Is Rick Perry Wrong to Pray in Public?

Evangelicals cheer, but liberals jeer Republican candidate.

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry, poised to join the 2012 GOP presidential primary race, is being jeered by liberals for publicly praying last weekend at "The Response," his religious gathering in Houston attended by 30,000.

Washington Post opinion writer Colbert King bristled at Perry's call for help from Jesus. "What, pray tell, about the millions of Americans who, for reasons of their own, don't, and have no intention to "call upon Jesus"? Should a president, elected to represent all of the American people, publicly align himself, and the country, with one religious faith?"

At Thursday night's GOP debate in Iowa, presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman, a Mormon, also took a swipe at Perry when he said, "We all need prayers, and I hope he offers up a bunch for everyone up on this stage."

Scripture-quoting presidents aren't new. Bill Clinton did it regularly, from memory, and Jimmy Carter still teaches Sunday School. [Vote now: Who's your pick for the GOP nomination?]

But some critics of Perry say it's a turnoff. "Under a Perry administration, we would see significantly more prayer across America," The Hill quotes Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett saying. "People would be praying for our country to survive someone whose primary emphasis will be on right-wing ideological zealotry."

What do you think? Is a praying president acceptable or too much to stomach?

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

Is public praying by politicians like Texas Gov. Rick Perry acceptable, offensive, or irrelevant?

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