I made some comments on Facebook regarding Cruz's convention speech. Here's what I said:
i) I don't condemn people who voted for a non-Trump candidate in the primaries, but will grudgingly vote for Trump in the general. I condemn people who voted for Trump in the primaries. That created a moral dilemma for conservatives.
Given that predicament, I understand that some conservatives are supporting Trump in the general, not so much as a vote for Trump, but a vote against Hillary.
ii) But by the same token, when the Trumpkins created this double bind, they can't turn around and order me to impale myself on their preferred horn of the dilemma. The problem for me is that November is a lost cause regardless of who wins. It's now a choice between two worst-case scenarios. Once the Trumpkins invaded the primaries and succeeded in getting their candidate nominated, our fate was sealed. It's like pulling the pin on a live grenade. You don't have the same options after you doing it that you did before. And there's no going back. Someone's going to get hurt. Just a question of who. Time to dive for cover.
iii) Yes, there's a sense in which Cruz used code language. But in so doing he created a dilemma for Trumpkins. Cruz said: "We deserve leaders who stand for principle. Unite us all behind shared values. Cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect, from everybody. And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution."
Trumpkins can only take umbrage at that statement by walking right into an ambush of their own making. They sensed that Cruz was taking a backhanded swipe at Trump. I'm sure he was. But you can't be offended by that statement without sharing Cruz's interpretation. Unless Cruz's insinuation is plausible, why would you assume the statement excludes Trump? To jeer Cruz for what he said is an unwitting admission that Trump's not a leader who stands for principle, with shared values, whom we can trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.
I think Cruz just wanted to distance himself from Trump. I doubt he intended to lay a trap. For one thing, I doubt he's that good at reading an audience.
The Trumpkins made it trap when they took the bait. They sensed that he was snubbing Trump. Problem is, he phrased it in such a way that they couldn't be affronted without stepping into a trap, which is just what they did.
The smart thing to do in that situation is not to take the bait. But they're not that smart. They don't really listen to content. They are easily manipulated.
iv) There's no reason to demand that every speech at a GOP convention must endorse the candidate. Speakers can perform other useful functions. For instance, a speaker can make the case against the Democrat nominee. Or a speaker can make the case for conservative values. Define and defend conservative ideology and policy. By the same token, a speaker can made a case against liberal ideology and policies.
It's a good thing to have speakers who are independent of the GOP nominee. Who don't have to cut-and-tailor their message to suit the nominee. We shouldn't measure conservatism by the nominee, but measure the nominee by conservatism.
v) If the objective was to defeat Hillary, primary voters should have picked a candidate who was more acceptable to conservatives, and without Trump's stratospheric negatives. It's too late to salvage the disaster that Trumpkins wrought in the primaries.
vi) The question is whether Cruz's self-interest coincides with the public interest. By definition, politicians are ambitious. The issue is whether what they want what lines up with what the country needs.
I think Cruz is calculating. But from what I can tell, he is a genuine conservative ideologue. Some of his positions are arguably opportunistic, but as politicians go, he seems to have more core convictions than most.
vii) I don't know that Cruz's speech backfired. Sure, he proved once again that he's not a team player. The party apparatchiks will shun him. But I don't think that hurts him with the base. Just the opposite.
viii) In Num 30:3-5, a father has authority to void the vow of a minor. That exception is sufficient to establish the fact that vows are not irrevocable in principle. An illustration of that fact.
I'd add that OT case law was never meant to be exhaustive. Rather, it gives OT judges hypothetical situations. They are to apply the law to analogous situations.
That doesn't rule out other potential exceptions. There are priorities within OT law. This crops up in the Sabbath controversies between Jesus and the religious establishment.
Lev 5 describes what to do in the case of a rash vow. You perform a ritual to atone for nonperformance. That illustrates the fact that vows are not ipso facto inviolable. However, it's culpable to make a rash vow, which is why noncompliance must be redeemed. That's the alternative to keeping the vow.
By your logic, if a hitman vows to assassinate the wife of a judge, then becomes a Christian, he must still carry out his vow rather than repent of his vow.
Incidentally, there's nothing necessary wrong with taking circumstances into account. Although some actions are intrinsically right or wrong, the morality or immorality of other actions is contingent on the situation. For instance, taking life is generally wrong or prima facie wrong, but there are situations in which taking life is morally permissible or even morally obligatory.