Perry's Prayer Rally Controversy
Will event overshadow potential White House bid?
- Duration 4:45
- Date Aug 6, 2011
Will event overshadow potential White House bid?
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-- Texas Republican governor Rick Perry is speaking at the nondenominational prayer rally He and other Christians are hosting in Houston.
But his prayers come alongside protests some religious groups argue it's exclusive to Christians.
Other protesters say Perry has more than blurred the lines between church and state.
And then there those are just wonder if this is all just an attempt to garner support from the religious right ahead of the 2012 presidential run.
Tony Perkins is ahead of the family research council and co chair -- the and He joins me now from Houston.
-- -- -- -- going on in the world right now with America's economic situation in the forefront of our minds some think a prayer vigil is not such a bad idea what do you say.
About a -- I think definitely right given what took place yesterday and the implications that we just heard.
You know we need to be -- and there are many more challenges facing our nation and that's what thousands of Christians from across the of the country are doing today here in Houston at Reliant Stadium there.
Their -- And they're they're seeking god on behalf of this nation.
No protests no speeches no politics simply prayer.
There was a lawsuit Tony that a federal judge threw out -- five Texans who didn't want governor Perry.
To participate in this event.
And and one of those plaintiffs who says she's -- -- be out -- protesting today -- taste Staley who says -- a quote from our.
Quote I -- had a Muslim governor but would happen if the whole state was called to a Muslim prayer I think the governor needs to keep his religion.
Out of his official duties.
What do you think of that.
-- -- -- -- Let -- this has been happening since our very first president every modern president has called the nation to pray.
A bit before 1815 or 14100.
Such calls to prayer.
And in what Barry Lynn and some of these others who have been protesting this event are are literally saying is that someone has elected to public office.
In order to inner in the public square you have to check your face at the door.
This is being funded completely by private.
Donations on a single tax dollar being spin and it.
And the governor I have to give him credit.
Back in December before there was any discussion of him being a candidate.
He said you know what we're in such a bad shape we're having a drought here in Texas we have financial problems as a nation.
We have unemployment.
But we have threats abroad were involved in two wars.
Let's come together and pray.
And that's what's happening today -- you know -- I'm hopeful that this could be a turning point for the nation and I know summer offended by that but we've invited them to come.
They can be there they can be their -- with us.
You know but this is this is a part of what America is.
-- -- into politics a little bit because there's another group the Texas freedom network in which says it supports religious freedom.
It they they want they -- governor Perry may be using the answer is using this as a political tool for a possible 2012 run.
The group said quote.
The Texas freedom network today -- a couple days ago sent governor Rick Perry an open letter signed by more than 101000 Texans and others who are concerned that the governor's prayer rally in Houston this weekend.
Is more about promoting his political career than faith.
Are you concerned about -- You know now I'm not I mean I Molly I think that's legitimate that people from the outside that don't know how this is unfolded could say that but I can tell you I sold the the first correspondents in the first communications about this.
It -- the governor was not even being considered as a candidate there was no discussion about but I will tell you what has given rise to discussion about him being a possible candidate.
Is that when He was attacked for having this prayer.
Event are calling for it you know what He didn't do what most politicians that He didn't do what we call Louisiana crawfish and it is are going backwards He said yeah.
I've called for a day of prayer and so what happen evangelical social conservative Christians Begin to say hey.
You know this guy might have a kind of qualities that our nation needs right now so that's really what gave rise to this discussion it was.
It was first the prayer then the discussion of him potentially being -- candidate.
-- -- Let me just -- in real quick what really -- a problem -- seconds left but your bus tour that's coming up next week what do you want voters to be able to hear from the candidates.
Well we're gonna have almost all of the presidential candidates joining us in Iowa we start in the morning on Tuesday will be rolling across the state ending -- aims for the straw poll on Saturday.
And it's a values -- you know the value will be rolling across Iowa and that making sure that the discussions about faith family and freedom.
Or -- part of the broader discussion that we're engaged in at the selection those issues are important.
We can't hope to shrink government until we strengthen the family.
That's the primary economic unit that drives our economy and we need healthy families -- we're gonna keep that message going.
Well we know Iowa voters really watching and we'll be watching as well thank you very much Tony Perkins with the family research council.