women and young girls (this is why some critics have dubbed such laws bathroom bills). Imagine the damage it would do to women and young girls. Supporters of these laws ridicule any potential threat, but provide no substantive response to the reality that they would be powerfully enabling those who prey on our children.

When the ship of righteousness departs from the proven route established by Scripture, a crash will occur. Soon, every depraved practice will demand equal rights—if we don’t change direction.

We need to pray for our children who will be forced to grow up in this mess.

DANGER #3: OUR JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ETHIC COULD BE SUPPLANTED BY A SECULAR HUMANIST WORLDVIEW.

Someday future generations of Americans will look back at our era (if Jesus doesn’t return) and ask, “What were you thinking? Why didn’t you value human life?”

Fifty-eight million abortions since 1973. School shootings. Innercity violence. The problem with the violence in our country isn’t the result of the proliferation of guns. The problem lies with how little we value human life. After Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives stepped off the ark following the global flood, he told them, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6).

Before the flood, we read God’s reason for sending the “natural” disaster: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11). So afterward, He told Noah’s family (and us), “I made you different from the rest of the animals at creation. I created you in My image. Life is precious and people are precious. For this reason, any person who takes the life of another must pay with his life.”

Later, when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he reserved six of his directives to instruct us how to treat each other. (See Exodus 20:12–17.)

Since evolutionary theory tells us we’re nothing more than animals, why should we be surprised when we act like them? But when we realize that God set us apart from the animal kingdom – and that every human being is created in the image of God – we begin behaving differently from animals.

If we don’t change course, the value of human life will become even less. Already, four states (Vermont, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington) have legalized physician-assisted suicide. Not surprisingly, they’re all blue states.

By keeping our faith to ourselves, we guarantee our grandchildren will grow up in a secular humanist society. The Christian faith is not a personal thing – much to the dismay of every secular humanist. Little do they realize that the future of society and even possibly their lives depend on the Christian faith. Secular humanists weren’t the early advocates of abolition; Christians were – —both in England and in the United States. And someday, when they’re sitting in a nursing home, Christians will be defending their lives against people who see no problem with freeing a bed by taking their lives.

Unless we do nothing.

DANGER #4: GUN CONTROL COULD DISARM THE AVERAGE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN.

As I explained in chapter 2, tyrants throughout history have removed firearms from their people in order to control them. The freedom to bear arms helps prevent hostile government oppression. The Founding Fathers understood this, which is why the Second Amendment, passed in 1791, reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Note that the Second Amendment calls keeping and bearing arms a right that “shall not be infringed.” It assumes that you already have that right, because it is intrinsic in the “unalienable” right to life with which we have been “endowed by our Creator” (as stated in the Declaration of Independence). If we have a right to life, we also have the right to defend our lives and the lives of our loved ones.

As long as guns are readily available, the possibility of the overthrow of our government by tyrants is minimal. Too many people can defend the country.

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.

But here’s an example of the stupidity of gun restrictions: On July 16, 2015, Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez opened fire at two different military centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Four Marines and one sailor were killed and three more people were wounded. However, the casualties would have been significantly fewer if the employees of the two facilities hadn’t been federally prohibited from carrying firearms. Obviously, the sign on the front doors prohibiting the use of firearms did nothing to prevent Abdulazeez from opening fire. All it did was disarm our servicemen and women inside.

If guns are outlawed, as they say, only outlaws will have guns. Pity the single mother who works a second-shift job and drives late at night to her home in a high-crime neighborhood. If guns are outlawed, she’ll have absolutely no protection against a predator. Pity the store owner who cannot defend himself from criminals trying to rob him. Pity the family rendered powerless to defend themselves from an intruder who breaks in.

Chicago enforces some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Ironically – and not coincidentally – they also register some of the highest crime rates in the country. Every twenty hours or so, a person in that city is murdered, more than 80 percent of the time by gunshot. After a particularly bloody Independence Day weekend in 2014, Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy appealed for even tougher gun control laws.

Detroit, on the other hand, also experienced high crime rates. But instead of asking for stricter gun control, police chief James Craig encouraged the people of Detroit to arm themselves. As the crime rate began to fall in 2014, Craig attributed the lower crime rate to the many citizens taking his advice.

Or take Houston, Texas, for example. Their demographics in many ways mimic Chicago. Between two and three million people. Very diverse. Median income virtually the same. But their gun laws are like night and day. Unlike Chicago, Houstonians can carry concealed weapons. Houston has eighty-four dedicated gun shops and fifteen hundred places where consumers can purchase guns. Chicago? None.

So, following the logic that more guns increases crime, you’d expect the homicide rate to be much higher in Houston, right? Wrong. The number of homicides per 100,000 people in Houston is almost half that of Chicago (9.8 vs. 15.2 in 2013).

Again, take away the guns from law-abiding citizens and only criminals will have guns.

DANGER #5: EDUCATION COULD CHANGE THE LESSONS OF HISTORY.

“History is written by the victors,” Winston Churchill reputedly said. This is never more accurate than in the realm of education. The victors in education will determine how we interpret our country’s history. They will either revise history and teach that America began as a secular nation, or they will accurately show that America, indeed, began as a Christian nation.

The fight for the minds of our young people is very real. Educators are notorious for leaning left. Far left. And teachers’ unions almost exclusively support liberal candidates in every election.

In the past, parents felt empowered to give feedback regarding their children’s education. Schools were the product of communities. But today, our educational system is facing an unprecedented assault by progressives as a result of the new Common Core (CC) initiative.

So what is Common Core? According to the people who developed it, CC is “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA).” Sounds pretty innocuous. But in reality, CC delineates the skills every student should possess. On a deeper level, CC takes the responsibility of education from the grassroots level and hands it over to liberal educators, who will determine not only what our students should know, but how it is taught. And as we’ve discussed, not many good things happen when we give the federal government authority over local and state entities.

Because education is not included in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution (the enumerated powers of Congress), which serves as the job description of the federal government, it remains within the authority of the states.

In 2010, President Obama in effect bribed the states with $4.35 billion in grants to adopt Common Core standards by participating in his Race to the Top Fund. At a time when state budgets were struggling for funds in the midst of a faltering economy, many took the bait.

Forty-two states have adopted Common Core. Funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the tune of $200 million, CC is a single set of national standards developed by educators under a cloak of confidentiality and without public input. Interestingly enough, the only mathematics and English language arts specialists sitting on the validation committee did not approve the standards. A 2014 Gallup poll revealed that 60 percent of Americans are opposed to this initiative.

Here are my concerns about Common Core:

Common Core standards are not grounded in research. Despite claims that their standards are based on international research – scant evidence exists. Two committees composed of 135 people wrote the early childhood standards, without any of them having any experience as K–3 classroom teachers or early childhood education professionals. Then, when the standards were beginning to be implemented in 2010, five hundred early childhood experts determined the early childhood standards were so inappropriate that they called for their suspension.

Commenting on this in a recent Washington Post blog, Carol Burris reported, “Dr. Louisa Moats, one of the few early childhood experts on the team that wrote the literacy standards, is now an outspoken critic because the Common Core standards disregard decades of research on early reading development. . . . Moats describes the Common Core as a ‘political (and philosophical) compromise’ which reflects contemporary ideas, not reading research.”

Despite the claims that Common Core prepares students for career and college, absolutely no evidence exists. Diane Ravitch, a former assistant US secretary of education and research professor of education at New York University, in an article for the Huffington Post, wrote, “The biggest fallacy of the Common Core standards is that they have been sold to the nation without any evidence that they will accomplish what their boosters claim.”

Already, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Louisiana have exited the standards, and other states are hitting the brakes. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia were smart enough to avoid adopting it in the first place, which leads to the next concern.

Common Core lowers the bar in education. CC boasts that it will prepare students to be “college and career ready.” Wait a minute! How can one standardized approach equally prepare one student pursuing a career in auto mechanics or hairstyling and another student pursuing an undergraduate degree and still another student preparing to become a doctor? It’s simply impossible. To hit the different groups, the bar must be lowered. And that’s already happened.

David Coleman, the lead Common Core Standards writer, was named president of the College Board in 2012. The College Board administers the SAT and PSAT tests. In 2013, the College Board began tailoring the SAT to conform to CC. Shaan Patel, director of SAT programs for Veritas Prep, told U.S. News and World Report in March 2014, “My opinion is this test will be easier than the current SAT and the College Board is betting on more students taking the SAT because of that.”

I thought CC claimed to raise the bar! Now, for enough students to pass the SAT, the test must be made easier.

In the ongoing competition between the SAT and the ACT for test-takers, Patel added, “It’s a good move that it’s becoming easier in [a] way, but it’s also a very bad move in that I think it’s sort of a race to the bottom now.” He added that “when and if” the ACT makes its next change, it might lower its standards to remain competitive against the SAT.

What has Common Core produced? A race to the bottom.

A good teacher knows how to adapt the material to the students. In high-performing communities, teachers can make their lesson plans more rigorous. In lower-performing communities, teachers can slow down and simplify. But CC makes no allowance for this. Teachers must teach to federally established standards, and states are forbidden to change them. In the meantime, CC disempowers good teachers.

Last of all, teachers are now pressured to “teach to the test,” rather than “teach to the student.” What is the bottom line of education? Not passing a test. The bottom line of education is learning. When educators teach to the test, they sacrifice learning in the process. When educators teach to the test, they treat students as data rather than people.

Common Core creates an opening for liberal educators to promote their liberal agenda. In defending Common Core, educational elitists claim that their initiative only establishes standards and has nothing to do with curriculum. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When introducing CC, Bill Gates explained, “Identifying common standards is just the starting point. We’ll only know this effort has succeeded when the curriculum and tests are aligned to these standards.”

By giving the federal government permission to determine standards that rightfully belong to parents, teachers, and school boards, we are also giving them permission to create the curriculum by which the standards are taught. For this reason, many people are comparing CC to a Trojan horse.

Educational elites can now brainwash our students through federally mandated curriculum that extols socialism, globalism, and immorality from a secular humanist worldview. And guess who’s developing much of this curriculum? Bill Gates’s Microsoft, one of the most politically liberal companies in America.

For example, a test writer can pose manipulative discussion questions in the math curriculum that reflect unbiblical worldviews like same-sex orientation, situational ethics, socialism, values clarification, anarchy, and atheism. Through curriculum, unbiblical beliefs and behaviors can be normalized and radical agendas can then be pushed on our children.

And while CC limits itself to math and English, you can bet they will expand it into science and history. Already, disturbing national sexuality standards have been established.

As I said, history is written by the victors. And if we falter or give up this battle, CC elitists will literally rewrite our history to conform to their secular humanist worldview (much has already been done in rewriting history to remove our Judeo-Christian heritage).

David Barton with Wallbuilders points out four ways revisionist historians excise our Christian heritage from American history:

1. PATENT UNTRUTHS. Whenever a historian claims, :America began as a secular country,” you’re witnessing a patent untruth. Rather than make an untruthful claim about a subject in which most people have a general knowledge, revisionists make claims in areas in which most people lack knowledge.

2. OVERLY BROAD GENERALIZATIONS. Revisionists take the exception and make it the rule. For example, because Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin accepted certain deist beliefs, historians often ignore the deep spiritual lives of men like Patrick Henry and John Hancock, claiming that Christianity played an insignificant role in the formation of our country.

3. OMISSION. By omitting the context of a story or spiritual nuances of a quote, our students are led to believe a different story or even outcome. For example, take a “revisionist” quote of the 1620 Mayflower Compact: “We whose names are under-written . . . do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine our selves together into a civil body politick.”

Seems pretty innocuous. But here is the true Mayflower Compact quote: “We whose names are under-written having undertaken for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colonie in the Northern parts of Virginia do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politick” (italics added).

4. A LACK OF PRIMARY SOURCE REFERENCES. Instead of citing “primary-source documents,” revisionist historians will cite biased, second-hand resources. Barton explains:

“The text The Search for Christian America purports to examine the Founding Era and finds a distinct lack of Christian influence. Yet 80 percent of the ‘historical sources’ on which it relies to document its finding were published after 1950! That is, to determine what was occurring in the 1700s, they quote from works printed in the 1900s.”

For this reason we cannot be silent and we cannot sit still. We must imitate the Berean believers in Acts 17 who “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). We must be mindful of the changes in our culture and be aware of the government’s insidious tentacles reaching into our daily lives. In the next two chapters I will submit a strategy for helping America return to her former greatness.

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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