Writing to his fellow evangelicals (and Republicans) at the evangelical history blog The Anxious Bench, Baylor University historian Thomas Kidd has announced that he will not be voting for Ted Cruz in November. Check out his nuanced post here. In the end, a lot of his decision comes down to Cruz’s connections to Glenn Beck and David Barton. (Kidd, you may recall, was a member of Marco Rubio’s religious liberty advisory committee).
Here is a taste:
But what about Cruz’s connections with Barton and Beck? It is not just that Cruz has accepted their endorsements, a la John McCain and John Hagee in 2008. McCain eventually repudiated Hagee. Cruz depends on Beck and Barton in his campaign.They are among his most influential supporters and organizers. So a vote for Cruz means, to some extent, a vote for Barton and Beck. And the chance that Barton could end up with a position in a Cruz administration is a real concern, as ridiculous as that prospect might seem at first.
Sorry, folks. If it is Cruz vs. Clinton, I’m afraid that I’ll have to vote for a third party candidate, or not vote for president. In a way, it doesn’t matter what I do – Cruz would win Texas, for sure, with or without my vote. And I “get it” if many of my evangelical friends do support Cruz, and don’t share my alarm about the Barton-Beck connection. But for me, those traveling companions make Cruz a non-option.
Kidd’s decision not to back Cruz is significant. He has a large following in conservative Southern Baptist circles and his books are popular among educated evangelical laypersons.