Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) got himself into some hot water recently when he said you need to fear God to be president.
Speaking at the National Religious Liberties Conference, which was established to (excuse me while I double over in violent fits of laughter) address the persecution of Christians problem, the presidential candidate was asked how important it is for a president to "fear God."
"Any president who doesn't begin every day on his knees," Cruz said, "isn't fit to be commander-in-chief of this country."
And oy did Atheist Nation throw a hissy fit. Most of the secular talking heads, bloggers and message boarders—basically any unbeliever with a throat or an Internet connection—was yammering about how this is blasphemy against the principle of separation of church and state, and the Establishment Clause, and the No Religious Test Clause, and the Are You Kidding Me With That Ridiculous Nativity Scene on the Courthouse Lawn Clause.
Well sure, we definitely need to keep Christianity's stupid, sprawling tentacles as far away from our government as possible. But that's on us, not Ted Cruz. Because when you think about it, it makes perfect sense for him to hold this opinion. Cruz is a Christian fundamentalist who takes the Bible literally. He believes, for instance, that his deity—the all-seeing and all-powerful (though somewhat of a childish, tantrum-throwing) Christian God—wiped out an entire planet of people because some didn't idolize him enough. If you believe that, of course you would want a Christian in the White House to make sure we all worship God properly.
Mike Huckabee, the Republican presidential hopeful who famously said that we need to "amend the Constitution [to meet] God's standards," told a crowd of Houston Hispanics in May that "the Supreme Court cannot overrule God" when it comes to issues of same sex marriage and abortion.
Those comments also set Skeptic Central into a tailspin. But again, if you believe, as Huckabee does, that gay marriage is causing society to crumble before our eyes and that God is about to take his cosmic sledgehammer unto our cities so that there'd be nothing left but rubble, roaches and slabs of Arby's meat—well, naturally you'd want the Constitution to sanction the Bible.
At a campaign rally in Illinois last week, Donald Trump joined the effort to boycott Starbucks because it had the nerve not to recognize Christmas on its coffee cups. Trump went so far as to say he was not going to renew the lease of a Starbucks in one of his buildings. Then he bemoaned the persecution of Christians during the holiday season.
"If I become president, we are all going to be saying Merry Christmas again," said the War-on-Christmas torn candidate.
And yeah, that's scary rhetoric. It almost sounds like he plans to make Merry Christmas-ing mandatory. But guess what? If you believe, as Trump believes, that a snub like that might provoke the good Lord to rain fire and brimstone onto all of our heads and houses as he did on Sodom and Gomorrah, hell yeah, you'd make it mandatory to say "Merry Christmas."
Let me tell you something, friends. If I were elected president, and happened to be a fundamentalist Christian—the kind who believed the Biblical stories of God's wrath, such as the trials of Job, the decimation of Jericho, the judgment against Amalek, the slaying of Onan, the head-fuck of Abraham the utter screw-over of Lot and his lot—the first thing I would do is amend the Constitution so only Christians can be president and that they rule with complete autocracy. Yes, it's extreme, but no sense in taking any chances. I have seen the devastation of tsunamis and, frankly, I'm in no mood.
If I were president, and a fundamentalist, all Starbucks cups would commemorate Christmas with a mandatory image of the Nativity scene. However, in addition to three kings presenting gold, frankincense and myrrh—there will be a fourth king presenting coffee beans with a caption that reads, "Because Jesus' got work to do."
If I were a Christian president, gay marriage would be illegal across the land. I know, I know, there'd be an uproar. But I would just have to be straight with my LGBT brothers and sisters and say, "You know I love you—but do you really want the Lord our Father to turn the water into blood? Can you handle a plague of locusts? Do you know what havoc locusts can wreak on your styling gel?
If I were the fundamentalist president of the United States of Christianica, you are goddamn right we'd be saying Merry Christmas again. We'd be saying it all day, every day or be banished to the North Pole for slave labor—forced to assemble dollhouses and drum kits while being systematically molested by Santa's squadron of secret torture elves.
And we wouldn't stop at Christmas, either. As your Christian overlord, it would be mandatory to say "Merry Thanksgiving," and "Happy Easter" as well. In February we would say, "Have an ass-kicking Ash Wednesday;" in March, "Have a good Good Friday, yo," followed by "Have a smoking Pentecost!" There is no Christian holiday we would not acknowledge with a sappy greeting and, for good measure, I would make some up, so "Merry Magdalene Day to you, my friends," and "Have a holly-jolly Romans-Got-Swallowed-Up-By-The-Red-Sea Anniversary, sweetheart. I got you a gift!"
The point is, if I were a president who believed that God was the twisted prick that the Bible says he is, this country would be kissing Christ's ass so hard and so deep, the entire state of Maine would be dripping in Jesus fromunda. Thankfully, that's not the case.
Now take down that ridiculous Nativity scene from the courthouse lawn!