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Rick Perry and 'Texism'

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

As if the public isn't fed up with racism and sexism in politics, political pundits, short on creativity and long on mimicry, have added another "ism" when discussing the possibility of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas announcing his run for president.

"Is the country ready for another cowboy from Texas?” The Perry Bushwhack insults Texans and ignores reality.

Conservative commentator Bill Bennett says that anyone looking for democracy, good government, business and job growth, the best medical care, a lower cost of living and taxes should look to Texas as the model and to Rick Perry as the model governor.

Then there’s California, left with a $26 billion budget deficit courtesy of its disgraced former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who fathered a “love child” with the family maid. According to ABC News, “stories of infidelity threatened early on to derail Schwarzenegger's candidacy. There were not only allegations of Schwarzenegger's cheating, but women also came forward saying that the movie star groped them.”

Comparing Texas with California, a reasonable person might conclude that there’s a better chance of enjoying life, liberty and happiness in a state with a governor who calls people to pray as opposed to one who preys on women.

Whoever said that zealots wanting to suppress religious freedom are reasonable people?

Atheists and agnostics are all miffed and vexed at Perry, not Schwarzenegger, for initiating a day of prayer and fasting for America. The godless have communed together to sue Perry for calling all Americans to join in prayer and fasting for our nation on Aug. 6 in Houston’s Reliant Stadium. Perry also called for prayer last April as Texas was besieged with wild fires.

Oh, the humanity. Imagine if the Texas good life spread across the entire nation.

Consider “what others are saying” about Texas, as reported on the State’s website:

• The Texas model added 37% of all net U.S. jobs since the recovery began.

• Texas leads the nation with six cities - Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio - on the top 20 Overall Strongest-Performing Metro Areas list in Brookings Institute’s "MetroMonitor" quarterly report.

• Texas dominates Kiplinger’s Cities with the Lowest Cost of Living list in 2011, claiming five of the top 10 spots.

• Texas moved past New York over the past decade to become the nation's second-largest economy, according to a USA Today examination of data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Though California retained its first-place ranking as the state with the largest economy, the article indicated that California's share of the national economy, which peaked in 1990, shrank faster than all but three states from 2000 to 2010. Noting the growth of Texas, USA Today suggested the Lone Star State may soon challenge California for the top spot.

• Texas is taking lawsuit reform to another level.

• Forbes Magazine recently released its annual list of Best Cities for Jobs, with Texas cities topping the lists for best big, mid-size and small cities for jobs.

• CEO Magazine ranks Texas best state for business for seventh consecutive year.

• Texas ranked top exporting state for ninth consecutive year.

• For the sixth year in a row, Texas eclipsed every other state and took the lead as the No. 1 magnet state in 2010 based on Allied's report, which tracks U.S. migration patterns.

• "Today there are more Fortune 500 companies located in Texas than any other state in the union," said Bill Dircks, president of Berger Transfer & Storage, Inc.

Prosperity follows liberty and morality. In Texas, the Second and Tenth Amendments are reality, not a punch line. The sanctity of life and protections for the unborn and traditional marriage are protected by our State Constitution and statutes.

It helps explain why we see cars with California license plates all over the Texas landscape.

Governor Paul LePage of Maine has issued a proclamation in support of Perry’s naming August 6 as a "Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation." Perry and LePage are following the examples of political leaders throughout American history, including some who affirmed the First Amendment:

On April 15, 1775, just four days before the Battle of Lexington, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, led by John Hancock, declared: In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments...the 11th of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and confess the implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression.

On April 19, 1775, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull issued a Proclamation of a Day of Fasting and Prayer beseeching God to “graciously pour out His Holy Spirit on us to bring us to a thorough repentance and effectual reformation that our iniquities may not be our ruin; that He would restore, preserve and secure the liberties of this and all the other British American colonies, and make the land a mountain of Holiness, and habitation of righteousness forever.”

On March 16, 1776, the Continental Congress passed without dissent a resolution presented by General William Livingston declaring: have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, … and by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God’s righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.”

On June 14, 1783, George Washington wrote a prayer to governors of the newly freed states on disbanding army: “Almighty God …that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that Charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the Characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

On March 23, 1798, President John Adams declared a national day of humiliation, fasting and prayer.

On July 9, 1812: President James Madison issued a “Proclamation of a Day of Public Humiliation and Prayer” in response to a resolution by both Houses of Congress.

On March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation for “A Day Of National Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer in the The United States Of America reminding the nation: “We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

On June 6, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt led the nation in prayer over the radio as allied forces stormed the beaches on D-Day. He called us, not just to a day of prayer, but to a continuation of prayer each new day.

Nonetheless, a spokesman for those who’ve erected a wall of separation between their minds and American history told The

“The answers for America‘s problems won’t be found on our knees or in heaven, but by using our brains, our reason and in compassionate action,” said Dan Barker, a co-director of the [Freedom from Religion] foundation. “Gov. Perry’s distasteful use of his civil office to plan and dictate a religious course of action to `all citizens’ is deeply offensive to many citizens, as well as to our secular form of government.”

Here in Texas you can vote with your feet. We’d be glad to show Mr. Barker and his congregants to the border while praying for their safe exodus.

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