Welcome back for the fourth of four election-season entries on political and social figures here at the “Church of Christ Celebrities” blog! If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, feel free to let me know over at the Contact page and to share with family and friends.
Today’s post focuses on the religiosity of Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (1952-), a Texas Republican who has been in the Senate since 2002. Cornyn, a Houston native, held positions as a San Antonio municipal judge and as a Texas Supreme Court justice before being elected to the office of state Attorney General in 1998. From that platform, he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2002, winning easily; he repeated that strong performance in 2008 and again in 2014. (Cornyn was promoted to whip in 2012, late in his second term.) Cornyn has numbered among the Senate’s most conservative voices throughout his time in office, though he has occasionally been overshadowed by his louder, and possibly more conservative, fellow Texas senator Ted Cruz.
Cornyn often appears on lists of notable figures with ties to Churches of Christ, though neither his personal website (1) nor his official Senate biography (2) mentions his religious affiliation. So, is there anything to the rumor?
Our first helpful piece of evidence comes from the non-profit organization Civil Service USA Corp, which compiles contact information, biographical details, and voting records for legislators, making those things more readily available to voters. According to the group, out of the one hundred members of the current Senate, only one is also a member of Churches of Christ–John Cornyn. (3)
That site, however, does not offer any other details about the connection. For slightly more, we must turn to one of our most frequently referenced sources, the Christian Chronicle. A January 2017 article on the two current Churches of Christ members within the U.S. House of Representatives–Brett Guthrie of Kentucky and Ted Poe of Texas, both Republicans–notes that Cornyn had been a longtime member of the University Avenue congregation in Austin, Texas, but also that information about his current home church was not available at the time of writing. (A third member of the House and of Churches of Christ, Democrat Janice Hahn of California, did not run for reelection in 2016.) (4)
To sum, then, the connection between John Cornyn and Churches of Christ seems to be confirmed–or at the very least, very likely.
Next month, the blog will feature entries on two prominent musicians–from genres other than country, no less–with possible ties to Churches of Christ. I’m looking forward to them both, and I hope you’ll return to check the first one out in two weeks’ time!
(1) “About John,” John Cornyn, accessed September 14, 2018, https://www.johncornyn.com/about-john/.
(2) “About John Cornyn,” United States Senate, acccessed September 14, 2018, https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/content/page/about-john-cornyn.
(3) “Church Of Christ Senators of the United States Senate,” Civil Services, accessed September 14, 2018, https://civil.services/us-senate/list/church-of-christ-senators.
(4) Bobby Ross Jr., “They are friends in Congress — and brothers in Christ: The only two members of Churches of Christ in the U.S. House share a special bond.,” Christian Chronicle, January 24, 2017, accessed September 14, 2018, https://christianchronicle.org/they-are-friends-in-congress-and-brothers-in-christ/.