Sunday, September 04, 2011

'Christian Right' Vet Rick Perry for President

In late August, the biggest names in the political realm of evangelical Christianity gathered without fanfare for a two-day retreat on a Texas ranch with Gov. Rick Perry to determine if he is for real, or simply a smooth-talking wolf in sheep's clothing.

For background, read Texas-sized Prayers to God - Gov. Perry and also read Presidential Candidates Address Christian America as well as Presidential Candidates: Abortion & Marriage Top Issues

-- From "Rick Perry's furious effort to court Christian leaders" by Tom Hamburger and Matea Gold, Los Angeles Times 9/1/11

The meeting received little public attention, though the 200 or so in attendance included luminaries of the Christian right such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, California pastor Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Washington-area Bishop Harry Jackson, who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the East Coast.

Attendees were struck not only by the clout of those who participated, but the amount of time Perry spent with the group. The Texas governor and his wife mingled with the Christian leaders both Friday evening and again for several hours Saturday, answering often-personal questions about his faith, his family and his record.

Several described it as an extraordinarily frank session in which the governor answered a wide range of questions about his personal faith, including specifically about when he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. Perry responded that he was raised with Christ, though he admitted he left the path at some point during his military service. God then got his attention again, Perry said, and he recommitted himself to a life of faith. He assured those in attendance that he had lived a moral life and said he had a group of people who held him “accountable” for following a Christian path, including someone who prayed with him during his recent back surgery.

Participants were asked not to disclose details or take photographs or audio recordings of the proceedings . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Perry to Conservatives: My Past Will Not 'Embarrass' You" by Jay Root, Texas Tribune 9/1/11

At a gathering of uncommitted social and evangelical conservatives at the Hill Country spread of mega-donor James Leininger, Perry spent several hours patiently answering queries on a range of issues, from his stand on immigration reform to the depth of his commitment to oppose abortion, people who were in attendance told The Texas Tribune.

The gathering inside a rectangular tent on Leininger’s Hill Country estate was part of Perry's full-court press for support from evangelical voters, who make up an oversize chunk of the GOP electorate. About 150 to 200 social conservatives from around the country attended the event, people who were there said, and included some of the top names in the Christian conservative movement: radio host James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Richard Viguerie, a writer and elder statesman of the social conservative movement; and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Representatives of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List also attended.

David Barton, a former Texas Republican Party official and Christian historian, helped organize the meeting but did not attend, participants said.

"It was respectful but purposeful," the participant told the Tribune. "The questions were direct."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Rick Perry & the evangelicals: A marriage made in heaven" by Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News Reporter 8/24/11

[Jim] Leininger has long been one of Perry's financial angels. He's been a leading proponent of school vouchers and bankrolled the campaign to ban gay marriage. And he's given large sums to Perry campaigns over the years. In some quarters, he's seen as saving Perry's political career with a last-minute infusion of $1.1 million to fuel Perry's 1998 victory as lieutenant governor.

Perry was in a tight race against Democrat John Sharp when Leininger guaranteed the $1.1 million loan to Perry's campaign. That allowed a $1 million advertizing blitz and helped him squeak out a victory.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.