When Texas Governor Rick Perry and the ultraconservative American Family Association announced a massive prayer rally, The Response, with the help of figures from the International House of Prayer and right-wing pastors Jim Garlow and John Hagee, the governor’s office denied that their ultraconservative views would be incorporated into the August 6th event. The governor’s spokesperson said that Perry’s “priority with this event is bringing people together.”
But during an interview with the AFA’s American Family Radio, The Response spokesman Eric Bearse said that the main objective of the prayer rally was to bring people to Christianity. Bearse, who was previously Rick Perry’s Director of Communications, claimed that people “regardless of their faith tradition or background” are invited to The Response to “seek out the living Christ” and feel the presence of Jesus:
Bearse: A lot of people want to criticize what we’re doing, as if we’re somehow being exclusive of other faiths. But anyone who comes to this solemn assembly regardless of their faith tradition or background, will feel the love, grace, and warmth of Jesus Christ in that assembly hall, in that arena. And that’s what we want to convey, that there’s acceptance and that there’s love and that there’s hope if people will seek out the living Christ. And that’s the message we want to spread on August 6th.