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Activist Faith

Rick Perry’s recent Houston prayer event as potential White House runway has many talking (and often arguing) about this prickly mix of faith and politics. But perhaps more intriguing is how Texans who love God keep ending up on their way to the White House (and how sports keeps creeping into the picture).

George H.W. Bush emerged from small town West Texas. His son, George W., followed a few years later after successfully running a Major League Baseball team in–you guessed it–Texas (Go, Rangers!). Fast forward to 2011 and Texas Governor Rick Perry heads to Houston, prays with 30,000 Christians (in a sporting arena), and now the presidential bid is (almost) official.

Whether there is something special about Texan Christians who play sports or not, it should be no surprise that people who love God would desire to support someone who supports their faith. Whereas the last presidential election campaigned two candidates who courted evangelical voters despite varying degrees of past commitment, the upcoming election may become one in which there is a clear conservative Christian/multifaith divide. Despite President Obama’s public commitment as a Christian, many view him as a supporter of many issues contrasting those held by the majority of American Christians.

Translation: The upcoming election is going to talk about faith perhaps more than any presidential race in American History. Be prepared for it.

While I’m all for presidents who care about God, I’m also concerned that many Americans view their state (Texas or otherwise), God, sports, and politics as equal factors in both life and voting. They’re not. If we follow Jesus, he sits on the throne. Whether Perry or Obama, Rangers or Braves, faith in Jesus must receive top priority. When any other issue becomes the issue we have an issue.

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DILLON BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith. Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books include Undefending ChristianityNot in My Town (with Charles J. Powell), and Thirst No More (November). Discover more at ActivistFaith.org.

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