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Rick Perry Urges Local Churchgoers to Engage in Politics, But Not How

Texas governor tells Skyline Church: “You have a biblical directive to be engaged in the public arena—to be involved in the decisions that are made that affect your life."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a Rancho San Diego megachurch Sunday that congregants have a “biblical directive” to be engaged in politics—but didn’t directly suggest how they should vote.

In April, conservative commentator at the same church and called on clergy nationwide to speak out politically from the pulpit even if it means risking their tax-exempt status under IRS law.

“We won’t have a nation if the pulpit doesn’t start preaching the truth,” Beck said.

But Perry, the former GOP presidential hopeful, didn’t recommend a candidate in his two sermons at Skyline Wesleyan Church.

He told the more than 2,000 attendees they have an obligation to be involved in the decision-making process.

“You have a biblical directive to be engaged in the public arena—to be involved in the decisions that are made that affect your life,” he said. “Somebody’s values are going to decide the environment you live in. Is it going to be a man or woman of faith?”

Perry, who read a verse from Samuel, told stories of his upbringing, times in governorship and when he “surrendered” his will to God. He also spoke about the business market and competition among states to attract major corporations.

“California is not so competitive,” he joked when he spoke about the number of companies that have chosen to open in other areas than the Golden State.

Perry also spoke about a time earlier in his governorship when Boeing had considered whether to open a local office in Dallas or Chicago. The company ultimately chose Chicago because of the “expansive” arts scene, according to Perry.

Perry said over the course of the decade, the state of Texas has opened more performing arts centers, theaters and museums to ensure the state is attractive to businesses.

He described the individuals who created a larger art scene in Texas as “those who understand biblical principles” and encouraged the congregation to elect those in office who understand that money given to the government must be spent on the community.

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Shripathi Kamath August 22, 2012 at 05:18 PM
David, it does not matter whether Jefferson was a deist, a Christian or Jesus himself. It does not matter what he said as far as the USA is concerned as long as it was not legislated. Because all that line of reasoning does is invite the other side to cite some founders who make very Christian-y quotes, and all you are left with is dueling pianos. Here's how I explain the secular foundation, and it is based on what we have as laws. http://bit.ly/T45SUr
LemonGroove August 22, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Please. It's well known that Jefferson and Franklin were Universalists. Ever heard of the Jefferson bible?
David B Secor August 23, 2012 at 07:43 AM
If you agree that mixing politics and religion damages them BOTH, than I misunderstood you. Regarding religious displays at holidays, etc., I am not overly concerned. I don't believe non-Christians are traumatized for life by seeing a manger scene at Christmas. At the same time, many "Christians" go absolutely nuts when they see a Muslim or Buddhist or some other religious symbol, or building, erected in what the "Christians" consider the "wrong place." We see that every day. It's called hypocrisy. No one is immune. P.S. McCain Vally and Mission Trails Park. Both need our help.
Catryna White September 03, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Nice comment Libi and good call on the part of your mother. Too often churches have stuck their noses into politics, talked our young ones into wars and done nothing on a spiritual level for those in their congregations. Kudos to your mom, for realizing that this priest was a hypocrite.
Catryna White September 03, 2012 at 08:05 PM
The truth of the matter is that America has never been and is not, now, a Christian nation. Obviously most people don't understand what Christianity or being Christlike means. It certainly does NOT mean to be involved in racism, hatred, Genocide, war, drug trafficking and slave trade on the level that the United States has been involved since it's inception. So, no the United States is not a Christian nation nor has it ever been and doubtless will it ever be.

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