Texas Governor Rick Perry
Rick Perry, Governor of the State of Texas and A&M University graduate, began his public service by serving in the United States Air Force, flying tactical airlift aircraft across the world. Perry served two terms as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture and Perry served in the Texas House of Representatives. Initially elected as Lieutenant Governor, Rick Perry is now the 47th Governor of Texas. Perry was sworn in as Texas State Governor on December 21, 2000.
William Cooper & Governor Rick Perry
Perry recently shared about his life as governor of Texas in an interview with ChristiaNet.com's president and CEO, Bill Cooper. Politically conservative, privately prayerful, and openly proud of his family, Perry has much to share about how being in the public arena as representation of twenty-three million people plays into his daily life. Perry spoke openly about his job, keeping his family a priority, and about how his beliefs on faith play into his role as the very public and out-front governor of Texas.
When asked about finding time for his family, Governor Perry told ChristiaNet, "Well, I just do it. My son played high-school baseball, and I rarely missed a game. My daughter is a cheerleader, and I've never missed a home game. I have an important job, but it's not more important than being a father. I go to pep-rallies and am the hokey-daddy down there with the video camera." Perry went on to explain that having his kids grow up in Austin, while he served as Agriculture Commissioner, was a blessing. "So, my children grew up in a relatively normal neighborhood and their daddy worked for the government like everyone else here in town. That's been a blessing because my children have not been treated very differently."
Obviously a strong family man, Perry is passionate about Marriage and the traditional definition of the union. ChristiaNet asked Perry about his position in using the Constitution to define marriage. "Well, we passed the Defense of Marriage Act in Texas. I signed the bill passed by the legislature, obviously campaigning for this, but it is clear that the people are for sending a message that marriage in Texas and the United States is between a man and a woman."
Perry explained why Texas was in the position of writing the Defense of Marriage Act to begin with. "The problem is that another state, by virtue of an activist judge or judges, can create a gay-marriage situation where we would be forced in Texas to recognize that. This is the reason I don't have a problem with a national constitutional amendment. If activist judges did what they are suppose to do-to interpret the law, not make law-then we wouldn't have these problems. But the fact of the matter is that I support the President's efforts on the constitutional amendment because we in Texas have said what we believe in and what the law is, but some other state may try to force their interpretation onto us, and that's where I dig my heels in pretty deep. I'm for a constitutional amendment if that's what it's going to take to control activist judges."
Pulling his faith into his very public life is an opportunity for Perry to demonstrate his Christianity in his daily life. Perry considers his faith both a public and private affair. He told ChristiaNet, "Faith is both a private thing and a very public thing for me--private in the sense that every morning I get up and read a little Scripture. You'll appreciate that I get a daily Scripture lesson off the Internet. It's called "God's Promises," and it gets to my e-mail everyday by six o'clock in the morning. It's a way to take time to be quiet and listen to what God has to say." In further explanation about how his faith is public, Perry said, "Faith in a public way is how my wife and I live our lives-how we express our Christian faith in our acts. So, everyday we publicly display and privately absorb our Christian beliefs."
Governor Rick Perry is also a man of prayer. He told ChristiaNet that it was not out of the ordinary for him to pray throughout the day - even in the midst of official meetings. "The Scripture talks about praying incessantly. It's not out of the ordinary for me to have a word of prayer in the midst of a meeting. When the door closes in here and it's quiet for two minutes, I say my prayers for my family or for something that's going on in the world."
Prayer led by the Holy Spirit is Perry's prayer focus. "The Holy Spirit works in interesting ways to remind you about what to pray for. God knows what your needs are. Prayer is a daily occurrence. I pray a lot in my life. I don't carve-out an hour or thirty minutes to pray in my closet, but I have a very active prayer life." And, Perry truly appreciates the prayers sent to the Lord on his behalf. " I also know that there are tens of thousands of people praying for me and my family. It is a powerful thing to know that there are people of faith who are fervently praying for you, for your well being, for your strength, and for your wisdom."
In concluding the Interview with ChristiaNet, Perry asked that the Christian community continue to uphold him and his family in prayer. "It's the most powerful thing that, frankly, anyone can do for me and my family. I tell people "don't just quit on me"-keep my wife, keep my son, and keep my daughter in prayer. This is a family effort. Being governor is the best job in the world, but it would be an overwhelming job if you didn't have a family and friends who keep you in their prayers." Governor Rick Perry is truly a public servant dependent upon prayer.