Rick Perry criticized the separation of church and state Tuesday, saying "Satan" is the reason "people of faith should not be involved" with politics.
“Satan runs across the world with his doubt and with his untruths and what have you, and one of the untruths out there that is driven -- is that people of faith should not be involved in the public arena," Perry said on a conference call with former pastor Rick Scarborough as part of the “40 Days to Save America” campaign.
According to a transcript from Right Wing Watch, Perry chastised the "iron curtain" between church and state being "driven by the secularists":
This separation of church and state, which has been driven by the secularists to remove those people of faith from the public arena, there is nothing farther from the truth. When you think about our founding fathers, they created this country, our Constitution, the foundation of America upon Judeo-Christian values, biblical values and this narrative that has been going on, particularly since the ’60s, that somehow or another there’s this steel wall, this iron curtain or whatever you want to call it between the church and people of faith and this separation of church and state is just false on its face. We have a biblical responsibility to be involved in the public arena proclaiming God’s truth. You know, are we going to get up and say ‘you are going to vote for X’? No, but we’re going to talk about Christian values. When you think about the issue of life and protecting life, it’s so important that we as Christians put legislation into place, that we elect women that defend life. The idea that we should be sent to the sidelines I would suggest to you is very driven by those who are not truthful, Satan runs across the world with his doubt and with his untruths and what have you and one of the untruths out there is driven—is that people of faith should not be involved in the public arena.
Perry has made other strong religious statements in the past. While running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2011, Perry suggested President Barack Obama waged a "war on religion" with the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" in a campaign ad called "Strong."
In December 2011, Perry joked that he prays "a lot, "I pray a lot, because I'm prone to make a lot of mistakes."