Texas Pastor Rafael Cruz wasn’t at all surprised when his son stood for more than 21 hours straight last month urging federal lawmakers to defund Obamacare. He’s a man of principle, and it’s his nature, the elder Cruz said.
Obamacare, signed into law in March 2010, requires larger companies to offer health insurance to those who work 30 hours or more. If not, they face steep fines. Most Americans oppose the law. Pastor Cruz calls it the “worst thing” the American government has done.
Though he faced criticism from mainstream media, many say Cruz’ son, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas, stood up for Americans across the country when he gave his “marathon speech” on the Senate floor.
Rafael Cruz, director of Purifying Fire Ministries, helped with his son’s Senate race last year, and he continues to deliver speeches across the country on religious freedom and pro-family issues. Last weekend, CitizenLink co-sponsored his speeches in Thornton and Colorado Springs, Colo. Pastor Cruz took some time to talk with CitizenLink.
CitizenLink: What is it like to work with your son on such a national level?
Rafael Cruz: I remember this January when I was sitting in the Senate chamber watching my son being sworn in as a U.S. Senator. I remember about 55 years before when I came to this country. I didn’t have any money — couldn’t speak a word of English. And to see my son being sworn in as a U.S. Senator, I could not contain the tears. And the first thing that came to my mind was, ‘Only in America.’ This is the greatest country on the face of the earth and I’m so proud to be an American.
CL: What role did faith have in bringing up your children?
RC: It played a huge part. I actually came to the Lord when my son was four years old. We spent a lot of time reading the Bible to him every night and actually praying Scripture over him — declaring Scripture over him — just telling him about God’s promises and God’s direction. He came to the Lord when he was eight. God used him even at an early age. When he was 11 years old, he went on a mission trip to Honduras. He led the ex-mayor of the capital city of Honduras to the Lord — as an 11-year-old. Can you imagine? An 11-year-old led the ex-mayor of the capital city to the Lord.
CL: What was it like for you to watch him take a stand against Obamacare for 21 hours on the Senate floor?
RC: I was not surprised. Ever since he was a child, not only did he have that scriptural foundation, but I was very involved at the grassroots level during the Reagan campaign. I was involved in what was called the Religious Roundtable. The Religious Roundtable was a group of Christians that got organized in the late ’70s to help Reagan get elected. This was before the Tea Party — even before the Moral Majority. Our conversation around the dinner table was all about politics. And of course, this was a Christian movement. I was on the state board the Religious Roundtable. After Ted entered high school, through a client of mine, I introduced him to an organization called the Free Enterprise Institute. They had him reading, Adam Smith, Hayek, von Mises, Frederic Bastiat, The Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers. So he had a great grounding in the foundational, philosophical books that were the basis of the Declaration and the Constitution. This organization created a group of five kids. They called them the Constitutional Corroborators. Each of these five kids, of which my son was one of them, memorized the entire Constitution. Then for the next four years they would go to Rotary Clubs. They would put easels in the front of the room and while people were having lunch these five kids would write the entire Constitution by memory on those easels. They gave about 80 speeches all over Texas on the free market and the Constitution. Before my son got out of high school, he was passionate about the Declaration, about the Constitution, about free markets, about limited government, about freedom — and it just became a passion in his life. That passion is as alive today as it was 30 years ago, so I wasn’t surprised that he did what he did. He’s a man of principle, and he’s passionate about these things — restoring this country to what our Founding Fathers envisioned for this country.
CL: What’s your perspective on restoring our freedoms? How does Obamacare play into that?
RC: Obamacare is really the worst thing that this government has done, because it’s actually all about control. It’s all about controlling the population, controlling our lives to such an extent that we become serfs of the government. That’s what Obamacare is all about. It’s about removing our choices and having the government dictate everything in life for us. But the thing that is so telling about Obamacare is that this is a law nobody wants. They passed it in spite of the fact that the people did not want it. It is very interesting. Congress, who wrote and passed the law, wants an exemption. The IRS, which is supposed to enforce the law, wants an exemption. Big businesses that financially supported Obama, they want an exemption. The labor unions, who have been very big supporters of this administration, they all want exemptions. Only we, the people, are the ones who don’t get an exemption. Obamacare is going to do the opposite of what they tell you it’s going to do. There are going to be more people uninsured than before, because a lot of companies are dropping insurance. Federal Express just a month ago said to their 18,000 employees, “We’re no longer going to cover your spouses and your children. We can no longer afford it.” IBM is doing the same thing. A lot of companies are dropping coverage. The youth, their rates are going to at least double because they are going to pay for the people who are sick. They’re going to have a rude awakening to the fact that they are not going to be able to afford their insurance. The elderly are going to have much worse care because socialized medicine all over the world has led to rationing of care, long waiting lines — typically 12 to 18 months for any procedure. That’s why for years people from Canada have been coming to the United States for medical procedures. The same thing is going to be happening here. It’s happening in England. Every place where they have socialized medicine, the quality of care has been reduced. The availability of doctors has been reduced, because nobody is going to study medicine if you can’t make any money at it. Just the fact that you have rationed care is going to be devastating, especially for the elderly.
CL: What can people who are frustrated by the impeding health care law do to make their voices heard?
RC: I think we need to make Congress listen to the people. There is a website that was started by the Senate Conservative Fund: www.dontfundit.com. There are almost 1,900,000 signatures on the website. That’s probably the largest petition that has ever been done. What needs to be done is have everyone call every congressman and senator and just demand that they vote according to the will of the people. Flood their phone lines, send them emails, send them letters. Make them aware what the will of the people is. Then, if they vote against the will of the people they are in peril that they will be voted out of office. And unfortunately, that’s the only language they understand.
This is truly an exceptional country, in spite of what the president says. America is truly exceptional and it is exceptional because this is the only country in the world that was founded on the word of God. It was founded by men and women seeking the freedom to worship God. And our foundation is a biblical foundation. That’s what’s made America great and we are getting away from that foundation. We need to go back to the fundamental values that are in the Constitution, that are in the Declaration. Those two documents were written by people who were seeking divine revelation from above, and we need to get back to those foundations