Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is banking on the support of the religious right as he continues his quest for the Republican presidential nomination, and he’s looking for more at his next event blurring the line that separates church from state: a National Security Forum to be held Saturday at Rick Joyner’s MorningStar Church in Fort Mill, S.C.
Joyner leads a conservative group called the Oak Initiative, which advertised the forum to followers, Right Wing Watch reports. According to RWW, the event’s official host is the South Carolina chapter of the right-wing group Americans for Peace, Prosperity, and Security; it will be moderated by former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, the organization's honorary chairman.
With four days to go until the event, there doesn’t seem to be a crush of interest online: A tweet about it has earned one “like” and one “retweet.”
— APPS (@APPSUSA) January 12, 2016
In November, Cruz spoke at a controversial forum hosted by antigay preacher Kevin Swanson in Iowa. More than 1,700 faithful showed up to hear Swanson preach that homosexuality should be punished with death, and to hear Cruz and two other presidential hopefuls, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal (the latter has since ended his campaign).
Joyner, who believes the end is nigh for American freedom because of President Obama’s reelection, is as extreme as Swanson. Right Wing Watch raises the question as to whether Cruz will seek Joyner’s endorsement to go along with others he's received from religious right figures, including Bob Vander Plaats, Sandy Rios, and James Dobson.
Although Joyner has made a name for himself by predicting the U.S. would adopt Nazism in the wake of the 2011 earthquake in Japan, and that marriage equality will surely lead to “national destruction, a second civil war, divine judgment, a ban on men and women marrying each other and the Mark of the Beast,” according to Right Wing Watch, perhaps his biggest claim to the doomsayers' hall of fame was his pronouncement about the cause of Hurricane Katrina.
Just as many preachers before and since have blamed gays for acts of nature, Joyner told followers in 2011 that God sent the killer category 5 storm, which struck New Orleans and other parts of the South in 2005, to stop events celebrating "perversion" — a gay pride parade in Key West, Fla., and the Southern Decadence festival in New Orleans. Watch the clip below and wonder who Joyner might be talking about when he refers to an unnamed U.S. senator.