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Cruz Campaign Press Release - Cruz for President Announces Formation of Religious Liberty Advisory Council

February 29, 2016

Top Faith Leaders Continue to Rally with Cruz on Religious Liberty

HOUSTON, Texas – Presidential candidate Ted Cruz today announced the creation of a 19-member Religious Liberty Advisory Council, which will guide his policies to protect religious liberty and reverse the unprecedented attacks on freedom both at home and abroad.

"Religious liberty is the first freedom guaranteed to Americans under the Constitution, and ensuring the protection of that right has been a priority my entire adult life," said Cruz. "Increasingly, renegade government officials seek to coerce people of faith either to act in a manner that violates their faith or forfeit their career. When I am elected President, that will change. It is time for our liberties to be respected in Washington. The right to religious liberty built America, and denying that right is both un-American and morally wrong."

"Religious liberty is the top issue for Americans of faith in this election," Cruz continued. "People of faith must be free to live according to their convictions without being second-guessed or shut down by the federal government. Today I am proud to be joined by such a knowledgeable and committed group of leaders to advance our first freedom."

"I am honored to join Ted Cruz's Religious Liberty Advisory Council at such a critical time in the history of this nation," said Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, who will serve as chair of the council. "Never before has religious freedom been more endangered than it is today under the policies of the Obama administration. We need a president who upon entering office will immediately begin reversing the damage done to our freedom to believe and our ability to live according to those beliefs."

"While Ted has been effective on an array of national issues, he hasn't strayed from his theme, which is that 2016 is going to be a 'religious liberty election,'" Perkins continued. "This continues to resonate with Americans, who open their newspapers every day to a new story of religious hostility. I am confident that Ted Cruz, who has spent his career defending religious liberty in the courts and in the Senate, can be trusted and is prepared to make freedom mean something again in America," continued Perkins.

"Unfortunately, the future of freedom in America rests largely in the hands of the courts, which is why we need a president who can spot liberal jurists, and who will fight to ensure constitutionalists who respect the rule of law are seated on the Supreme Court. The formation of this Religious Liberty Advisory Council will be an encouragement to the American people. Help is on the way," Perkins concluded.

Ted Cruz has pledged on day one of his administration to issue an instruction to the Department of Justice, the IRS, and every other federal agency that the abuse of religious liberty will be stopped.

Last fall, Cruz hosted rallies for religious liberty in Iowa and South Carolina. The events featured the stories of religious liberty heroes and highlighted recent acts of government-sanctioned religious persecution against Americans of faith.

More than 44,000 Americans have joined the campaign's Faith and Religious Liberty coalition.

Members of the religious liberty advisory council appear below. Titles and affiliations of advisory council members are provided for identification purposes only, and inclusion should not be construed as endorsement.

Chair — Tony Perkins

President, Family Research Council

Ryan Anderson, Ph.D.

William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation

Dr. Tony Beam

Vice President for Student Services and Christian Worldview, North Greenville University

David Benham, entrepreneur

Jason Benham, entrepreneur

Ambassador Ken Blackwell

Former US Ambassador to the UN for Human Rights

Teresa S. Collett

Professor, University of St. Thomas

Jim Garlow, Ph.D.

Pastor, Skyline Church, San Diego, CA

Dr. Mark Harris

Pastor, First Baptist Church, Charlotte, NC

Pastor Jack Hibbs

Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, CA

Bishop Harry Jackson

Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church, Bishop, International Communion of Evangelical Churches

Richard Lee, Ph.D.

President, There's Hope America

Paige Patterson, Ph.D

President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Everett Piper, Ph.D.

President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Jay Richards, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor, School of Business & Economics, The Catholic University of America

Dr. Steve Riggle

Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church

Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, Ph.D.

President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Kelly Shackelford

President and CEO, First Liberty Institute

Carol Swain, Ph.D.

Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University

Ted Cruz, Cruz Campaign Press Release - Cruz for President Announces Formation of Religious Liberty Advisory Council Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/314627

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