So when Robert Jeffress is running around telling anyone who will listen that Mormonism is a cult, Rick Perry just kind of shrugs his shoulders and says he is not going to tell Jeffress what he can and can’t say.
But when Jeffress says that the Catholic faith is a counterfeit “Babylonian mystery religion” that represents “the genius of Satan” and ends up angering the Catholic League’s resident squeaky wheel/blowhard Bill Donohue, well then Perry just can’t apologize fast enough, as Dononhe reports that Perry called him personally last night to distance himself from Jeffress’ anti-Catholicism:
Last night, I discussed the flap over Rev. Robert Jeffress with Chris Matthews on “Hardball.” While I made it clear that the anti-Catholic comments made by Jeffress must be roundly condemned, I also stated that I was not blaming Gov. Rick Perry for what the pastor said. One of the reasons I said this was because I was assured by my friend, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, that Perry would never countenance any scurrilous remarks about the Catholic Church.
When I got home, I received a phone call from Gov. Perry. Catholic activist Deal Hudson, who has a history of forging good relationships between Catholics and evangelicals, intervened in this matter and arranged for the phone call. Perry and I spoke candidly about the Jeffress incident, and about religion, in general. He spoke sincerely: nothing that Jeffress said about Catholicism represents his views.
I very much appreciate Gov. Perry’s interest in getting this issue behind him in a responsible manner. He succeeded. Case closed.