Saturday marked Religious Freedom Day, honoring the 230th anniversary of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom which was written by Thomas Jefferson and helped set the stage for the First Amendment. On Saturday, Republican presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered his take on religious freedom:
The right to freely worship the Lord God Almighty with all our hearts, minds, and soul is fundamental to who we are as a nation. Yet today we face an unprecedented attack on our first freedom from an aggressive secular state that seeks to push faith out of the public square entirely.
Political elites have adopted a view of the world, that like the old kings and queens, they have the authority to give and take away our rights – they wrongly assume that with one sweeping court decision or executive order, they can take away our rights to life, they can redefine marriage, and they can challenge our adherence to the truths best expressed in sacred scripture.
Our rights don’t come from any king or queen or black-robed judge – they come from God almighty. We must protect and cherish this heavenly gift. That starts with each of you. That starts with our families, our churches, and our communities. If people of faith rise up and speak out, the light of the truth will not be defeated.
And come 2017, if I am elected president, on the very first day in office, I will direct the U.S. Department of Justice, and the IRS, and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends today. I will sign any pro-life legislation that comes to my desk. I will nominate judges to the court who respect the Constitution and do not seek to impose their values from the bench. And as president, every day, I will work to promote a culture of life and faith.
So thank you for your engagement in this critical election. Together, we can reignite the promise that has made this country the greatest beacon for faith and freedom the world has ever known.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. He is currently running for the Republican presidential nomination.