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September 22, 2011

Some Evangelicals Line Up Behind Rick Perry

From media mavens to grassroots activists, conservative Christian leaders are heaping praise on presidential candidate Rick Perry, an early but important show of support from a vital GOP constituency.

Initially unimpressed with the 2012 presidential field, some of these evangelicals now herald Perry's late entry as the second coming of Ronald Reagan.

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Like Reagan, they say, Perry is a big-state governor, a staunch conservative and, significantly, a fellow Christian.

Perry, in turn, has suffused his campaign with religion, building on strategies honed for years in Texas politics.

He has huddled with social conservatives at a Texas retreat, hosted a high-profile Christian prayer rally in Houston and recited his prodigal-son spiritual testimony at the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

On Tuesday (Sept. 20), Perry said his Christian faith includes a "clear directive" to support Israel, a view shared by many evangelicals, who believe God gave the land to the Jewish people.

Early returns suggest the Texas governor's efforts are paying off, particularly among elder evangelical statesmen:

-- Donald E. Wildmon, founder and former head of the American Family Association, is endorsing Perry. The Mississippi-based AFA organized and spent $600,000 to finance Perry's prayer rally, called "The Response," and later directed its 30,000 participants to a new Christian
voter-registration campaign.

"I think the overwhelming majority of what's often called the `religious right' will support the governor," said Wildmon, whose organization boasts a mailing list of 60,000 pastors and operates 180 radio stations. "I'm going to do whatever I can to help the man get
elected."

-- Former Focus on the Family head James Dobson has gushed over Perry on his new radio show, calling him a "deeply committed Christian" and a courageous leader. Dobson was a co-organizer of The Response and will reportedly appear with Perry at an event in Orlando next month.

-- Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. has mused that Perry could be another Reagan and called him "one of the most pro-life governors in American history." Falwell also said he admires the governor's "guts" for suggesting that Texas could secede from the union.

-- Evangelical historian and activist David Barton, a longtime Perry ally, has circulated a 14-point defense of the governor's record on economic, social and immigration issues.

-- Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has penned an op-ed that portrays Perry as shrewd, deeply conservative and a lifelong evangelical of "genuine" faith. (Perry's account differs slightly. He says spiritually lost as young man before turning to God at age 27.)

-- Grassroots activist David Lane, who organized "pastor policy briefings" featuring Perry during his 2006 campaign for governor, is reportedly planning similar events in battleground states, including one in Florida next month. Lane was finance chairman of "The Response."

"I'd be very surprised if the emergence of David Lane's projects in several states was about anything other than supporting Gov. Perry," said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, a watchdog group that has monitored Perry's ties to conservatives for years.

-- Florida Prayer Network founder and veteran GOP activist Pam Olsen will co-chair Perry's strategy at Florida's debate and straw poll this weekend (Sept. 24-25).

In addition, Perry has been invited to appear with Dobson and Barton at a Nov. 12 event called "One Nation Under God" that aims to teach Christians to see "history and current events in light of God's Word, and how to take action that aligns with his truth."

Conservative evangelical leaders desperately want to deny President Obama a second term, said Doug Wead, a veteran GOP strategist and senior adviser to Ron Paul's presidential campaign. "And they decided early that Perry is their best shot," he said.

The conservative Christian movement is less top-down than many in the media suspect, said John C. Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron in Ohio. But grassroots activists take note when evangelical eminences like Dobson praise a particular
candidate.

"Lots of conservative Christians still take cues from these individuals," Green said. If they unite behind a candidate, evangelicals can have a huge electoral impact, especially in key states like Iowa and South Carolina, where they constitute nearly half of all GOP voters, said Green.

Perry's very public "I once was lost, but now I'm found" spiritual speech at Liberty University last week got the media's attention, but it was his confab at a secluded Texas ranch in August that impressed the religious right heavyweights, said Land.

More than 200 social conservatives were there -- from black Pentecostals to conservative Catholics to Latino evangelicals, according to Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

"The general feeling people came away with is that this guy is the real deal," said Land, who attended. "I don't see how the meeting could have gone any better for Perry."

Mark DeMoss, who heads a Christian public relations agency and advises Mitt Romney's rival campaign, said he is not surprised that many evangelical leaders back Perry.

"A significant number of evangelicals have always wanted above anything else in their candidate, someone who shares their Christian faith and theology, and apparently Gov. Perry does," DeMoss said.

However, DeMoss added, it is too early in the campaign to declare Perry the GOP's Chosen One.

"Gov. Perry is only just beginning to be vetted on the national stage," DeMoss said. "The dynamics are changing almost weekly."

Comments

Rick Perry,

Rick Perry's perpetual war advocacy falls right in line with the John Hagee brand of endtime christian evangelists. And It looks like he is winning over some southern Baptists. Fortunately, the Baptists also have followers like Ron Paul and Mr. Baldwin who will speak up against this sick idea of perpetual war and playing god by taking an active role in bringing about the endtimes.

This is very embarrasing that these men, who shoul be researching Perry's fruit, are falling for the deception. Perry is a very corrpupt and crony capitalist. Wilmdon should be embarrased that he fought the very porn company that Perry was invested in, also. Perry's fruit is rotten and their reputation will be tarneshed when people learn what Perry is really about!

all of this is reason enough for me to stay far, far away from Perry.

"On Tuesday (Sept. 20), Perry said his Christian faith includes a "clear directive" to support Israel, a view shared by many evangelicals, who believe God gave the land to the Jewish people."

Supporting Israel is not the same as supporting the Likud party which currently governs Israel, just as supporting America is not the same as supporting the Democratic party which currently governs America.

For many years I have been baffled by the political support shown by leading evangelicals like James Dobson for politicians who do not seem to fit the example of what a "committed christian" is if your definition is based, not on the propaganda of political writers or promoters of specific politicians, but the sober words of what we read in the scriptures, especially the teachings of Jesus when he was on earth. I have listened to Mr. Perry on national television say what can only be considered either a flat lie, or the words of someone unusually ignorant. In spite of the abundant information available, he stands there and says that the stimulus spending of the goernment created zero jobs. I would challenge any of those well known evangelicals who show such support for this man to defend statements such as this before informed people. I begin to wonder if evangelicals have given up studying the bible and fallen for all the misinformation and ignorance that comes on television daily. I do not hear from these evangelicals any reaoned positions based on an enlightened understanding and thoughtful study of the bible. Do evangelicals still believe the bible? If that is so, why have evangelicals ignored the poor and downtrodden on their doorsteps and in their community and appear to be more concerned about the position on the Arab-Israeli struggle which has been going on from old testament times? Perhaps a reading of Matthew 25 verses 34 to the end might help us regain some perspective on the mission of Jesus and the priorities of his ministry.

So this is basically like last time when self described "Evangelicals" lined up behind Rudy Giuliani? How did that work out again?

Rick Perry is a disgraceful choice for President of the United States, and anyone giving him their seal of approval, "Christian" or not, is no friend of America. Amazing how easily the ignorant, eager for something close to political power, can be persuaded to vote against their best interests and the interests of humanity in general.

Rick Perry is a great choice for fellow evangelicals with his strong pro-life, pro-growth, pro-jobs record. I'd like to invite everyone to visit our site, Evangelicals for Perry!

Great. So the Christians line up behind an unrepentant warmonger who has presided over the deaths of 234 prisoners, wants to end the financial and medical lifelines of senior citizens, and will continue to enrich billionaires while taking food from the mouths of the poor. The American church is truly dead.

This brings me actual, physical pain. These same people deny that our president is a Christian, despite his overt testimony, because of political issues with which they disagree. Yet, let Rick Perry (I'm not disputing his testimony of faith) talk about Israel or say he's pro-life, and they will completely overlook his shameful record of quite probably putting innocent people to death in his state, or as someone else has already pointed out, his flat-out misrepresentations of facts. He embarrasses me, for America but much more for the testimony of the kingdom of God. And I'm very sad about the state of the church in America, if this is who the believers think best represents Christian faith. Yet the current president, who loves the Lord and attempts to put in place policies that actually would benefit our neighbor, gets called a Muslim and they are "desperate" to get rid of him. Tragic.

TSJ_are you talking about Obama? I couldn't agree more! His killing of innocent civilians in Libya using drones, his huge support of Planned Parenthood killing millions of innocent lives, and the ongoing wars in Afghanistan (for the cocaine), and Iraq (for the oil), has killed many thousands. His stopping the cost of living adjustment for my in-laws on social security has greatly hurt them. Not to mention that the dollars we do get have lost 30% of their value, and every time you go to the grocery store, the prices take a giant leap, show he just doesn't care for the poor. Yet he didn't hesitate to pay big $$$ to the bankers and heads of corporations who support his election campaigns. He also has put into law that illegal aliens will get preferential treatment for entrance into and money for college, and for jobs over citizens when we are in what can only be called a depression hurts our country tremendously. You're right, it's very hard to see how Christians could ever support him.

Unfortunately, Perry is too reminiscent of GWB and with his Texas twang and swagger would not bring in the Indies and, therefore, would end up giving BHO yet another term and another crack at his dismemberment of the Republic.
Anybody but Obama!

Nancy: Criticism of President Obama is justified on many counts, but it really does your case no good to use exaggerations and half truths to build your case. Obama didn't "kill innocent civilians in Libya," nor has he been an active supporter of the wars started by our previous president. He's working to put an end to that travesty. He also hasn't "stopped the cost of living adjustments" for your in-laws. He is not a king with absolute powers. All these things you attribute to him were not enacted by him, but by the congress. And to blame him for the economic mess we're in is to be blind to the mess he inherited. It could be argued that the policies he has promoted have not made things better, but all indications are that he did what he did in the belief that they would help. Your dripping hatred is palatable. Hardly suitable for the forum you are writing for.

jhubers, read the news please! YES he killed innocent civilians with the drones. If you aren't going to educate yourself, there is no need to bother to respond to any of your points. Do you think the drones sent off balloons for the children? From Wilson to FDR to Lyndon Johnson to Clinton (who bombed Baghdad the eve of his trial for impeachment) and to yes, Obama, who has also bombed Yemen which killed 63 people including 28 children-see http://www.examiner.com/la-county-nonpartisan-in-los-angeles/obama-bombs-yemen-no-report-of-attempt-for-peaceful-resolution-us-needs-department-of-peace, we sure have a lot of peace loving dems. Also, please just research cola and social security on google, and see what the only years that the cost of living increases were not raised for social security recipients. They always increased when republicans were in office. It's either lack of knowledge or purposeful lying to deny the facts, and in the case of democrats, it seems they can follow the muslim policy of "it's ok to lie if it advances the cause." Oh, it's "hate" to tell the truth when the democrats don't like it? But your posts using terms like warmongers against the republicans wasn't "dripping with hate" (your term)? HA The democrats are the most hypocritical group of people in existence. It's time to stop drinking the koolaid and to do some research. Just you typing that something didn't happen doesn't make it true. Do the research.

jhubers, he is acting unconstitutionally. Congress voted against the DREAM act last year, yet Obama recently enacted it. Normally, yes that IS unconstitutional. But he did it by "executive fiat". The Washington Times is calling it a "supraconstitutional action". Another action by executive fiat is his wanting a 12 member super-Congress to make budget decisions, and much more, so that way it doesn't undergo the Constitutional processes that have worked for this country over 200 years. The Washington Times, a very liberal newspaper, says "Oppressive environmental regulations against businesses and property owners jump to mind" in this article about his "supraconstitutional actions" aka executive fiat.With this president, it means nothing that Congress voted against it. He also, by executive fiat, ruled that insurance companies cannot charge copays on birth control. Things like this were always done by Congress in the past. He has done far too many orders by "executive fiat" to list them all here. They are things that in the past, had to be done by Congress, and he rushes things through too, while in the midst of the Supreme Court reviewing several parts. Please google "obama executive fiat" and you'll see that he is indeed, acting alone, and against the way that past presidents have always done things Constitutionally.
The Huffington Post, another very liberal newspaper, talks about the "extraordinary powers being delegated to the emerging super Congress, which is made up of only 12 people, but most beltway media has largely been dismissing the group as just another Washington commission." It is nothing to be dismissed, it's something to be very concerned about. "Operation Fast and Furious" where the ATF sold arms to the Mexican drug cartels, which Eric Holder and Obama knew about and ordered makes Watergate look like nothing in comparison. The latest scandal you probably haven't heard, because the press is muzzled, is the Solyndra scandal, where millions of dollars were given to a very questionaable company which promptly went bankrupt. Even Democrats are wanting someone other than Obama to run, and if you're unaware of these things, please, even research the liberal media, and you'll find out how this president works outside the Constitution and has several scandals brewing. Operation Fast and Furious, with the government selling guns to the Mexican gun cartels should make you think seriously about this president. I pray that people will at least be open minded and check these things out. Do you want a president who acts more like a dictator rather than following powers given to him under the Constitution? These are things not just talked about by republicans, but by very liberal newspapers. Right now Congress is also deliberating about doing away with the "local news", making all news "national" and obviously, very controlled. How many of you know that the nuclear plant near Omaha was flooded and there was a high risk of radiation leakage? We are not being told things in the news, it's time to get concerned about these things, please! When 3 mile Island happened, the public was notified, but there was a lot of silence on the flooded nuclear plant in Nebraska. There is a lot of silence on the scandals too. These should worry you, whether the president is republican or democrat. And no, I am not hate filled. I would LOVE to see Allen West of Florida, who happens to be African-American to be the next president. He loves this country, and he loves the people here, black and white. He knows the dangers we face in this world, and isn't afraid to use the word terrorist for one of the dangers we face these days. He's a man who will follow the Constitution and will find employment for US citizens, not giving preferential treatment to illegals, like obama. We need someone who loves this country to be our president, period. Allen West would get us out of this depression. Unemployment has skyrocketed, and our current president still has no ideas, or has the same old tired ideas he tried before, like "cash for clunkers". We need a REAL LEADER, and an honest one.


Nancy if you think the Washington times is a liberal newspaper you're out of your mind. Why don't you google who owns it...the rev moon!! As for Executive orders being something unusual..you're mistaken or misled...just as a list: Ronald Reagan - 380
Bill Clinton - 363
GWB - 288
Barack Obama - 54 so far
I won't address everything else you alluded to but since you mentioned the Dream Act, you might want to check out Rick Perry's dream act for Texas. It's one of few things he actually got right in Texas.

In the poignant and striking words of the Ghost of Hamlet's father, contemplating the fires of purgatory and hell, "Horrible, horrible, most horrible." This is how evangelicals should consider any thought of backing candidates like Perry. Wake up, America!

Whether the newspaper is conservative or liberal, you're probably right, but it can be found in the NY Times and most other newspapers, which are liberal, at least they'll say as much as they dare to without retribution from this administration. I am against the use of executive fiat by any party when the people and Congress have voted against something. Most Americans do NOT want the illegal aliens to be given preferential treatment in jobs and in college acceptance, scholarships, etc. You may have noticed I didn't mention Perry, I disagree with his views on the illegal aliens, and he was boo'ed the other day for defending the preferential treatment. Why don't we think of every possible way to make it difficult for American citizens to get well paying jobs, that seems to be the goal of this administration. I guess you know that 80% of college graduates are living at home because there are no jobs out there for them. To give preferential treatment to illegals, who may also be criminals (1/3 of all prisoners are illegal aliens) over American citizens is wrong. Anyone who loves this country would know that and would support giving our own citizens the jobs that are out there. Truman deported illegal aliens after WW2 to give the soldiers returning home from the war more opportunities for jobs. The days of using common sense are long gone. You may get all gushy thinking how wonderful it is to give preference to illegal aliens, but you're in a minority. I'm not surprised you don't want to address anything else. This "open and transparent" presidency has been the most closed-off presidency, and we have a president who obviously doesn't care for the common working men and women. He would like to shut down all of the coal industry, he has stopped all US off-shore oil drilling, putting many thousands out of work, everything he does seems to be detrimental to our country. When even liberal media is using words like dictator, it's time to take notice. I'm not going to reply more. Just do the research and check out the scandals. I know it won't bother die-hard liberals, because anything goes to advance their cause.

Here we go again. A Texas governor spewing Bible verses and brandishing a side iron in a bid for the White House. Been there, done that, and we're still dealing with the fallout.

All of this misses the main point -- that as Christians, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, that kingdom which will supersede all earthly realms. & all earthly realms (except for Israel) are under the control of Satan, at Matt. 4 shows. Politics are satanic, and a distraction from the work of the Kingdom.

Perry may or may not be a committed Christian. I really don't know. I do know something of his track record and statements and it is certainly not encouraging or in line with the way of Jesus Christ. War, excessive executions, high poverty, lowest percentage of citizens with health insurance, and on and on. I don't see compassion, sacrifice, care for the poor, peacemaking, patience, or any of the many fruits of the spirit. I saw him stand in front of audiences that cheered the number of executions in his state and cheered for the idea of letting an uninsured individual die, and I saw him say nothing to counter these sick and evil outbursts.

I honestly wonder what planet Dobson, Falwell and Wildmon are living on and what Bible they are reading because whatever they're pursuing and promoting here it most certainly is not the way of Jesus or the kingdom of which he spoke.

The bickering and hostility in the following comments indicates the impact of politics on Christian love and humility. Christians have become very emotional about political issues because they have decided that this world is really their home so they want to control it rather than focus on New Testament teaching.

Herman Cain in 2011!

I love the fact that Mr.Perry is someone who beleives and is not afraid to say so. Fact is that if you want to work in the state of Texas ....THERE ARE JOBS HERE!!!! I work in a salon and have people from all over the US here working. They have said they can't find work in there states. ie... Florida,TN,Montana,New York, Massachusetts,California,Arizona and so on. That says enough for me. Mr. Perry has done a great job in Texas and will be my pick for president. We need someone who stands firm and works hard for us. I feel he has the same love for GOD and THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA as I do. Thank You MR. Perry for loving this country!

Nancy -- You're just plain wrong about the annual Social Security cost of living adjustments (or lack thereof). They are NOT determined each year by the President. (Nor are they determined each year by Congress.) Rather, in 1973, in the Social Security Act, Congress established a mathematical formula for calculating the annual cost of living adjustment. It is tied to the rate of inflation, and more specifically, the Consumer Price Index. Since there has been virtually no inflation since 2008, the cost of living "adjustment" has been essentially zero, or less than zero, and under the formula set in the statute, this means that there is no cost of living increase. It has nothing to do with President Obama. This statute was enacted precisely so that the annual COLA did not become a political football. Here are the facts (and the formula) from the Social Security Administration. http://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/latestCOLA.html

Just become information comes up on your Google searches doesn't make it true. Most of the other "facts" you assert are just as baseless as the claim you made about Social Security cost of living adjustments.

For example, there is no such thing as a "super-CONGRESS" nor did Pres. Obama create any such thing by "executive fiat." It was Congress, not the President, that created a super-COMMITTEE of House and Senate members to bring a budget deal to the full Congress for a vote. There is NOTHING unconstitutional about that because (a) both houses of Congress must still vote on whatever budget legislation they report out of the committee, and it still must be submitted to the President for a signature or veto, and (b) the Constitution says nothing about how Congress organizes itself internally. Congress is free to change its own internal committee structure whenever it wants, and it has done so in the past on many, many ocasions. Please see Article I of the U.S. Constitution.

Christian Lawyer-just so you know, the rest of Congress could not amend or filibuster when the Super Congress of 12 people makes these decisions. You can read about it in the Huff Post if you're not familiar with it. It's not good for the country when the power is in the hands of fewer and fewer people, like this president has done with his czars, who answer to nobody but him.

Why doesn't Congress use the same formula for their cost of living increases, since they received them, and those on Social Security did not?

Nancy -- I'm aware of the filibuster and amendment restrictions on the legislation coming out of the Super Committee (not a super CONGRESS). You're certainly entitled to believe that's a bad idea, but, again, you cannot validly claim it's "unconstitutional." The Constitution permits Congress to decide its own internal rules, so Congress can decide when, and under what circumstances, to permit amendments, and whether, and under what circumstances filibusters are permitted. Filibusters have long been prohibited for budget reconciliation bills. These are NOT "constitutional processess that have worked for 200 years." Please see Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution if you're not familiar with it.

You ask why Congress "does not use the same formula for its cost of living increases, since they received them, and those who receive Social Security did not." Here is a report from the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress explaining the history of Congressional salaries. http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/97-1011.pdf First, Congress has often rejected part or all of the raises to which they are entitled. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Congress again voted to reject their automatic increases. So, Congress, like social security recipients, has not had an increase since 2008. Second, the Congressional formula, like the formula for federal employees, is tied to the EMPLOYMENT price index, because these are WAGES. Social Security benefits are for retirees and are therefore tied to the CONSUMER price index.

Pres. Obama has not "stopped all U.S. off-shore oil drilling. Congress is not "deliberating about doing away with the local news." (That's plainly ludicrous.) Pres. Obama has not "put into law that illegal aliens will get preferential treatment for entrance into and money for college, and for jobs over citizens." And, presidential "czars" did not start with Obama. Presidents are entitled to have advisors. These "czars" do not have power themselves. They coordinate policy among various executive branch departments and agencies.

PS Unfortunately, Alan West is my congressman. You do know, don't you, that he was relieved of his command as a Lt. Col. in Iraq and fined for too-harsh interrogation tactics. When he was elected to Congress, he first selected as his chief of staff a local radio jock who had called for illegal aliens to be hanged and had opined that "if ballots don't work bullets will." Just lovely.

Seriously Nancy, you're the one who needs to "educate yourself" and to "do the resarch."

And some of us take him for the dangerous war-monger that he is. Personally, I'd prefer to have a complete atheist in the White House than this buffoon. Maybe then we'd see some real progress in this country.

Mr Perry has been a disgraceful governor of Texas. He has tried to force all little girls to take an injection that might help them when they become sexually active. This is debatable but even if it will help, this is a medical problem, not one for a governor. One might look for the links he has to the drug manufacturer before judging. The Texas legislature rebuked him and nullified his orders as they should have.

Who is talking about the disgraceful support he has given to build a mega-super-highway diagonally across Texas? It has not gotten him anywhere but you can be sure he is still wanting it. This project is a sell out to foriegn interests and something Texas does not need. It would take valuable land, disrupt communities and other transportation structures already in place. My relatives might have to feed their cows on the other side of this monstrosity and would have to drive many miles just to get to their "back forty".

I cannot know Mr Perry's heart and do not, because a Christian must not, judge his Christian faith. But if one considers "by his works you shall know him", I have grave doubts that he is always exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit. I will pray for him but I surely will not vote for him. He may have deluded a lot of Texans and Americans but he hasn't deluded me.

It does not surprise me at all.

However it begs the question; What for?

Never mind the answer!

.

I agree with Bod D: people are being deceived. That photo with Perry saluting at a podium plastered with a picture showing a cross with the American flag at the head is disturbing. Who do these people worship, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,Father of Lord Jesus Christ, or the one-god-fits-all American god?

Want to credit Lynette for that astute observation about Perry.
Have any of these people considered Herman Cain? Not a politician, but he is a Christian.