In speeches at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority Conference last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Florida governor Ron DeSantis spoke of people on the political Left as spiritual enemies and portrayed those on the Right as true followers of God.
“You’ve got to be strong,” said DeSantis at the end of his speech. “You’ve got to put on the full armor of God. You’ve got to take a stand, take a stand against the Left’s schemes. You’ve got to stand your ground. You’ve got to be firm. You will face flaming arrows, but take up the shield of faith and fight on.”
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Faith and Freedom Coalition Speakers: The Left Is Evil
The Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) is a conservative political advocacy group that operates on the belief that “the greatness of America lies not in the federal government but in the character of our people — the simple virtues of faith, hard work, marriage, family, personal responsibility, and helping the least among us. If we lose sight of these values, America will cease to be great.”
The goal of FFC’s Road to Majority Conference, which has taken place for the past 12 years, is to empower “conservative activists to fight for their values at the polls and in the public arena.” The Road to Majority Conference 2021 took place June 17-19, and its purpose was to “continue the momentum to win the majority in the 2022 midterm elections.”
DeSantis’s closing words in his speech referenced Ephesians 6:10-16, which says:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The governor failed to point out that in this passage, the Apostle Paul specifically says the battle believers engage in is not against people, but against “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” By encouraging conference attendees to “take a stand against the Left’s schemes,” DeSantis put the “Left” in place of the “devil,” thereby portraying anyone who espouses a certain political ideology as being demonic and therefore an enemy of God himself.
Cruz was also quite direct in describing his political opponents as enemies. “The Left is like the Terminator,” he said. “They’re soulless, have no heart, no brain, and red eyes.” The senator also relied on Scripture in order to frame his perspective that those on the political Right are in a righteous battle against those on the political Left. He referenced Psalm 30:5, which says, “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
“I’m here to tell you morning is coming,” said Cruz. “We’re going to win in 2022 and retire Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. And then we’re going to win in 2024 and send Joe Biden and Kamala Harris a one-way ticket down finally to our southern border.”
While DeSantis spent most of his speech reviewing his accomplishments as governor, Cruz focused on the idea that “America is great,” as well as the importance of supporting such values as traditional marriage, police officers, unborn children, and Israel. He also followed former president Donald Trump in labelling COVID-19 in racial terms. Said Cruz, “The Wuhan virus came from Wuhan.” Such terminology has been linked to a rise in anti-Asian racism in the U.S. over the past year.
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