Robert Knight

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has done us a wonderful service with her Aug. 15 article in the Atlantic, “Is Rick Perry as Christian as He Thinks He Is?”

It’s a masterpiece of liberal misuse of the Bible, which will become more frequent as the campaign heats up.

First, only God and Mr. Perry know what Mr. Perry thinks of his own faith. I doubt that either has shared that knowledge with Mrs. Townsend or her editors.

Maryland’s Democrat lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2003, Mrs. Townsend starkly makes the case that being Christian means using other people’s tax dollars to help the poor.

She penned this in reaction to Texas Gov. Perry’s prayer rally in Houston on Aug. 6. Mrs. Townsend agrees with the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation, which unsuccessfully sued to halt his participation in the event.

Throughout her piece, as befitting a member of the Kennedy family, she equates government with charity.

Mrs. Townsend revealed more than she probably intended in her opening paragraph:

“America is a religious nation. Polls may differ, but most find that over 80 percent of Americans say they believe in God. Fifty percent also say they go to church on Sunday, while only half of those actually do. I guess this shows that we want to look better than we actually are, at least to the public – if not to God, who presumably knows what we're really up to.”

Would a believing Christian dare use the word “presumably” to describe the capabilities of Almighty God, Whom the Bible tells us is omniscient, eternal and unchanging? Either He is God or He isn’t. “Presumably” is a weasel word implying doubt.

Let’s move on to her view of Christian charity.

“I see a fundamental inconsistency between Perry's concerted opposition to government social programs and his promotion of himself as a Christian politician,” she writes “….Christ teaches us to feed the hungry and care for the sick, not to abandon them. Perhaps Gov. Perry hasn't read that part of the Bible where Christ admonishes us to care for ‘the least among us.’”

Perhaps Mr. Perry has, which might be why he opposes welfare programs that have trapped millions in poverty, dependency, crime and destroyed families and communities. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, the Bible admonishes us to care for widows, orphans and the poor – not create more of them.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.