"Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem.”
Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.Goldwater goes on:
You don’t need to be ‘straight’ to fight and die for your country. You just need to shoot straight.
The specter of single-issue religious groups is growing over our land. … One of the great strengths of our political system always has been our tendency to keep religious issues in the background. By maintaining the separation of church and state, the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars.
There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
In the past couple years, I have seen many news items that referred to the Moral Majority, prolife and other religious groups as “the new right,” and the “new conservatism.” Well, I have spent quite a number of years carrying the flag of the old conservatism. And I can say with conviction that the religious issues of these groups have little or nothing to do with conservative or liberal politics.
The uncompromising position of these groups is a divisive element that could tear apart the very spirit of our representative system, if they gain sufficient strength.
As it is, they are diverting us away from the vital issues that our Government needs to address. Far too much of the time of members of Congress and officials in the Executive Branch is used up dealing with special-interest groups on issues like abortion, school busing, ERA, prayer in the schools and pornography. While these are important moral issues, they are secondary right now to our national security and economic survival.
I must make it clear that I don’t condemn these groups for what they believe. I happen to share many of the values emphasized by these organizations.
I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.” … This unrelenting obsession with a particular goal destroys the perspective of many decent people. They have become easy prey to manipulation and misjudgment.
The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy.
They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives. The great decisions of Government cannot be dictated by the concerns of religious factions. This was true in the days of Madison, and it is just as true today.
We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups and we mustn’t stop now.
To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic.
WAKE UP, CRUZ, TRUMP AND ALL THE REST.