GOP presidential candidate and governor of Texas Rick Perry, has told Christians to ignore the "politically correct police" who use the principle of separation of church and state to prevent people from expressing their faith in the public arena.
According Perry, Christians are "biblically charged" to take their faith to the public sphere.
ABC News reports Perry, addressing a crowd of about 100 Methodists at the First Wesleyan Church, said: “In the world today, we get often told — particularly people of faith — that you leave your faith at the door or on the steps of a public arena, as those that I refer to as the ‘politically correct police’ who say you can’t bring your faith into public arena...Don't be intimidated. Somebody’s values are going to decide the issues of the day. Whatever they may be, whatever policies are being discussed in city council meeting or on the school board or at the state capitol or in our nation’s capital. Somebody’s values are going to be installed, if you will. The question is going to be, whose values? Is it going to be those of us of faith or is it going to be somebody else’s values?”
Perry had given a similar message at two church services in Waukee last week and finished his message with quotes from Isaiah 6:8: "Here am I, Send me."
After his address, Pastor Denis Bachman thanked Perry for "taking a stand" on behalf of people of faith. The pastor drew attention of the congregation to the sign outside the church that said: “We’re not afraid to say Merry Christmas around here.”
Perry had earlier attended a church service at the nondenominational Clear Lake Evangelical Free Church but did not speak. Before his speech at the First Wesleyan Church, he listened to a troupe of small children sing a song "Happy Birthday Jesus."
MSNBC reported that adults at the church were relieved that the children were distracted with coloring books when later in the service Perry said that Santa does not exist.
Houston Chronicle reports that earlier in the month, Perry had told Americans in a controversial campaign ad that he was not ashamed to admit he is a Christian. He had also accused Obama of "waging war against religion."
Perry is famous for having sponsored national prayers against natural disasters and the national economy.