Fresh off his rally for "religious freedom" in Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz warned an audience at the South Carolina "We Stand With God" rally that anti-Christian persecution, like the kind that terrorizes Christian businesses who refuse to serve same-sex couples, might be coming for their state.
From Right Wing Watch:
"Cruz, unsurprisingly, focused much of his sermon-like speech on claiming that advances in LGBT rights are in fact 'persecuting' conservative Christian business owners who refuse to serve LGBT customers. Discussing a few of the people he brought to his persecution-palooza in Iowa earlier this month, he warned the South Carolina crowd that they might be next and that eventually the U.S. will become like Iran, which has imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini.
'This is the world we’re living in,' he said. 'If you think your faith is safe, next may be you. Next may be me. Next may be your pastor who preaches the Word from the pulpit. Next may be your sister or brother or mom who volunteers at the pregnancy crisis center. And you want to know how bad it can get, at that rally, we had Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, a Christian pastor, sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran for the crime of preaching the Gospel.'"
Ted Cruz is trying to stoke the fear in the already fearful in a scramble for votes, but the fear is misplaced. We say it a lot, but it bears repeating: marriage equality and an increase in rights for same-sex couples does not mean that the rights of others are being taken away. This is not a zero-sum game. And to equate your brand of Christianity with the right to discriminate against others does neither you nor your religion any favors.