Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have only just announced his campaign for the U.S. presidency, but his bid has already captured plenty of attention, as speculation stirs that he could soar to the top of the GOP field. Among Christians, much of the attention stems from Perry’s recent push to distinguish himself as an evangelical candidate. A week before his announcement, Perry held “The Response” prayer rally in Houston. The event called on Christians to fast and pray for a nation in crisis, based on similar gatherings recorded in Joel 2 and the book of Acts. About 30,000 people attended and another 80,000 viewed the live web stream, The Response web site said.
When he announced his bid for the presidency in South Carolina on Saturday, Perry again referred to his Christian faith, taking a moment to thank God for the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers and saying America values “the rights that are endowed to every human being by a loving God.”
Perry’s evangelical push could propel him ahead of Mitt Romney, a Mormon, and other candidates who haven’t galvanized the religious right to the same degree. On Saturday, another evangelical Christian, Michele Bachmann, led Iowa’s Ames Straw Poll, which didn’t include Perry.
Perry’s ultimate success could depend on support from politically conservative African, Hispanic, and Asian American Christians, a group Business Insider called the “Rainbow Right.” Two influential minority evangelical leaders were honorary co-chairs of The Response: Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas and host of The Urban Alternative, and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Since the minority vote tends to lean left, the growth of the Rainbow Right could mean trouble for President Obama.
Pastor C.L. Jackson of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church is a Republican supporter of Perry who attended The Response at Perry’s invitation.
“If you were there, you heard a good noise, a good response, ‘Amen,’ and, ‘thank God,’” Jackson said. “I came home feeling good about our nation even in this bad, crippling economy.”
Perry read Scripture and prayed for political and religious leaders, the military, and people struggling with grief, addiction, unemployment and foreclosures. The controversial event came under fire from those who saw it as a violation of the separation of church and state and as an endorsement of Christianity over other religions. However, The Response was billed as an apolitical event, and Perry said during his prayer that God has a “salvation agenda” rather than a political agenda.
“Brother C.L., you and I have had this conversation,” Perry said to Jackson. “He’s a wise, wise God, and he’s wise enough to not be affiliated with any political party, or . . . any man-made institutions. He’s calling all Americans, of all walks of life, to seek him, to return to him, to experience his love and his grace and his acceptance, experience a fulfilled life regardless of the circumstances.”
Jackson campaigned for Perry from pulpits and on the radio when Perry ran for governor. He told Urban Faith that political leaders need to have a relationship with God, and called The Response “a dynamic move” for Perry.“This man put everything that he had on prayer with God,” Jackson said. “In other words, he believed in talking to God. That’s how God deals with us, through conversation, talking to us and guiding us through his words.”
“Other people would try to do it themselves, or follow someone they think knows. Many people are trying to lead this world and God has not turned the world over to them,” he said.
Other Christian leaders argued that it was inappropriate for a politician to organize a religious event. Barry W. Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, wrote a letter to Perry criticizing The Response as “direct government sponsorship of religion.”
“To be blunt, you have overstepped your constitutional bounds,” Lynn wrote. “I am a Christian minister and would like to remind you that it is not the job of government officials to call people to pray, recommend that they fast or prod them to take part in other religious activities. That job belongs to me and my fellow clergy.”
The Response has also come under criticism because of its ties to controversial religious speakers and endorsers, particularly the New Apostolic Reformation, which the Texas Observer reported on in “Rick Perry’s Army of God.” These relationships could prove problematic if Perry ascends to the general election, where far-right religious connections are likely to turn off moderates.
As Perry plows forward, he’s touting his economic experience as governor of Texas, where he said about 40 percent of new American jobs have been created since June 2009—an important success to Americans who have been disappointed with the economy under President Obama. However, Perry’s “Texas miracle” is not exactly what it appears to be. Unemployment in Texas rose to 8.2 percent in June, leaving the state in 26th place.
Jackson believes Rick Perry is the best person to lead America out of a crisis with God’s guidance, but in the end, he said putting one’s hope in any political candidate alone, rather than in God, would be a mistake.
“No man is going to straighten this out,” Jackson said. “He’s too messed up. The hope is in Christ.”
is rick perry preacher or governor. He is neither. He is a supercilious, overbearing, condescending wannabe. He is like fake fur, fluffy and smiley on the outside and rotten to the core on the inside.
Rick Perry will say ANYTHING he thinks his target audience wants to hear. He is liar and a puppet. He does not care about anyone or anything but himself and winning. His main goal is to strip individuals of rights and instill laws that benefit the corporations that line his pockets.
If god is to be the one to save this country isn’t it about time to bring evidence, any evidence, of his/her existance??
I am here Erich. By the way, you spelled existence wrong.
“He’s a wise, wise God, and he’s wise enough to not be affiliated with any political party, or . . . any man-made institutions. — Religion IS a man-made institutiion.
It seems apparent to me that most of the current comments are from people who do not really know Gov. Perry or have had an opportunity to examine his heart. He loves this nation, is a strong believer in the original intent of our Constitution , and agrees with our founding fathers that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 33:12.
Wow. Madison and Jefferson wrote psalms? That’s so cool. I gotta get me one of them Texan history books.
Good one. I like it.
“no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”.
So much for the Constitution.
Rick Perry is the farthest thing from a true Christian. In his time, Jesus was a radical thinker and doer. He believe in gender equality and was a true feminist appointing Mary Magdalene as “the disciple of disciples”. He challenged the status quo (Romans, Judiasm, etc….) and pushed for reform. He befriended and put his faith in the misfits, pariahs, and persecuted. He warned about the evils of consumerism and material wealth. He loved his enemy, neighbor, and brother. Rick Perry is an rich, righteous, bigoted, homophobic, chauvinist, Evangelical, wannabee Christian from Texas. The world already knows the disastrous results of putting a Texas governor into the White House.
Shalom & Boker tov…Mr Perry, a ‘born again’ pentecostal charismatic 4th reich acolyte, who can barely read or think critically, poses a clear-and-present danger to the civil liberties and lives of Jews everywhere. ‘Yeshua ben-Miriam’ was a fabrication of a revelatory Graeco-Roman death cult, and crucifictionists did not then, nor now, have any covenant with G-d. What they created was a warrant for genocide, and the smoke of Auschwitz hangs over their empty tomb. For 2000 years, we have seen crusades, people/book burning, slavery, ghettoization, all leading to the gates of Auschwitz. I can ignore Mr Perry’s idolatrous blasphemies against Spirit (they do not affect my relationships with Spirit), but I cannot ignore the 1933-1945 exterminationist mind-set he insists on embracing. Mr Perry wants to finish the 1933-1945 ‘final solution’. As a Jew, I am his ‘Jewish problem’, because, as a Torah Jew, I know his warped lies of a ‘Jesus’ (how could we Jews murder a god man who never existed?) are what drives his protonazi mind into a frenzy. For him to speak of ‘faith’ was said by his Germanazi mentor. We are, indeed, seeing a repeat of the willing executioners…this time, using technology, antisemitism, and the ‘media’ to propogate a recapitulation. America is in profound peril. No amount of mediasaur revisionism can erase who Perry is, his neonazi sycophants, and the murderous rage against Jews one hears when around them at gatherings.
STEPHAN PICKERING / Chofetz Chayim ben-Avraham
Your religious extremism is no less acceptable than Texas Rick’s. All religions are the product of man. All. Right down the line. That fact, as you point out, that men have murdered in the name of religion is nothing new, and happened long before the atrocities of the Holocaust. I seem to recall a few old testament passages where God instructed the Hebrews to wipe out cities…
Your suggestion that Perry needs to ‘read and think critically’ is excellent. We should all do the same, with a critical eye toward the human foundations of religion. Only then might we cease to lie about and hate others based on their religion — as you have done in your comment.
Should have read, “no more acceptable…”
Sick & tired of religious assholes trying to hijack the government! Time to apply a little retroactive birth control. Perry is nothing more than bush clone! Unfortunately America IS a nation of idiots.
Just look at the earlier comments from the critics and naysayers. There’s nothing liberals FEAR more than a true Christian candidate because their religion is secularism, pure and simple. The idea of a candidate who prays and unabashedly displays his spirituality is anathma to them. Moreover, the ‘evangelical right’ are Israel’s strongest supporters because they appreciate the Judeo-Christian heritage and how Israel fits into God’s plan for humanity. Don’t let anyone tell you differently!
So the last two ‘Christian’ presidents that have started more wars with more fronts than we fought in World War 2 are what liberals fear? Count me as a ‘liberal’ then.
I think we fear the hypocrites that kill in the name of God in wicked Crusades that do terrible things to innocent men, women and children when that same God tells His followers to ‘turn the other cheek’ even ‘7 times 77’.
I think we ‘liberals’ fear nothing from the compassionate follower of Christ who taught them to serve his fellow man above himself. That would be like afraid of Ned Flanders.
I suppose Rick Perry is as religious as David Koch of Koch Industries tells him to be. As I recall Governor Perry was talking secession from the union for Texas just a couple years ago. Funny thing about Texas that you don’t hear much about is the bad fiscal condition the state has gotten itself into. If you want to know what Governor Perry’s beliefs and agenda may be, ask David Koch. Perry and Koch make Sarah Palin look like a liberal!
Wow …. that was the most self-serving un-pious charade I’ve seen in recent memory. Rick Perry talks about those who’ve “lost their homes” but nothing about those who had none to start. Jesus made no such distinction. Banish the hypocrites!
Take up thy staff, and know that ye are fabulous!
~~~ Hezekiah 51:50
Perry/Bachmann — the Witchburner ticket!