Three GOP presidential candidates made a direct appeal to nearly 1700 Christian conservatives at this weekend’s National Religious Liberties Conference in Des Moines. Each of the candidates denounced this summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called it “judicial tyranny.”
“They are the supreme court. They are not the supreme branch or the supreme being. They can’t make law,” Huckabee said, to cheers and whistles.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said the fight over same-sex marriage “is not going away.”
“No Earthly court can change the definition of marriage, no federal government, no ACLU should be able to take away our religious liberty rights,” Jindal said, to applause. “We were given those by God almighty.”
Huckabee and Jindal spoke Friday morning (listen to their speeches here). Texas Senator Ted Cruz spoke early Friday evening. Cruz called the decision “fundamentally illegitimate.”
“Courts do not make law and nothing in the constitution supports that lawless decision,” Cruz said, to applause and cheers.
AUDIO of Cruz’s appearance (the microphone was cut off at the end by the event host), 15:00
Pastor Kevin Swanson, the event’s organizer who moderated on-stage discussions with each of the candidates, said the same-sex marriage ruling violates God’s law.
“Jesus Christ is king of kings and lord of lords. He is king of the president of the United States whether he will admit it or not and that president should submit to his rule and to his law. Amen,” Swanson said, to applause and affirmations of “Amen” from the crowd.
Cruz said now is not a “typical time” and there must be “an awakening” among Christian conservatives in 2016. Of the estimated 90 million evangelical Christians in America, Cruz told the crowd 66 percent did not vote in the 2012 presidential election.
“Is it any wonder the federal government is waging a war on life, on marriage, on religious liberty when Christians are staying home and our leaders are being elected by non-believers?” Cruz asked the crowd, the vast majority of whom were from out-of-state.
Pastor Rafael Cruz, the senator’s father, was also a speaker at the conference later Friday evening and he told the crowd his son was “the man of the hour.”