WTF Wednesday: Ted Cruz, champion of religious freedom.

Hello and welcome to your WTF Wednesday with me, Cara B. This is where I talk about the stories that made me say WTF this week.

Today I want to talk about good old Ted Cruz, junior Senator from Texas.

During a ”Faith in the Public Square” event earlier this month, Cruz graciously admitted that he has no problem working with gays. But, he says, the law shouldn’t force other people to do so. The moderator asked him for his opinion on cake makers and photographers who don’t want to work same-sex weddings. Here’s part of his response:

“I’m very much a believer that the scripture teaches that you hate the sin and love the sinner, and so, you know, from my perspective I am perfectly willing to interact with anybody…Look, I work in the U.S. Congress. But at the same time, I don’t think the law should be forcing Americans to violate their religious faith.”

I’ve heard this argument before, so I wasn’t at all surprised by it. Discrimination of this type is truly self-defeating anyway. People, business owners included, are realizing that refusing service to gay people negatively impacts their own bottom line.  The thing that really made me say WTF was where Cruz went next.

“The Obama administration is litigating against the Little Sisters of the Poor, trying to force them, trying to extract millions of dollars of fines to force them to pay for contraceptives and abortion-providing drugs for others.”

What?! Obama wants to force Catholic nuns who serve the elderly to provide free abortions to their employees or pay millions in fines?!

Well, no. Cruz is sensationalizing the case to feed on the indignance of people who don’t really understand the (admittedly confusing) case. The sisters are one of forty-five religious groups who oppose the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. Religious groups were offered an accommodation and can opt-out of the contraception mandate.This would involve the religious organizations signing a form stating that they opt out, and they would not have to provide contraception coverage. However, some of their employees might still be able to get their evil, evil, abortion pills (oh, and basic contraception) through their insurance providers. . Some religious organizations accepted this compromise while others, including the sisters, did not.

Cruz — along with a range of conservative ‘religious freedom’ organizations —  is painting the Obama administration as some sort of oppressive liberal force bent on stifling religious freedom. Which, of course, makes him and his consort look like champions of Christian values. Cruz is more than willing to condone discrimination against the LGBTQ community and the denial of basic healthcare to women, as well as distort the truth, in order to accomplish his political goals.

WTF, Ted Cruz? W.T.F.

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