by Ben Shapiro
For those who couldn't tell from my name, I'm a Jew. Not only am I Jew, I'm an Orthodox Jew. I pray three times a day to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I keep kosher. I wear phylacteries in the morning, and I say the Shema at night.
And I love Texas Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response."
On August 6, Perry is hosting a "day of prayer and fasting" in Houston. "With the economy in trouble, communities in crisis, people adrift in a sea of moral relativism, we need God's help," Perry said in announcing the event. "That's why I'm calling on Americans to pray and fast, like Jesus did, and as God called the Israelites to do."
The left has entered the same bizarre and fetishistic anti-religious frenzy they always do when someone on the right mentions God. Asking God's help and guidance constitutes abdication of personal responsibility according to Justin Elliott of Salon, who headlined his idiotic piece on The Response, "Rick Perry Platform: Let God Figure it Out." Barry Lynn, executive director of the secularist Americans United for Separation of Church and State, remarked, "I have never seen a governor initiate and lead this kind of Christians-only prayer rally." The Freedom from Religion Foundation sued to try to stop Perry from attending the rally, even though it's not a state-sponsored event.
There is nothing wrong with Perry's "The Response." In fact, it is profoundly right to request that God look kindly and benevolently on the United States of America. Even those who don't believe in God should be able to recognize that peaceful public displays of faith strengthen the unity of our nation.
Reliance on God allows Americans to stop turning on one another, as President Obama would prefer. Class warfare is simply un-Christian; it is profoundly anti-religious, since it presumes that property is not God's to distribute, but man's to redistribute. There is a reason why Marx despised religion and why Marxism's first dictate in any country is the destruction of Christianity. Furthermore, there is no question whatsoever that the religious community in America provides more charity per capita than the non-religious community.
As to the odd notion that Christians such as Perry are Waiting for Godot to create jobs and solve unemployment, Perry's own record contradicts that. Under his watch, Texas has created more jobs than all the other states combined during Perry's time as governor. If Perry's Christianity is a factor in his politics, there are plenty of other governors who might want to open up the Bible.
Those who are concerned about Perry's openly Christian worship are again wrongheaded. For folks who love to spout about diversity, they sure hate to see it in action when the word "Jesus" is used.
This is where the rubber meets the road for Perry's Jewish critics. "There are many houses of worship here in Texas, not just Christian churches," said Kim Kamen of the American Jewish Committee about "The Response." "As the leader of our state, we hope he will bear that in mind." Overall, the Jewish community remains uneasy about public displays of Christianity.
They shouldn't. Perry is Christian, yes. So are the vast majority of those who will attend "The Response." In fact, so are almost 80 percent of Americans. And Perry's brand of Christianity is what maintains the sacredness of Judaism and the unbreakable bond between America and Israel. Invocation of Jesus shouldn't just be tolerated uncomfortably by the American Jewish community -- it should be welcomed.
The same people who believe deeply in Jesus are now standing shoulder-by-shoulder with the Jewish state. While fellow Jews like Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic babble that people shouldn't donate money to help Israel fight fires because Israel is "a rich country," Christians like Perry donate the cash that helps put out the fires.
Would that we had more Perrys in the world and fewer Goldbergs.
Overall, "The Response" is a net positive for the country, without a doubt. Those who despise traditional religion in general -- pro-abortionists, militant gay-marriage activists -- oppose "The Response" for their own reasons. But everyone else, religious and secular, should recognize the overwhelming good that displays like "The Response" do for the nation. Americans still stand for God and country. Remove one half of that equation, and the rest of the structure falls.