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News flash: Rick Perry is not ashamed to admit he’s a Christian. Wow! That’s impressive!! Except, it’s not. Because Michelle Bachman is not ashamed to admit she’s a Christian. Likewise, Rick Santorum is not covering up the fact he is a practicing Catholic. Newt Gingrich has joined a wide smattering of Christian churches: from Baptist to Roman Catholic and is totally down with the Risen Lord. Mitt Romney has done his best to try to confess he is a Christian (although most of the Religious Right is not so sure). Former candidate Herman Cain has made no secret of his Christianity, imperfect as it may be. John Huntsman is an avowed Mormon which he thinks makes him a Christian (see Mitt Romney). And what about Barrack Obama? He has also made kind of a big deal about his belief that Jesus died for his sins. And Joe Biden? Another ashes-on-the-forehead Catholic. So why does Perry run an ad like this? Because there are a lot of church-going voters that think the government is hell bent on Christian persecution, taking God out of the pledge of allegiance and taking Christ out of Christmas. And these nervous Christians are looking for a Saviour (having not found one, apparrently). Rick Perry could be the answer. Paul Waldman writes:

You’ll seldom see a more pure distillation of the religious right’s persecution complex than this ad. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,” Perry says, as though Christians are an oppressed minority and he’s displaying his courage by saying he is one. “But you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion.” It goes on from there.

You may not have noticed “Obama’s war on religion,” and you might be puzzled by the assertion that “our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas.” But that’s because you’re an elitist liberal, and you’ve closed your eyes to the way the government brings its heavy boot down on the neck of Christians.

One has to understand that as ridiculous as these claims sound, the voters Perry is pleading with absolutely believe them to be true. And this is the most direct attempt by any of the candidates to go after those votes, to say to Christian conservatives, “I will be your sectarian candidate.” You hate gays? I’m your man. You want America to be more Christian? Come on board.


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