Charlotte’s Letter to Senator Cruz after the Iowa Caucus

Dear Senator Cruz,

I hear you won the Iowa Caucus on the Republican side. Your political savvy seems to have been successful with white Evangelical voters. I’ll be curious to see how your message resonates within our more diverse populations. You do remember that the United States of America is a highly diverse nation, right?

We are not only Red and White, but we are Blue and Black and Brown and Gay and Straight and Rich and Poor and Old and Young. 386046_353558644673595_1744144592_n If you would be president of these United States, then you are going to have to proclaim a word that makes sense to more than just your select tribe. If you would be president of this wonderfully diverse nation, then you should actually believe in the beauty of our differences.

I’ve written numerous times before about the multiple ways you and I disagree on many issues. I’ve written as a Texan and as a Christian – things we have in common. It’s unfortunate that some people paint all us Texans and Christians with a very broad brush, mistakenly believing all Texans are bigots and all Christians are fundamentalists.

No! There are many of us who live in Texas who are not at all like you. There are many of us Christians who live out our faith in ways that look completely different from the version of faith you practice. We are people who applaud the justice of marriage equality and support the important work of Planned Parenthood and are angry that our neighbors are deprived of the assistance Medicaid expansion would allow in our state. In order to actually “represent” us as Texans in the U.S. Senate, then you should at least acknowledge our concerns and honor the contributions we make to the public conversation. In order to wear the name “Christian,” then you should join us in the authentic practice of loving our neighbors – all our diverse neighbors.

When you began your speech after the Iowa Caucus, you said: “To God be the glory…” I have to ask what this means to you.

Do you think God is glorified by your winning? Will you also give God glory when you lose? 390869_10150476655903869_1748054910_n

Do you think God is glorified with your message? Do you really believe God is honored with a message of vindictive violence? (“Carpet bombing” until the sand glows in the dark? Really now Senator Cruz!)

As a Christian minister, I say No! Winning a Caucus, winning a football game, winning a war does not bring glory to the God who is Creator-Redeemer-Sustainer of all that is. The witness of Scripture again and again claims God is for the weak, the lost and the left out, while the rich and the powerful, the “winners” in every society are held accountable for the ways we treat “the least of these” among us.

I say No! Violence is not the way of the Christ whose name you wear. Have you forgotten the central image of our faith: the cross? Jesus’ pacifism stands in stark contrast to your irresponsible war mongering.

The Raven Foundation does excellent work advocating for non-violence and making the case that the intentional practice of peace is the only way we can save ourselves from the spirals of savagery to which we humans are so prone. A recent essay by should challenge you and all Christians – especially those who call themselves “Evangelicals.”

“To God be the glory,” a victorious Cruz proclaimed to a cheering crowd in Iowa. But I can’t help but wonder – what God is Ted Cruz and his evangelical supporters talking about? Because “Hey! Good News! We just carpet bombed the hell out of you,” sounds a lot more like the gods of ancient Rome than the God of Jesus Christ.

As long as evangelicals proclaim faith in Jesus as their Lord, but continue to believe in violence as the way to peace and security for the United States, they will suffer from an identity crisis. And rightfully so, because that combination is not the Good News.

Senator Cruz, I pray you will discover the beauty of unity in diversity if you would seek to lead this nation. I hope that one of these days you will realize the upside-down power that comes from the practice of peace.

Respectfully yours,

Rev. Charlotte Vaughan Coyle


Charlotte Vaughan Coyle lives in Paris TX and blogs about intersections of faith, culture and politics on her website and Intersections Facebook page. She frequentlyIntersections logo shares her thoughts with Coffee Party USA as a regular volunteer.

Charlotte is an ordained minister within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and also blogs about Scripture from a progressive Christian approach in her Living in The Story Musings.

26 thoughts on “Charlotte’s Letter to Senator Cruz after the Iowa Caucus

    1. Thanks for your excellent essay Adam. And for your good work with the Raven Foundation. It takes all of us. Peace…

  1. All those crayons look beautiful together, they look peaceful, they should be together everywhere and at all times. All together with ONE GOD doing to each other what they would do to their God. Then we will have peace on earth.

  2. Cruz bears the classic hallmarks of a psychopath: he is unable to experience the feelings of empathy. (Just read what people and college roommates that had personal relationships with him have to say about him) Therefore the very nice letter by you, Charlotte, that resonates with most of us will be dismissed by him – it will not evoke that emotion. He may only be tickled by the attention devoted to him (shall I say “Him”) as a narcissist. Needless to say that similar character attributes are present with the other contenders within the GOP.

  3. As a Jewish woman, I am aghast at the rhetoric and so called belief in “Christian Values” espoused by Mr. Cruz all while brandishing his ugly sword. It is so reassuring to me to read your message Charlotte. I believe that there is room in this great country for may forms of worship. If we all lived by the Golden Rule, this world would be a much more peaceful place. “We the People” means all the people, including everyone, of many faiths and colors. Let us stand together and find a path to a better life for all of us and our children.

    1. Amen Myriam. Too often what are touted as “Christian” values are anything but Christian. Religion done right will always bind people together. We Americans have an extra opportunity to live together peacefully and respectfully when we actually live according to our Constitution. Thanks so much for reading and thanks for the conversation. Shalom…

    2. Thank you Sister Charlotte, for putting, that hypocritical, extremist, opportunist in his propre place. It is refreshing to know, that vocal Christians as yourself exist. Thank you, for where (non) beliefs may divide us, humanity

  4. So thoughtful and boldly , beautifully expressed. I am blessed by your insight. I pray he will have ears to hear.

    1. Thanks Melinda but we are not holding our breath, are we? Ah well … we can still contribute to the public conversation.

  5. God bless you Charlotte for saying what so many of us think and feel. How can a “Christian” spout the rhetoric he does?

    1. Indeed Diana. We Christians need to be much more authentic about practicing what we preach! Thanks for reading and thanks for the conversation. Peace…

  6. Thank you a very nice letter to Sen Cruz, can you please show me the letter you have sent to Hillary Clinton.

    1. I’ve been writing to Mr. Cruz because he is my senator from Texas. Thanks for reading Sam.

      1. Rev. Coyle,
        I can understand why you have not written to Ms. Clinton, because she is not your Senator. However she was your Secretary of State, who in now running for President.
        And gave you written to President Obama? Same of his actions and staments over the last 7 years have been very decisive.
        I respect your right to express your opinions, but they appear to me to be very one sided.
        Thank you for your opinions and allowing me to express mine.

  7. Wonderful words for this fringe Catholic to hear. I don’t believe any religion is better than another. A path to love (God is Love) is the “greatest commandment”. I don’t speak about religion any longer. I speak about values, those any person should strive toward. I love what you said and will be following you for my own spiritual nourishment. PAX.

    1. Thanks for reading and thanks for the conversation Mary. I really appreciate the affirmation. Shalom…

  8. The ideals of religions are admirable and have been distilled through the ages until the golden rule has crystallized into the central aim of civilization: love ye one another to the extent that you would do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There is no need to cobble on to this the skim that ‘God’ invented this idea. Forcing belief or worse, support for arbitrary religious institutions just muddies the waters and interferes with equality for all and especially respect for women.

  9. I was raised Catholic, am more Buddhist now, and greatly respect the teachings of Jesus.

    I respect and share your response to this important incongruity in the political posturing and saber rattling by the modern day Pharisees – who profess their religion while denying it in the same breath. “Pro-Life”, but supporting war, execution, poverty, cost cutting while harming lives… Don’t get me started:)

    Thank you for your clear and incisive confrontation of hypocrisy, and calling us back to “the real Jesus”!

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