Perry may not speak at 'The Response'
July 20th, 2011
04:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Perry may not speak at 'The Response'

(CNN) - Despite taking a lead role in an upcoming national prayer event, Texas governor Rick Perry may not speak at the religious gathering.

Organizers of "The Response," a day of Christian prayer and fasting set for August 6 at Houston's Reliant Stadium, say Perry's role has yet to be determined.

The Texas governor is considering whether to run for President, recently telling a Des Moines newspaper he is starting to feel "called" to jump into the race.

Perry is featured prominently on "The Response" web site inviting Americans to join him in prayer for what organizers describe as a "nation in crisis."

"We need God's help. That's why I'm calling Americans to pray and fast the way Jesus did," Perry says in a video message on the event's web site.

A spokesman for The American Family Association, a Christian conservative organization that is in charge of the event, said Perry's role is still being worked out.

"There will be a handful of speakers, in addition to a number of folks
leading prayer, plus some time for praise and worship music," AFA spokesman Eric Bearse said.

"Whether the governor will speak has not yet been decided at this point," Bearse added.

Critics say the governor's participation in a prayer event blurs the separation of church and state.

At a news conference on Monday, Perry was asked about some of the controversial comments made by the event's organizers and official "endorsers."

One endorser, Pastor John Benefel once referred to the Statue of Liberty as a "demonic idol."

Perry said it was unfair to tie him to the opinions expressed by some of the event's participants.

The governor also tried to downplay his comments about being "called" to run.

Perry explained he is being called by his faith, friends and family.

"My mother may call me for dinner," Perry said.

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    This is all code for the rightwing evangelical nuts' fear that our country will abide by its stated First Amendment freedom of religion and non-establishment of a national faith.

    Because, you see, they want to establish a Christian theocracy (their brand of Christianity, of course, you know, the one where Catholics and Mormons and anyone else who doesn't say "praise Jesus" quite the way they do aren't really "Christian").

    They would love to have religious police – much like Saudi Arabia – patrolling our towns and homes, making sure we are "right" with the Lord.

    Paranoid? Nope – just a realist capable of taking their thinking to its logical conclusion.

    THEY are the ones that are a threat to our society – which currently allows people of all faiths to practice (let alone think) as they wish.

    July 20, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Isn't it just delicious that in the early to mid 18th century, when Christians were first becoming a major part of he demographics in this country, they were actually persecuted and people feared them holding office on the theory that they would be too beholden to their religious dogma and that their loyalty would be to the Pope and the Vatican...would want to change our Constitution and write their religious beliefs into our laws etc.? So what happens? We overcome that discriminatory crap and yet a half century or so later, we're dealing with a very large fundamentalism problem from these people, who run about claiming this is a "krischun nashun" and trying to change or completely ignore the Constitution and rewrite history text books to support it. Brilliant.

    July 20, 2011 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. Sheri (Native TXN)

    This guy scares the hell out of me. I dislike him as the Governer of TX. He is way far to the right and he lines his own pockets. He has a poor fiscal record. The mandatory vaccine he forced on 11 year old girls, forcing women to have ultra-sounds prior to pregnancy terminations, his history of putting innocent people to death while squashing the proof of their innocence, allowing concealed weapons on college grounds, his real bright idea of sucession and it goes on. My opinion, this guy is a classic Narcissis that hides behind religion. Village Idiot is a good description, people that vote for him need to really check their facts on this guy.

    July 20, 2011 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @Sniffit: The Statute of Liberty a demonic idol ...?

    I would also like explained how all these so-called "Christians" justify their assault on the "least among us" in direct violation of Matthew 25:40 (“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’)

    Or how they reconcile their "prosperity gospel" (i.e., rationalizing their greed) with Mathew 19:24 ("Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.").

    July 20, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. Nailemup

    So was the call to prayer and fasting a prank call?

    July 20, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Mike in Texas

    To loveurick,

    Did you also know that Texas is tied with Mississippi with the highest percentage of workers paid at or below minimum wage?
    Did you know that no state has a higher proportion of it's population without health insurance than Texas?
    Did you know Texas has the highest incidence of poverty?

    And I will point out one other thing: Texas has been relatively unscathed from the housing collapse because of STRICT lending guidelines put in place after the S&L crisis of the 80's. So REGULATIONS do work.

    It's not the number of is the quality of jobs.

    July 20, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Perry said it was unfair to tie him to the opinions expressed by some of the event's participants.
    Why not, Governer? You are providing them with a public forum to spread their messages. You, sir, are their sponsor.

    July 20, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Perry paid $90 a year in tides, he doesn't need to speak, he needs to ask God forgiveness for calling on him now.

    July 20, 2011 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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