Date of Award
Dr. James LaGrand
On September 10, 2014, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stood to speak before the Washington DC based advocacy group, In Defense of Christians (IDC). The IDC, according to its website, “is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to heighten awareness among policymakers and the general public of the existence of ancient and often persecuted minority communities in the Middle East, particularly Christians.”1 As the keynote speaker for IDC’s September gala, Cruz offered an impassioned speech condemning religious persecution worldwide. Much to Cruz’s surprise, however, he received hostile responses from the crowd when he advocated for Israel; a storm of boos and taunts began to rumble after he simply stated, “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.”2 In response to the crowd’s continued animosity, Cruz walked off the stage after he said, “If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you. Thank you and God bless you.” According to Washington Post contributor Sean Sullivan, Cruz stated after the event, “I told the attendees that those who hate Israel also hate America, that those who hate Jews also hate Christians, and that anyone who hates Israel and the Jewish people is not following the teachings of Christ."3
Fuller, Jonathan, "Going Home: American Christian Zionism in History, Theology, and Identity" (2015). Honors Projects and Presentations: Undergraduate. 103.