Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a Rancho San Diego megachurch Sunday that congregants have a “biblical directive” to be engaged in politics—but didn’t directly suggest how they should vote.
In April, conservative commentator Glenn Beck appeared at the same church and called on clergy nationwide to speak out politically from the pulpit even if it means risking their tax-exempt status under IRS law.
“We won’t have a nation if the pulpit doesn’t start preaching the truth,” Beck said.
But Perry, the former GOP presidential hopeful, didn’t recommend a candidate in his two sermons at Skyline Wesleyan Church.
He told the estimated 2,000 attendees they have an obligation to be involved in the decision-making process.
“You have a biblical directive to be engaged in the public arena—to be involved in the decisions that are made that affect your life,” he said. “Somebody’s values are going to decide the environment you live in. Is it going to be a man or woman of faith?”
Perry, who read a verse from Samuel, told stories of his upbringing, times in governorship and when he “surrendered” his will to God. He also spoke about the business market and competition among states to attract major corporations.
“California is not so competitive,” he joked when he spoke about the number of companies that have chosen to open in other areas than the Golden State.
Perry also spoke about a time earlier in his governorship when Boeing had considered whether to open a local office in Dallas or Chicago. The company ultimately chose Chicago because of the “expansive” arts scene, according to Perry.
Perry said over the course of the decade, the state of Texas has opened more performing arts centers, theaters and museums to ensure the state is attractive to businesses.
He described the individuals who created a larger art scene in Texas as “those who understand biblical principles” and encouraged the congregation to elect those in office who understand that money given to the government must be spent on the community.
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