Ted Cruz's presidential campaign has been openly contemptuous and downright dismissive of anyone who has tried to get the Republican presidential hopeful to explain why he spoke at a conference last month organized and hosted by extremist pastor and radio host Kevin Swanson.
On multiple occasions prior the conference, and twice during the conference itself, Swanson explicitly endorsed the idea of imposing the death penalty for homosexuality, yet the Cruz campaign has cavalierly waved away questions about his appearance along side Swanson at his conference, insisting that Cruz is not some sort of "gay basher":
Recently two left-wing media mainstays, MSNBC and The Daily Beast went after Cruz’s appearance at a religious freedom conference that he and two other candidates were invited to. The two liberal organizations played a video clip from another extreme left group, People for the American Way’s RightWingWatch, and imagined the conference a “kill the gays” event.
Cruz’s response to their misrepresentations was simple. He elected not to respond, “acknowledge or take their bait,” the staffer explained. “We’ve seen their follow up attempts and accusations to place Cruz into their definition of gay bashers, but that’s not even close to who he is. You have to look at his record and history, not what the left wants him to be.”
Cruz's refusal to denounce Swanson and his views is rather interesting, especially since Swanson himself has no trouble denouncing anyone who does not share his "kill the gays" views.
"As far as I know," Swanson said, "the Apostle Paul has not backtracked on Romans 1, in which he refers to the unnatural relation between males and males, females and females, and says such who does these things are worthy of death ... I'm going to be the last guy who stands up and says whatever Paul was saying when he said they're worthy of death, whatever Moses is saying in Leviticus 20:13 as communicated to God's people as the very law God, from the lips of God himself, I'm going to be the last person to say, well, God's law is unjust. And if anybody wants to say that, I'm going to be standing about 40 feet away, whatever the diameter of lightening is."
Later in that same broadcast, Swanson took issue with those who get outraged at the prospect of the government putting people to death for homosexuality, saying that it is no big deal when compared to the prospect of gay people spending eternity in Hell.
"When people focus on the civil penalty for the sin of homosexuality," he said, "they're diverting attention from the real issue, and that is the judgment of God upon that behavior ... Capital punishment? Execution at the hands of the state? Big deal! Big deal! That's nothing. That's nothing. In comparison with the judgment of God, the judgment of the civil courts, of the human courts, as compared to the judgement of Almighty God? No comparison!"
If Cruz wants to prove that he is not one of those "gay bashers," denouncing Swanson and his rhetoric would be an easy way for him to do so. But so far, Cruz and his campaign have conspicuously refused to that while touting the endorsements of several other anti-gay extremists ... and that speaks volumes.