After Saturday's rally, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, which sponsored the event, enthused that "the governor is a staunch social conservative, believing in both the sanctity of life and marriage not just as personal principles but as principles of public policy." The evidence: "He supports federal amendments to protect both the unborn and man-woman marriage."
Fischer and Perry seem to have similar ideas about constitutional fidelity. Fischer supports the First Amendment except when it comes to non-Christians, while Perry supports the 10th Amendment except when it comes to marriage and abortion.
Other exceptions may emerge as the presidential race proceeds. As much as I'd love to see the Republican nominee attack Barack Obama for interfering with state decisions regarding medical marijuana (which Perry also says are protected by the 10th Amendment), I don't think it's going to happen.
Perry insisted his prayer rally was apolitical, allowing that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. But the Republican primary voters who are attracted by his conspicuous Christianity will expect him to translate his religious beliefs into government policy. Those of us who would not welcome a centrally imposed, religiously inspired moral agenda can only hope Perry's promises on that score will turn out to be just as empty as his commitment to state sovereignty.
Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine. To find out more about Jacob Sullum and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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