Perry's Evangelical Morphing

Texas Governor Rick Perry has surged in polls since he announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination, and he has come under increasedRick Perry scrutiny, especially with his shoot-from-the-hip verbal style. Shortly before he announced, Perry's Evangelicalism was widely examined when he hosted a massive prayer rally dubbed The Response. Now, The New Republic chronicles Perry's morphing from Methodist to Evangelical, and the right-wing Christian groups he has welcomed into his fold. From the article:

Politically, he’s been looking to more contemporary, and radical, Christian movements as well. Since at least 2009, as reported in The Texas Observer, Perry has been meeting with ministers affiliated with the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), a loose network of charismatic Christians that espouse a form of Dominionism—the belief that Christians should dominate every facet of life, from government to the arts. (As Ryan Lizza recently documented in The New Yorker, Michele Bachmann aligns herself with some of these teachings.) Like Christian Right movements before them, NAR adherents deny the separation of church and state and actively encourage Christians to engage in politics. Known for apocalyptic, endtime theology and ecstatic worship, NAR followers speak in tongues and talk of prophecies, demons, and spiritual warfare. They have a habit of setting up houses of prayer in proximity to centers of power—for instance, near Harvard and close to the Supreme Court—believing their prayers can enact change upon institutions. One associated ministry, The Call, has been known to pack stadiums to pray against abortion and same-sex marriage. Perry’s prayer rally was modeled on those very gatherings.


Read the full article here.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
John Barbieri
7 years 5 months ago
Got it!
You don't  like the guy! 
7 years 5 months ago
Certainly not all but a lot sounds like traditional Catholic teaching especially during Christendom.

Not the first but I am sure not the last in hit pieces from America on various Republican candidates.  Let see some hit pieces on the Democrat nominee.
ed gleason
7 years 5 months ago
As a lib,  I too, say no more 'hit pieces' on the GOP/TP candidates Romney, Bachmann, Perry.
Our conservative Catholics co-religionists will have enough to 'digest' with these candidates' unusual take on religion. We should all take a res ipsa locquitur approach right up to 2012
Crystal Watson
7 years 5 months ago
And he's essentially different from the Catholic Right how?  Now do you see what's so scary about triumphant Catholicism?
Thomas Piatak
7 years 5 months ago
How is this article different from the articles that were written to scare Americans about the religious beliefs of Al Smith and John F. Kennedy?
Jim McCrea
7 years 5 months ago
One can easily be an evangelical Methodist.  The Southern extremities of that denomination are full of them - and fundigelicals as well.
7 years 5 months ago
As a Republican, I'm angry and sad at the pathetically weak field of candidates we've managed to scrounge together.  Perry & Bachman will scare off independents in a general, and Romney doesn't know if he's coming or going.

The more this goes on, the more it looks like we're going to nominate our version of George McGovern - someone who laps the base into a self-feeding feel good frenzy, but can't win the White House against a President polling in the low 40s, with unemployment over 9%.  William F. Buckley must be rolling over.
7 years 5 months ago
To some of my fellow conservatives - you do realize that the church Bachman is associated with is virulently anti-Catholic?  So is John Hagee, who appeared at Perry's prayer conference?  Its no virtue to defend such drivel; if it's fair game to knock Obama's attendance at Jeremiah Wright's church, it's not a "hit piece" to criticize Republicans for doing the equivalent.
Helena Loflin
7 years 5 months ago
I mentioned the New Apostolic Reformation here about a week ago.  The movement is noted for its vicious anti-Catholic demogoguery.

Perry referred to himself as a prophet. 
Helen Smith
7 years 5 months ago
Jeff Landry:

"if it's fair game to knock Obama's attendance at Jeremiah Wright's church, it's not a "hit piece" to criticize Republicans for doing the equivalent"

You are a breath of fresh air.
7 years 5 months ago
Since I know very little about Perry's religion, how has he interacted with people of other religion in Texas, especially Catholics.  How has he used his office in ways that would inhibit other religions.  I understand he is very out there with his religion but besides that how has he interfered with anyone else's religion or allowed it to influence his decisions.  There must be things written on this.  The couple things here have been more innuendo more than anything.

From Wikipedia

''Perry has been referred to as a Methodist. He grew up in the Methodist church, and he and his family have been members of Tarrytown United Methodist Church since the 1990s, the same church that former President George W. Bush attended in Austin. In 2010, Perry began attending Lake Hills Church in Austin. Perry's former deputy director of communications and principal speechwriter of four years, Andrew Barlow, was pastor of creative development at Lake Hills Church for seven years. Perry says that as governor, he regularly attends numerous churches to speak. As for why he ultimately chooses to go to one place and not another, he said he administers a simple test: ''If I remember on Wednesday what the message was on Sunday, it was a good message.''''

Personally, he is not my favorite candidate and religion may be one of issues but we should see how this plays out.  I seem to remember Kennedy raising some problem to many based on how they thought he might govern.  My guess is that he will get caught up on all this but in reality it is a distraction unless one can point to how it will affect how he will govern.  Maybe some can give a few specifics instead of some speculations based on associations.
ed gleason
7 years 5 months ago
JR wants specifics. here's one ..Perry does not believe in evolution and thinks the earth is only 6000 years old. If elected his Energy Secretary will be afraid to mention at Cabinet meetings  where the oil, gas, and coal comes from. Even Saudi princes will say ..huh?.. we'll be back to using divining rods. There are other specifics too. e.g.No diplomatic relations with the Whore of Babylon. guess who?   
7 years 5 months ago
''My college age grandchildrens health care will be elimiinated... not silly''

There will be some place they can get health insurance.  If they live in San Francisco they can go to Kaiser if they do not have a job.  This was not a problem for 60 years, is it a new problem?

I believe Romney said he would do the same thing.  

 ''God put the dinosaur bones in the hills to throw off guys like me''  Are you talking about the dinosaur burial ground.  It is near the elephant burial ground.
ed gleason
7 years 5 months ago
JR... both Romney and my grandchildren could not go to Kaiser without paying for insurance. They go there but mommy and daddy pay..Even in the socialistic san francisco there is no free ride.
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 5 months ago
Well, my gosh JR, please let us in on the secret.  I'd certainly like to know what the evolution debate is all about if not the reliability of scientific discovery.
7 years 5 months ago
''Perry does not believe in evolution''  

Do you believe in evolution and if you do what do you mean by saying you believe in evolution?  And how do you know you are right?

It will be interesting to see where Perry goes with this. Creation science is a possible Achilles heel here for Perry because it is mainly nonsense.  But is that what he believes and how will that affect how he governs.  I think a lot of people out there think transubstantiation is nonsense too but how many Catholics/non Catholics do you know who would say that would disqualify someone from being president.

Did you know that in order to be a Catholic you have to be a creationist.  It depends on what one means by the word ''creationist.''  It has more than one meaning. 
ed gleason
7 years 5 months ago
"It will be interesting to see where Perry goes with this.'
How about Perry saying... God put the dinosaur bones in the hills to throw off guys like me. The silly stuff is one thing but he just said on TV, on his first day he will also issue an executive order canceling Obamacare. My college age grandchildrens health care will be elimiinated... not silly..   
ed gleason
7 years 5 months ago
JR. You have a few posts but none say you think evolution is a scientific discovery. That's a tell...
7 years 5 months ago
''You have a few posts but none say you think evolution is a scientific discovery''

About 1/10 of 1% in the country knows what the evolution debate is about.  And that is probably a high number.  Certainly not the mother of the little boy who tried to bait Perry. Certainly not the average Ph.D. in biology.  Certainly not the average teacher of biology.  Maybe a rare news reporter or commentator in the US.  Now probably half the people think they know what the debate is about but in reality they know squat.  

So it will be interesting where this goes.  Probably nowhere that will illuminate anything.
7 years 5 months ago

They can show that things appeared at various times in the history of the earth and many disappeared.  A good example is the dinosaurs but there are thousands of other biological entities that could be used as examples.  They can date the appearance and disappearances  within a few million years some times but often it is only maybe within 10 million years or even more.

So if one wished to line up these entities on a time line one could do so back to 600 million years ago. Before that there were only single cell entities back to maybe 3.5-3.8 billion years ago.  No one except the creation scientists  doubt the general time line.

What is missing is a mechanism on how these biological entities could arise.  Darwin's explanation can not explain it even though every textbook in the curriculum implies that his ideas are the answer.  Darwin's ideas do work in the small change scenario but cannot work for unique capabilities arising even if given millions of years.  The schools won't let this conclusion be taught but instead teach that it is all solved when in fact they do not have a clue.

The debate quickly get technical as all the discussion heads to DNA and protein synthesis.  Proteins which make up nearly everything of consequence in a living organism are incredibly complex and have very specific and narrow functions.  The cell is more complex than any man made construction and functions with amazing precision yet is made up of 10's of thousands of coordinated parts.  Each part itself is extremely complicated and the chance that each one could arise by chance is infinitesimally small and there is no know process in nature that could have made even simple parts let alone these incredibly complex parts.

The only mechanism we know that could do such a thing would be a massive intelligence.  Hence the term intelligent design.

So in the debate there are really four sides not two, The materialists who say it all happened by natural processes building various complexities and then some other process keeping preferred constructions because they are somehow useful.  One of these processes is called natural selection.  All of science and knowledge today says that this could not have happened but you will never hear that from anyone.

The second group are those who say at some finite time in the past, probably within the last 10,000 years that God created everything and then let it play out from there.  These are the creation scientists.  They actually believe in micro evolution which essentially what Darwin's ideas are but they started at some finite starting point not that long ago.

A third group is the theistic evolutionists and there are many variations of these people who say the universe started 13 billion years ago but that either it was designed to unfold in a carefully precise way to lead to what we see today.  It was all in the original starting conditions.  Another version of this thinking has that God implemented micro changes every now an then to influence the path of the changes that led to us.

A fourth group of which I tend to support is that it is a mystery.  There are so many unexplainable things of such incredibly low probability that it is incomprehensible how they could have happened.  This is where the true intelligent design folks sit.  Logic and science sit in this group.  The others all have an ideological agenda and then disparage this group and try to identify them with the creation scientists who have appropriated many of the ideas of intelligent design.  It is an interesting sociological phenomena as well a science one.

If you want more of the issues, here is a discussion we had on America magazine about a year ago 


The latest from america

Psychedelics can blur the line between science and spirituality—but Christian mysticism cannot be studied.
Terrance KleinJanuary 17, 2019
The extensive New York Times series in support of legal abortion unfolds as if the last 46 years of the abortion debate following Roe v. Wade never happened and did not need to.
​Helen AlvaréJanuary 17, 2019
In 1983, Sri Lanka descended into a bitter and prolonged ethnic conflict. Harry Miller, S.J., then almost 60, was thrust into a new role as witness, advocate, intermediary and protector not only for his students but for anyone in Batticaloa who sought his help.
Jeannine GuthrieJanuary 17, 2019
I have found that praying 15 minutes every day is an important form of self-care.
Michael R. Lovell January 16, 2019