At a Ted Cruz rally at the Lodonderry High School, the Senator from Texas repeatedly proclaimed his love of the Constitution and criticized President Obama especially for ignoring the 2nd amendment (the right to bear arms) and the 10th amendment which reserves for the states all powers not specifically given to the national government in the Constitution . At one point, speaking in the fervent cadences of a preacher, he implored the crowd to hold up the nation in prayer and said that he knew that the “body of Christ” could heal this nation. Does Senator Cruz contradict the 1st amendment of the Constitution that guarantees religious freedom and prohibits the government from establishing a national religion? Cruz’s strong Christian reference suggests that Christianity is favored over other religions. Yet this is a country in which Christians, Jews, Muslims and those of other faiths can live side by side in ways not possible in other parts of the world. No one religion is established; citizens have the freedom to choose their own faith.
Chris Christie articulated a different vision of America at a meeting in the Goffstown Fire Station. He was asked about religion. He referenced his own Catholic faith, but also expressed pride that New Jersey was a state with one of the largest Muslim populations in the country. He said this religious pluralism is part of the greatness of America. There is a debate going on in the Republican party about the meaning of religious freedom.