Last month, Texas Governor Rick Perry took a dip in the Little Rocky Creek near Independence, Texas. The governor was quietly baptized in a ceremony open to his close friends and family. Pastor Mac Richard of Lake Hills Church in Austin, Texas, presided over the re-dedication.
Perry “reaffirmed his commitment” to his Christian faith in the same waters where Texas’s famed governor Sam Houston was baptized back in 1854. Houston, who had a sense of humor, is reported to have quipped that he was “sorry for the fish downstream.”
Spokesman Felix Browne said of Governor Perry’s baptism:
“Gov. Perry has a deep and abiding faith in God. Like many people of faith, the governor wished to reaffirm his commitment in a way that holds great personal meaning.”
The Texas Tribune, noting that Governor Perry’s baptism was a private affair, nonetheless cited a number of times when the born-again Christian governor has expressed his faith publicly and put it into practice in the execution of his duties:
In 2005, he stirred controversy by using a Fort Worth evangelical Christian school to stage a bill-signing ceremony where he affixed his signature to legislation restricting abortion and a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. A few years later, in the midst of a punishing Texas drought, Perry issued an official proclamation calling on Texans to pray for rain.
Perhaps Perry’s boldest and most overt melding of politics and religion came a week before he announced for president in 2011. An estimated 30,000 worshipers flocked to Houston for his modern-day revival, called “The Response,” a boisterous prayer meeting with gospel music and Christian rock, emotional sermons and a clear boost for Perry in the days leading up to his announcement.