Texas Governor Rick Perry’s entry into the ranks of Republican presidential contenders has raised questions about both his religious beliefs and, more broadly, about the political and economic consequences of Christianity. Writing for the Atlantic, former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend raised the issue from a specifically Catholic perspective, taking Perry to task for what she sees as his opposition to the welfare state.
“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’,” Kennedy Townsend wrote. Later, citing a conversation she had with Pastor Rick Warren of Purpose Driven Life fame who she says told her that he had “‘missed the 2,500 passages’ in the Bible that called on him to care about other people," she continued:
Does Rick Perry acknowledge those 2,500 passages? That's the second question I'd like the press to ask him. Maybe he believes, like some socially conservative evangelicals, that these passages refer only to personal charity, not government programs. But I don't see any place in the Bible that says we shouldn't use all the tools we have at hand to help the poor, the sick, and the hungry.