Earlier this month, three Republican presidential candidates – Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal (who has since dropped out of the race) – appeared at a National Religious Liberties Conference held in Des Moines and hosted by Kevin Swanson, a Colorado pastor and host of the Generations Radio Show. A member of the Christian Reconstructionist Movement (Christian Reconstructionists believe in theocracy and the restoration of Mosaic Law), Mr. Swanson gave the conference’s opening and closing remarks and interviewed Messrs. Cruz, Huckabee, and Jindal.
Here’s the thing: Pastor Swanson is a man consumed with hatred for gays. He has spoken wistfully about the passing of a period in which the death penalty applied to gays. He also supports Uganda’s draconian anti-gay laws, which punishes some homosexual behavior with life in prison. (“In Uganda, these guys are standing strong.”)
I have several thoughts on all this, the first of which is that Republican presidential candidates ought to have no part of a conference like the one hosted by Swanson and should have nothing to do with him. Pleading ignorance about what Pastor Swanson has said (which Cruz and Huckabee have done) is lame. Any campaign doing due diligence would be aware of Swanson’s views, and Cruz was told by CNN’s Jake Tapper some of what Swanson has said. Mr. Swanson is a man overflowing with venom, and his views should disqualify him from any association with Republican presidential hopefuls and, really, any serious person.