Friday, August 12, 2011

Rick Perry's Christian Faith

Serious students of politics are asking: Did Rick Perry make a mistake by holding a Christian prayer meeting last weekend in Houston?

Let’s stipulate that Perry was making a sincere profession of his faith. There’s nothing very wrong with that.

Yet, some pundits have suggested that the overtly Christian nature of the event might alienate voters who are not Christian.

One might ask whether those who are offended by Perry’s Christian faith were similarly offended by Barack Obama’s twenty years at the feet of Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

Obamaphile pundits have already prepared for that. They have asserted that Perry’s prayer meeting violated the separation of church and state.

Yet, does anyone really doubt that a Jeremiah Wright’s formative influence on the future president of the United States has been anodyne.

Either way, Perry held the event; and it was well attended. The constitution is still in tact.

But Perry is a prospective presidential candidate, so his current actions resonate in ways that perhaps he himself does not intend.

Since the press and the pundits are now making Perry’s religion an issue, won’t they also feel obliged to make the religion of the other candidates an issue?

Who stands to benefit when people start comparing Perry's religious beliefs with those of his principal rival, Mitt Romney?

Also, if Perry’s relationship with religion becomes an issue, won’t the electorate be induced to reconsider Barack Obama’s commitment to religion.

This year Obama failed to issue an Easter Proclamation, even though he has issued proclamations for Earth Day, Cesar Chavez Day, and every Muslim Holiday.

If the press continues to make an issue of Rick Perry’s prayer meeting, it will be natural and normal to consider Barack Obama’s different treatment of different religions.

If Obama issued a proclamation for Muslim holidays but not one for the most important Christian holiday,wasn't he siding with one religion over another?

We know that it’s considered poor form to bring up a candidate’s religion directly. But now, Rick Perry seems to have found a way to direct attention to his opponents’ religious beliefs and practices without saying a word about them.

Maybe it was unintentional, but, then again, maybe it was intentional.

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