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This pages deals with various religious issues dealt with in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Donald Trump

Trump's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, billionaire Donald Trump suggested he would ignore the First Amendment tenets of separation of church and state ands favor Christians over all other people.

"The Christians are being treated horribly because we have nobody to represent the Christians," Trump told CBN's David Brody. "Believe me, if I run and I win, I will be the greatest representative of the Christians they've had in a long time."

Interview with CBN

Trump's Call for a ban on Muslims has also been called un-American and violating the principles of separation of church and state. Trump has previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S. CNN

"Great surveillance and vigilance must be adhered to," said Trump in an additional statement Lewandowski provided to CNN. "We want to be very fair but too many bad things are happening and the percentage of true hatred is too great. People that are looking to destroy our country must be reported and turned in by the good people who love our country and want America to be great again." CNN


Trump has often used pro-Israel rhetoric.

He called Israel America’s best and most reliable friend, and argued that it should be viewed as the cornerstone of US policy in the Middle East. He has accused Obama and US Secretary of State John Kerry of “selling Israel out,” and said that the US should do everything possible to protect and defend it. “They’ve always been there for us and we should be there for them,” he declared.

“They are the only stable democracy in a region that is not run by dictators. They are pioneers in medicine and communication and a close fair trading partner.” And, like his father, he said, he had always been loyal to Israel and “would do more for Israel than anybody else.” The Jerusalem Post

Prime Minster Netanyahu Condemns Trump's Ban on Muslims

Donald Trump said that he was postponing his trip to Israel, just a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned his proposal to ban U.S. travel for all Muslims.

Netanyahu's Condemnation:

"Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump's recent remarks about Muslims," according to a statement issued by the prime minister's office.

"The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens. At the same time, Israel is fighting against militant Islam that targets Muslims, Christians and Jews alike and threatens the entire world," the statement said. CNN

Trump's Response:

"I have decided to postpone my trip to Israel and to schedule my meeting with @Netanyahu at a later date after I become President of the U.S.," Trump tweeted. CNN

"He did, and that was sort of interesting. He modestly condemned them, and I thought it was sort of inappropriate that he condemned them, but that's OK. He wanted to condemn them, that's what he does. OK? But we have a problem," Trump said. "I'm not looking to be politically correct. I'm doing this to do the right thing. This and other things. When I say this -- I'm running to do the right thing. I'm doing the right thing. Our country has a problem. People are in fear. They're waiting for the next attack." CNN


Persecution of Christians in other Countries

In the CBN interview, Brody also asked Trump about his message to conservative Christians.

"What is your message to them on religious liberty and on religious freedom?," Brody queried.

"Well, it’s a very big message," Trump, who turns 69 next month, in his usual manner, responded. "As you know, I am Protestant. I am Presbyterian. Most people don’t know that. They have no idea. I’m proud of it. I’m very proud of it."

The Tea Party Republican was speaking primarily about the Middle East, and falsely claimed that Middle Eastern "Christians can't come into this country."

"One of the things I learned this weekend being in Iowa," Trump said, "I met with a lot of national security experts and everything else, that if you're a Christian living in Syria you can't come into this country. Yet, if you are a Muslim living in Syria, who are not under attack, they can come in."

Interview with CBN

Trump's Ban on Muslim Entry into U.S.

In a written statement late Monday afternoon, the Trump campaign said the Republican frontrunner wanted a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.” As backing, Trump cited a controversial six-month-old survey from the right-wing Center for Security Policy finding that one-quarter of U.S. Muslim respondents believed that violence against Americans was justified as part of global jihad and that a slim majority “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.”


  • "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life." Atlantic
  • "Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine."Atlantic
  • ""Again, my relationship with the Muslim community is excellent. I've had people call me at the highest level saying, 'You're doing us a favor' because they know they have a problem very well. They really know they have a problem," he said. Interview with Jake Tapper

Ted Cruz

Cruz's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State

Taken from Cruz's "Religious Liberty" Page

  • America was founded on a revolutionary idea. Our rights do not come from government. They come from God.
  • The Pilgrims risked everything so that they could worship the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength. The founders enshrined this right to live according to our faith in the First Amendment, and we must continue to celebrate and safeguard citizens’ God-given rights.
  • As we have witnessed an unprecedented attack on citizens’ first freedoms, Ted Cruz continues to champion Americans’ religious liberty.
  • Ted has spent his career defending religious liberty. He has fought to protect our First Amendment rights in a number of Supreme Court cases, and as U.S. Senator, he has been a tireless fighter for the right to freely live according to our faith.
  • As a presidential candidate, Ted Cruz has hosted two national religious liberties rallies and has brought together Christians who have been persecuted for their beliefs so that people across the country can listen to their stories and stand united for our first freedom.
  • On day one, a President Cruz will instruct the Department of Justice, the IRS, and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends today.

Also taken from Cruz's "Religious Liberty" Page is his "Proven Record":

  • Introduced measures to protect faith organizations in DC from being forced to provide abortion services to their employees and support, and even fund, activities that directly violate their mission.
  • Galvanized national support for Houston pastors who had been subpoenaed by the City of Houston and forced to turn in their sermons.
  • Stood with Kim Davis in defense of her right to live in accordance with her faith.
  • Defended Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.
  • Sponsored legislation to grant Meriam Ibrahim and her children permanent legal status in the US so they could swiftly return home after being imprisoned for her Christian faith.
  • Introduced measures in Congress to protect service members’ right to worship.
  • Attended prayer rallies for persecuted Christians and has Introduced a resolution that states that President Obama should not meet with Iran until they release American hostages, including Pastor Saeed Abedini.
  • Kept the cross standing at the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial.
  • Led the way to preserve the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Successfully defended the constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument, winning a 5-4 landmark decision before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Successfully defended the words “under God” in the Texas Pledge of Allegiance and Texas schools’ moment of silence law in federal district court.
  • Supported students’ right to display banners containing religious content at school sporting events.


Taken from Cruz's "Stand With Israel" Page:

  • We must make clear to the world that the U.S.-Israel alliance is once again a strategic bedrock for the United States.
  • America’s security is significantly enhanced by a strong Israel. Israel has been, is, and always will be the Middle East bulwark in defense of the West. Our American-Israeli alliance is something to celebrate.
  • A Cruz administration will on day one recognize Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of Israel and the US embassy will be moved to Israel’s capital city.
  • A Cruz administration will continue to support Israel’s regional qualitative military edge and make sure that, especially in light of the worsening security climate caused by Iran and ISIS, Israel has everything it needs to defend itself.
  • We should strengthen our partnership with Israel by supporting cooperative efforts such as missile defense to counter terrorism.
  • A President Cruz will immediately reassess US policy towards the Palestinian Authority. Not one penny of American tax dollars should go to an organization that incites hatred against Jews and seeks to partner with the terrorist group Hamas.
  • We should move to defund the United Nations if it continues its anti-Israel bias and withdraw federal funding from any American university that boycotts Israel.

Also take from Cruz's Webpage is his "Proven Record":

  • Introduced measure to provide necessary funding for Israel’s missile defense, Arrow System, David’s Sling and Iron Dome.
  • Sent a bicameral letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, D.C.
  • Sent a bipartisan letter signed by 36 senators to Federica Mogherini, vice president of the European Commission. The letter expresses concern over reports that the European Union (EU) intends to move forward with new guidelines to label certain products made by Israeli companies imported into the EU.
  • Chaired a hearing for the Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts titled “Justice Forsaken: How the Federal Government Fails the American Victims of Iranian and Palestinian Terrorism.” This hearing focused on the federal government’s failure to support the American victims of Iranian and Palestinian terror in their search for justice.
  • Has twice introduced legislation to prohibit negotiations between the United States and Iran until Iran released the American prisoners it is unjustly detaining and recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
  • Co-sponsored legislation to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
  • Congress passed Sen. Cruz’s resolution to condemn Hamas’ use of civilians as human shields.
  • Senate passed legislation Cruz introduced to offer rewards to those who handed in information about the kidnappers and murderers of the 3 boys who were murdered in Jerusalem, one of them being an Israeli-US citizen.
  • Cruz asked if the FAA imposed economic sanctions on Israel by banning flights into Ben Gurion, an unprecedented restriction not even imposed on tumultuous countries like Ukraine. That day, the Secretary of State was asked about the ban, and within 36 hours, it was lifted.
  • Supports Israel’s Iron Dome program, which in defending Israel also protects US security interests.
  • Opposed Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense for multiple reasons, including his record of undermining U.S. – Israeli relations.
  • Has traveled to Israel several times since being elected.


Persecution of Christians in other Countries

Cruz's rhetoric mainly focuses on defending the U.S. from the threat of terrorist groups that have attacked Christians and non-Muslims in other countries.

Taken from Cruz's "Defend our Nation" Page":

  • Two terms of the disastrous Obama-Clinton foreign policy have had one useful effect: we now know what the world starts to look like without America. The next president will have to start on day one rebuilding what they have tried to tear down. A truly conservative foreign policy would have three simple principles:
    • To preserve our country we need to exert leadership on the global stage, not withdraw from it.
    • We need to fiercely defend our allies and interests.
    • And we need to judge each challenge through the simple test of what is best for America. Because what is best for America is best for the world.
  • ISIS seeks to destroy our very way of life. We must defeat them. That starts by calling the enemy by its name – radical Islamic terrorism – and securing the border. Border security is national security.
  • We cannot recede from our leadership in the world. If we withdraw from the Middle East, the radical jihadists will not be content to stay there—they are going to attack our allies in the region and beyond. And they are on the lookout for every opportunity to attack us here at home.
  • On day one, a President Cruz will immediately repeal every word of President Obama’s dangerous Iran deal and will prioritize American national security interests in every instance.

Also taken from Cruz's "Defend our Nation" Page" is his "Proven Record":

  • Authored legislation urging the Secretary of State to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.
  • Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, introduced the Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015, immediately barring refugees to the United States from any country, such as Iraq or Syria that contains substantial territory controlled by a foreign terrorist organization.
  • Chaired a hearing for the Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts titled “Justice Forsaken: How the Federal Government Fails the American Victims of Iranian and Palestinian Terrorism.” This hearing focused on the federal government’s failure to support the American victims of Iranian and Palestinian terror in their search for justice.
  • Introduced the IRGC Terrorist Designation Act, urging the U.S. Department of State to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.
  • Sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner laying out a three-step approach to stop the flow of funds to the Iranian regime according to the terms of Corker-Cardin, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.
  • Has twice introduced the Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act to reinstate, impose, and expand Iran sanctions and stop failed negotiations until Iran meets certain preconditions.
  • Has twice introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which seeks to prevent terrorists who join ISIS or other terrorist groups from re-entering the country and to make clear that citizens who collaborate with terrorists have forfeited their right to US citizenship.
  • Introduced legislation to prevent terrorists from entering the US as UN ambassadors, which Iran had attempted by nominating Hamid Aboutalebi. It passed *Congress unanimously and President Obama signed it into law.
  • Opposed arming Syrian rebels, while supporting securing Syrian chemical weapons.

Marco Rubio

Rubio's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State



Persecution of Christians in other Countries

Chris Christie

Christie's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State



Persecution of Christians in other Countries

John Kasich

Kasich's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State

Kasich's Religious Government

Kasich has made it clear that he does not necessarily believe their should be a distinct delineation between church and state. During his speech at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., Kasich asserted his plan to create a governmental agency responsible for proselytizing Judeo-Christian religious values to areas of the world including: Russia, China and the Middle East. Furthermore, Kasich believes the key to fighting Islamic extremists is to band together under a common set of Western religious values, and vehemently opposes recent trends towards secularism. (AU)

  • Notable Quotations on the separation of church and state include:

“U.S. public diplomacy and international broadcasting have lost their focus on the case for Western values and ideals and effectively countering opponents’ propaganda and disinformation. I will consolidate them into a new agency that has a clear mandate to promote the core Judeo-Christian Western values that we and our friends and allies share.” - John Kasich speaking at the National Press Club (NYDN)

“Its job would be fundamentally to revive what we used to do when we beamed messages into the former Soviet Union. We need to beam messages around the world about what it means to have Western ethics … to be part of a Judeo-Christian society,” - John Kasich at an interview with NBC news (NYDN)

“If we become secularists when we face a radical Islam, that is the farthest thing from secularist, when we can’t unite with our friends in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian community to espouse a set of values that is the true way for human beings to conduct their lives and live their lives, we will be in a very severe crisis point.” - John Kasich at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington. (TH)


Stand By Israel

The Governor is a strong supporter of Israel and has publicly disparaged the United States' attempts to pressure Israel into peace negotiations during the conflict with Palestine. The governor went on to assert at a Manchester business forum that perpetual peace is an unlikely goal and instead Israel should seek out stability. Kasich has also criticized the Obama administration on numerous accounts for their handling of the Israeli crisis and remarks that the administration should have handled the conflict with more discretion. (FW)

  • Notable Quotations on Israel:

"You can't separate this U.S.-Israel relationship," John Kasich to The Washington Post.a (BU)

"I think the administration has probably fallen in love with the fact that they want to get an agreement, and when people are hyperventilating and unable to get one, sometimes they go and they sign something that they shouldn't,"Kasich to Fox News (BU)


A Religious Mentorship Program

Under his administration, Kasich has increased the number of school vouchers that use public money to pay for predominately religious private schools. Some estimates have measured the amount of vouchers using public money to cover the tuition of religious private schools to have doubled under Kasich. (WP) Kasich has also instituted a school mentorship program with a stringent religious requirement. Kasich has budgeted ten million dollars to bring mentors into Ohio schools for students, however, there is a special religious provision. Schools eligible to receive the state funding must partner with a church or faith based organization. (CLV)

Persecution of Christians in other Countries

We Must Protect the West

Kasich has asserted that the US has not done enough to combat the actions of the Islamic State. Additionally, he firmly believes the state is a threat to Western values and ideals. Kasich proposes the idea of a coalition against the Islamic state made up of European and Middle Eastern allies to expedite efforts to defeat the terrorist threat. (TM)

  • Notable Quotes on persecution of Christians:

"We must join a coalition with our European and Middle Eastern allies to defeat and destroy ISIS on the ground. Bombings are not enough." -John Kasich (TM)

"ISIS, with their brutal attacks on women, their beheadings and their attacks on people of faith is at war with civilization." -John Kasich (TM)

"Unless we want to see the blood spilled in Paris flow here in America and in the streets of our allies’ capitals, we need to get serious about wiping ISIS off the map." -John Kasich (TM)

Citation Key

(AU) :








Ben Carson

Carson's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State

No Room for Separation

Carson's stance on the separation of church and state seems a bit unclear but leans towards his opposition of the idea. During a speech at his Iowa caucus outpost, Carson remarked that the idea of a separation between church and state was an unnecessary political correctness. Carson went on to make an appeal to Evangelical voters stating that God must not be banished from the public square. (WT) Carson however, mentioned at a speech during the Iowa State fair that politicians must " take the separation part to heart and keep the religion at home". Therefore, as he's primarily denounced the idea of a separation between church and state he still believes in its functionality. (AATP)

  • Notable Quotes on the Separation of Church and State:

“There are those who go around proclaiming separation of church and state. You can’t put anything up that has anything to do with God. … I’ll have a seizure if I see a cross and all of this kind of crap,” he continued. “The fact of the matter is — do they realize that our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, says we have certain unalienable rights given to us by our creator, AKA, God.” -Ben Carson during a talk at his Iowa Caucus site (WT)

"More and more we see the Right go deeper onto the slippery slope of shaping laws to reflect their own private religious beliefs. I am not a person who thinks a religious person can’t hold office, I’m just a firm believer that politicians should take the separation part to heart and keep the religion at home." - Carson at the Iowa State Fair (AATP)


Having Israel's Back

After an initial visit, Carson proclaims that he is a strong supporter of Israel and disparages the Obama administration for their handling of the Israeli crisis. Carson states that if elected into office, he would make it clear to the Israeli's that the US is a strong supporter and ally. Carson also made statements about a desire to counsel the Israeli's against divesting land for Palestinian peace efforts and instead suggested the responsibility should fall on neighboring states. (YH)

  • Notable Quotes on Israel:

"I would make sure that Israel knew that we had their back," he said. "Because if their neighbors know that we're backing them up, they're not going to be anywhere near as aggressive." -Ben Carson to the AP on visit to Israel (YH)

"I do not believe that Obama has been one to cultivate the relationship," - Ben Carson to the AP on visit to Israel (YH)


Schools Shouldn't Be Too Political

When asked what he would do with the department of education, Carson responded that he wanted to repurpose it. Carson's vision for the department is to act as an overseeing body that monitors speech on University campuses. Subject to Carson's discretion, if speech on a University campus is deemed "too politically biased" Carson would cut federal funding to the institution. The Department of education therefore, would be employed to conduct monitoring efforts and report back to Carson. (MSN) Other than his views regarding changing the purpose of the department of education, Carson is relatively silent on the place of religion in schools, although he is admits to believing in creationism.

Persecution of Christians in other Countries

Stop the Islamic State

Carson feels strongly about moving quickly to counter the attacks of the Islamic state. Carson outlines a multi-step plan on his website including: issuing a formal declaration of war, partnering with moderate Arab nations, and instituting a task force to review and amend all visa and immigration policy. Specifically, Carson wants visas issued to expire after three months and require mandatory check in points throughout their duration. (BCW) Additionally, in response to the attacks abroad, Carson is vehemently opposed to the idea of allowing Syrian refugees into the country. Carson thinks that allowing the refugees across United States boarders before procedures are in place to prevent similar attacks to those that occurred in Paris, is a grave national security threat. Furthermore, Carson has proposed the idea of increasing ground troop presence in the Syrian region in attempt to combat the efforts of ISIS.

  • Notable quotes on the persecution of Christians abroad:

"We can no longer dawdle while ISIS continues to persecute Christians, enslave young girls, oppress civil societies and perpetrate terrorist attacks against the free world. We must destroy their caliphate and prevent their terrorists from infiltrating our homeland." - Carson (BCW)

"Until we have a process that will keep us all safe from what happened in Paris, I believe it is foolish to take in refugees into our country," Carson in a Facebook post. (CP)

"The Islamic State wants to destroy Western civilization and establish a caliphate and that its “convert-or-die doctrine” mirrors some of the ideas pushed by the “political-correctness police” in America." - Ben Carson (CNS)

Citation Key








Jeb Bush

Bush's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State

At a commencement speech at Liberty University Jeb asserted that he would definitely be influenced by his faith in making presidential decisions.



Persecution of Christians in other Countries

Hilary Clinton

Clinton's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State



Persecution of Christians in other Countries

Bernie Sanders

Sanders's Religion (section page):

Separation of Church and State

Bernie Sanders has been a proponent of a clearly defined separation between church and state, keeping with constitutionally-grounded American political stances.

The most tangible display of this allegiance came in 2001, when Sanders voted against the Community Solutions Act. This proposal, which ultimately died in Congress, would have given the federal government the ability to provide funds to private organizations that would exercise operational practices openly influenced by religion. The most salient example of such practices lied in the hiring process, where any company receiving funding under the CSA would have, theoretically, been able to discriminate against certain candidates on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender, or religious affiliations.

More consistently, Sanders has held a firm stance against the government's expression of support for "traditional", Judeo-Christian values. In other words, Sanders is committed to keeping religion, and the moral beliefs that accompany the faith, out of public policy. This is evidenced by his voting record against the funding of schools whose curricula allow the teaching creationism (among other religiously inclined/based teachings), against government subsidies of religiously inclined organizations, against tax exemptions for churches/ other communities of worship, and against religious interest groups interference with campaigns or or legislative proceedings.

Sanders' voting record has earned him a score of 0% on the Americans United voting scale, which measures how politicians votes either maintain or butt the separation between church and state. This score indicates that he has an effectively spotless voting record in support of maintaining the separation.


A New York Jew by upbringing and culture, Sanders embraces his heritage, but keeps his personal religious beliefs relatively obscured. His views on the Israeli-Palestinian seem to be unaffected by his heritage, as he believes the United States should mediate a two-state solution, ensuring that both Palestine and Israel are given deals that would create and uphold a homeland for both parties.

Despite being a member of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), Sanders has never been exorbitantly pro-Israel. In fact, he currently has a +2 voting record from the AAI (American Arab Institute). Sanders' most notable acknowledgements of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been few and far between, and do not definitively suggest that he takes a side. After endorsing Jesse Jackson's, who is notoriously pro-Palestine, 1988 Presidential campaign, Sanders shed some light on his stance in the matter. This address, which was delivered on the heels of the first intifada's beginning, criticized Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians inhabiting Israeli-controlled settlements. Later in this address, Sanders remarked, “If the United States goes into the Middle East and demands a reasonable, a responsible, and a peaceful solution to the conflict that has gone there because of its clout because of the tremendous amounts of money that it is pouring into that region I think we can do it.” This idea has, to date, been the thesis under which Sanders directs all of his votes, policies, and rhetoric as they relate to Israel-Palestine.

More recently, Sanders voted in favor the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran Deal. This Deal, which was crafted with the idea of inhibiting Iran's access to nuclear weaponry while lifting or ameliorating the sanctions against Iran. On his campaign website, Sanders cites the Iran Deal as a necessary means of ensuring Israel's safety while concurrently avoiding another military campaign in the Middle East.

In a nutshell, Sanders' stance is neither pro-Israel nor pro-Palestine. Sanders is, for lack of a better term, pro-negotiation. Bernie firmly believes that the United States (and the rest of the world) should be more interested in having suits at a table, rather than boots on the ground.


Persecution of Christians in other Countries