Perry: Christian Values Should Guide America


rick-perry2Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said America should be guided by “Christian values” and encouraged students not to allow “a bunch of Washington politicians” to dictate how they live, in a speech today at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The Texas governor, his party’s White House frontrunner, steered clear of politics in a 20-minute address at the Christian university, giving a deeply personal talk about his life and “faith journey” as he works to maintain momentum in a Republican primary contest whose outcome could turn in large part on the preferences of evangelical voters.

“America is going to be guided by some set of values, the question is going to be, ‘Whose values?,'” Perry told a crowd of 13,000 students and faculty members at a sports arena on the school’s campus. The governor said it should be “those Christian values that this country was based upon.”

Perry, who faces criticism from Republican opponents for his positions on Social Security, immigration and vaccinations, made no mention of any of those issues during today’s speech before the university’s thrice-weekly convocation service.

Instead, he introduced himself as an imperfect underdog who grew up poor — with no indoor plumbing until age 5 and wearing clothes sewn by his mother — struggled in school and lost his way before finding God.

‘Faith Journey’

“My faith journey is not the story of someone who turned to God because I wanted to; it was because I had nowhere else to turn,” Perry said, recounting how, as a confused 27-year-old Air Force pilot, he turned to religion to give him direction in life. “He doesn’t require perfect people to execute his perfect plan,” Perry said. “God uses broken people to reach a broken world.”

Evangelical voters have been influential in recent Republican presidential primaries, comprising almost half of those who turn out to vote, according to polling analysts. They hold outsized sway in Iowa, site of the nation’s first caucuses, where 60 percent of participants in the 2008 Republican contest described themselves to pollsters as born-again or evangelical Christians.

Perry is competing for this bloc primarily with Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the winner of the Aug. 13 Iowa straw poll who has seen her standing in public surveys plummet since Perry entered the race the following day.

Bachmann Next

Bachmann is to speak at Liberty on Sept. 28. The school’s Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. — son and namesake of the late social conservative commentator who founded the university — said he had invited Perry to speak before he was a candidate for president. By month’s end, Falwell said, five of the eight Republican presidential contenders will have spoken here.

It’s no longer solely social issues that will determine the preferences of evangelical voters, Falwell said in an interview before Perry spoke.

“The shift towards socialism — I think that’s become an overriding issue,” Falwell said. “It used to be abortion, gay marriage, whatever, but now it’s more, how much of my taxes, how much more is government going to grow, how many of my freedoms are going to be taken away? That’s what’s brought the Tea Party and social conservatives and fiscal conservatives all together.”

Perry closed his talk with a dig at the federal government, telling students: “Don’t leave it to a bunch of Washington politicians to tell you how to live your life.”

No Endorsement

Falwell said he hasn’t endorsed any Republican presidential contender, yet made it clear he is a fan of Perry’s.

Falwell introduced Perry to students as a successful governor with an “A-plus” grade from the National Rifle Association and “among the most pro-life governors in American history.” He compared Perry favorably with Ronald Reagan.

Falwell recounted how, as a freshman at Liberty, he went to hear then-California Governor Reagan speak at a time of national malaise, then watched as he was elected president and “returned America to prominence and prosperity.”

“I have a feeling today that history is about to repeat itself,” Falwell said.

{Bloomberg News/ Newscenter}


  1. America is a Christian country. Jews should never raise their profile in golus and always remember this is not our home. Would should be thankful for America’s hospitality of us.

  2. beehoven’s friend,

    Obama’s slogan is a Koran in every bookcase.

    However, Perry is not too much better than Obama in this regard.

    We need a real leader like Bachmann.

  3. America is a religious country with a set of values and a moral conscience-that’s why it’s the only real friend of the Jews-liberal societies like European “enlightened” countries-are rife with anti-Semitism and hate of all good.

  4. America is not a Christian country. America is a country with freedom of religion and separation of church and state. I’m not Christian, neither are most of the readers of this site. Why should we be supporting someone who wants to force his own religious choices down our throats? and what about all the other people in this country who aren’t Christian, or who are a different style of Christian from Mr. Perry? I would be very, very cautious about this gentleman, having been beaten up in middle school by my neighbor’s kids who just wanted to “save my soul.”

  5. Ben Torah: although we are in golus and should remember that Eretz Yisroel is our home and be thankful for America that dosent mean we should endorse the mistaken idea that America is foremost a Christian nation although it is made up by many Christians (and Muslims, native Indians, Jews and Buddhists)the framers where well aware of the dangers of instituting any one religious groups ideals on the entire nation. I am afraid Mr. Perry is not quite so aware of those dangers
    P.S. many jews in the early days of Nazi Germany felt they shouldn’t rock the boat politically to much either because “it wasent their home” and they were just guests.

  6. Tzoorba- Mr. Obama has about as much Islam in the white house as John Denver had CD’s by the singer of rap in his house.
    I bet that Mr. Obama is very fair regarding all religious practices and the fellow even said a psalm the other day at a 9/11 observance.
    America is as much a “christian nation” as the future of K’lal Yisrael is for the baptists and the buddhists.
    America has christians and it has Jews. This is a nation created I believe by many God fearing people and it is clear that our people have every right to express ourselves and vote and enjoy every amenity of the United States.