I almost fell out of my chair while watching a CNN interview with Rick Perry’s wife Anita over the weekend. She declared that her family’s spiritual beliefs are “not something we blast out there. It’s something we tend to be private about.”
Wow, really? Rick “I Didn’t Want to Run For President, But I Was Called By God” Perry is a shrinking violet when it comes to discussing his evangelical faith? I have clearly been watching the man’s evil biblethumping twin, then, because the Perry I’ve seen has been aggressively up front, both as governor and as presidential contender, about how his right wing brand of Christianity has affected his policies.
I think Mrs. Perry is trying to have it both ways here. She wants her husband to be able to use his faith as a campaign asset with Republican primary voters but not be challenged about it by skeptics. Remember how she got teary before an evangelical crowd while claiming that Perry was being targeted because of his faith? Oh, boo hoo, Anita! The fact is – faith is not an intrinsic, value neutral quality like race, gender, or sexual orientation. A person’s faith (or lack thereof) is the clearest expression of the content of their character, and dammit, should be scrutinized along with other aspects of the candidate. ESPECIALLY when that candidate flaunts his beliefs as shamelessly as Perry has.