Rick Perry’s “Strong” Ad

This ad, titled “Strong,” comes to us from Governor Rick Perry’s presidential campaign. The video has gone viral in the past few days, but not for a good reason.  The spot opens with Perry casually walking on a green hillside with a river in the background, casually addressing the viewer. Allow me to offer my critique.

In the first line of the video, Perry says that he’s “not ashamed to admit” he’s a Christian. This is likely an appeal to those unsure of Romney’s Mormonism or Newt’s values, and that’s fair game as far as I’m concerned. Here’s my issue: Really Rick, you’re not ashamed to admit you’re a member of America’s most popular religion? It takes a lot of courage to admit that you believe something a majority of Americans do when you’re running for office. Wait, I’m being sarcastic. You don’t get points for “admitting” you’re a Christian.

Next, Perry states there’s something wrong with the country when gays can serve openly in the military and kids can’t celebrate Christmas in schools. On gays in the military: Wow, really? These men and women are risking their lives for us, and there’s something wrong with allowing them the same rights as straight people? Do you think this ad would make a gay serviceman feel good about protecting the country? So much for “support the troops;” for Perry the phrase is “support the straight troops.”

On celebrating Christmas or praying in schools, Perry’s claims are just ridiculous. Here’s PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter on the statement, and the bottom line is that kids can pray privately and schools do celebrate Christmas. Oh, but schools can’t lead the class in prayer or celebrate the Christian aspects of the holiday? Good; we’re talking about public schools with a mixture of students and religions. The aspects of a religion should never be taught or celebrated in public schools.  Faith is believing certain truths in the absence of fact, and it would not be appropriate for schools to focus on the aspects of religion or favor any one religion over all the others.

Perry also vows to “end Obama’s war on religion.”  I frankly don’t know what war he’s talking about.  Obama generally makes the effort to be inclusive to many of America’s religions, and even those who don’t believe.  In his inaugural address, Obama stated that we are a nation of “Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.”  I believe that this is the best possible approach to handling religion as president—include everyone. I’m one of the 15% in this country without a religious affiliation and I was delighted to hear Obama say those words.  Why do Christians like Rick Perry want to step over the separation of church and state? Let the government run the country and let people worship privately. Easy. No need to get offended since it’s understood that the government should stay out of religion. Perry is creating his own “war on religion” here by favoring his religion and treating everyone else like their beliefs don’t matter.

I know that there are people out there who this ad appeals to, and I’m sure it’s being carefully targeted to those people on television. But this type of thing doesn’t play well on the global community that is Internet, and the video is almost unanimously disliked on YouTube.

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  • hartwe60  On December 10, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Total agree with your view on this ad. I think Rick Perry should look at some of the views of our founding fathers and ow yeah the constitution.

  • SNTRHIT  On December 14, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    I completely agree with you that the only one waging a war on religion is Rick Perry himself. To be that openly against gay people and other religions to me says there is no way he will win this election.

  • jmerhit  On December 15, 2011 at 2:41 am

    I agree with you on some of his statements being ridiculous but I think your being a little over zealous. As far as your sarcasm towards Rick not being ashamed or afraid to admit that he’s Christian, whether or not it’s a popular trend doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t take courage to bring up. I mean how often do you and your friends talk about religion? If you’re like most people not often because it’s a subject that’s hard to bring up. Even if a majority of the population is Christians they can still be targeted or made fun of for their beliefs. Though our founding fathers thought the church and the state should be separate it’s easy to see this country was established based on Christian beliefs. (E.g. in God we trust on coins, one nation under God, in the pledge of allegiance.) I’m not supporting Rick his ideals I just thought I’d point these things out.

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