Perry: The Christian candidate

Gov. Rick Perry's expressions of faith at a recent rally in Houston may have appealed to many Republicans, but will independents back up another religious Texan?

“I’m not one to demand ‘In God We Trust’ be taken off coinage,” said Jennifer Rubin in But even as one who sees a role for faith in public life, I have to admit feeling uncomfortable when Texas Gov. Rick Perry stood up before a crowd of 30,000 evangelicals last weekend in Houston to call on “the living Christ” for help with the nation’s problems. At an event dubbed “The Response,” Perry—who’s expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination this week—spoke as if making a sermon, saying, “Father, our hearts break for America,” and calling on “all Americans” to “seek Him, to return to Him.” In organizing the rally, Perry also teamed up with “some of the nation’s most divisive extremists,” said Peter Montgomery in Among them was the American Family Association, an organization that insists America was founded as a Christian nation, and that is “vehemently anti-gay.”

Like every other American citizen, Perry has every right to practice his faith, said Richard Land in The Washington Post. No government funds or facilities were used for “The Response,” and “we’re taking a dangerous path when we begin disqualifying individuals for public office” simply because they speak openly of their beliefs. Liberal elites can sneer all they want, said Jonathan Tobin in Commentary​ But Perry’s “public expression of faith probably seems perfectly normal to many Americans,” not just evangelicals. In fact, given the major role religious conservatives play in GOP primaries, Perry’s willingness “to wear his faith on his sleeve” will probably help, not hurt, his presidential chances.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us