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Seems the Lamestream Media is scared stiff that Texas Governor Rick Perry may run for President. Jennifer Rubin (the “conservative” blogger at the Washington Post) initially writes a piece rightfully decrying the New York Times Op-Ed about Perry speaking at the Prayer Response Event last week, then had an unfortunate piece criticizing Perry for not being inclusive:
In his comments at the event, Perry specifically disclaimed partisanship. He kept his comments generic: “His agenda is not a political agenda, his agenda is a salvation agenda. . . . He’s a wise, wise God, and he’s wise enough to not be affiliated with any political party, or for that matter, he’s wise enough to not be affiliated with 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. I want you to join with me as I share his word with you.”
However, this is not to say there weren’t problems with the event.
For starters, Perry had previously insisted that the event welcomed persons of all faiths. But this is what he said on Saturday: “Like all of you, I love this country deeply, and thank you for being here. The only thing you love more is the living Christ.” Not so pluralistic after all.
Why is this “conservative” Jennifer Rubin attacking Rick Perry for expressing his faith at a Christian event? Rubin is basically stating that because this non-denominational Christian event welcomed non-Christians, Perry shouldn’t be mentioning God or Jesus at all. And it gets worse:
So to recap, his words at the event were restrained but not ecumenical. And his use of public office to promote the Christian event was, to me, inappropriate.
A a practical matter, the event suggests that Perry, a man of considerable confidence, is not accustomed to operating on a national, rather than Texan, stage. One of his key problems is the degree to which he can expand beyond a base of Christian conservative supporters. This will make the task somewhat more difficult.
However, the most unfortunate aspect to this entire matter is that he has given a club to the left-wing contingent that thinks religion should not be discussed in the public square and that reference to one’s faith as the basis for public-policy positions is somehow illegitimate. In that sense, Perry has done more harm than good to those who believe, that with appropriate modesty and restraint, religious values and viewpoints have a place in the great national debates of our time.
So in other words, because he might upset the fringe Left (who’d never vote for him anyway) by publicly displaying his religion, Perry isn’t qualified to be a Presidential candidate. Instead of defending Perry’s right to be a Christian and express his faith openly, even as a public official, Rubin suggests that Perry is in fact not qualified to be a candidate because he actually embraces his Constitutional rights!
Wait, this woman claims to be a conservative? Never mind the fact that Presidents have since the founding of this nation called for national days of prayer and even (gasp!) openly prayed at events and even during broadcasts!
The United States was founded, at least partly, on the ideal of religious freedom; the concept that people can practice whatever religion they so choose, so long as they’re not harming someone else by doing so (human sacrifice, after all, is just a notch or two too far). Rubin seems to think that all’s just fine, as long as you’re not running for national political office. Then you might upset those guys on the Left who seem to think that “religion” is a dirty word and expressing a personal belief in God is morally equivalent to extinguishing a cigarette on another person’s body. Then you’re unelectable.
So, what? We pick an “electable” candidate like we got with John McCain in 2008?
Honestly, it reminds me of what I’ve read about Reagan’s GOP detractors prior to his 1980 presidential campaign. He was “too far to the right” to win, wasn’t he? He didn’t play the game. He’d upset the wrong people. He’d never win an election being like that.
Right now, that kind of criticism is just fine with me.
As a side note, Governor Perry gave an amazing speech at a side event to the RedState Gathering last year, and he didn’t even have a teleprompter! He’ll be speaking again this year. If you didn’t register, it’s too late, but I understand it’ll be on TV.