5.13.24 – Dallas Morning News

“Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Says Christianity Is Needed More Than Ever in Texas Politics”

By Gromer Jeffers, Jr.

Excerpts from this article: 


Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Gov. Dan Patrick wants to be a minister after his political career is done.

I want to be the first elected official who becomes a pastor, as opposed to the first pastor who becomes an elected official,”
Patrick said last week on Praise, a Christian talk show on the Trinity Broadcast Network.

You could argue that Patrick already serves as a pastor, with his flock being the Texas Senate. That’s where he’s pushed through numerous bills influenced, he says, by his Christian faith

Politics has long been a bastion for religious expression and activism, but Patrick sees room — and the need — for more. 

While the debate over how religion and government should mix has raged since America’s founding, Patrick sees Christianity as an essential guide for Texas lawmakers and their approach to governing — even as polls show a steady decline in the rate of churchgoing in America.

“We as Christians shouldn’t be afraid to talk about political things,” Patrick said last Monday on 
Praise, where he was joined by television personality Phil McGraw and show host Matt Crouch. People in politics shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their faith.”



On the show, Patrick pointed to legislation aimed at transgender Texans as central to his political ministry.
During last year’s legislative session, he spearheaded legislation that banned puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender adolescents seeking gender-affirming care. 

Lawmakers also restricted the
 college sports teams that trans athletes could join

Another bill outlawed some drag shows
 banning sexually explicit performances in front of kids.

We have to stand up and push back, because there’s a real group pushing God out and trying to undermine our family,”
he said on the show…

Patrick has said he’s not picking on transgender Texans but protecting children and society. 

He said unsuccessful legislation in 2017 that would have required transgender residents to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender assigned at their birth was intended to protect people against criminals and perverts. He said the ban on gender-affirming care was designed to protect kids “who would never have thought about going down that path.”

Praise, Patrick said he was on the right side of the bathroom bill. And he defended supporters of transgender legislation against critics who say such laws are unnecessary and harsh.

“We do want to be inclusive, and we want to give everyone in America an opportunity,” Patrick said. “We don’t want kids bullied and we love everyone as Christians, but there is a moment when … you have to say, ‘Wait a minute. I have a purpose that I’m standing for, and this isn’t right.’”



Patrick said some of his critics are pushing an anti-Christian agenda.

“I believe there’s a strong movement in this country that wants to remove God from society,” Patrick said. “They want to break up the nuclear family. I think that’s part of the transgender issue.”

He leaned on his religious beliefs to finish his point.

We were born in the image of God,”
he said. And when you’re saying you have a right to change God’s image, that’s a very powerful statement.”

…Transgender policy is not the only issue Patrick says could use a Christian approach.

Praise, Patrick said “God’s principles” include law and order, border security, smaller government, school choice and other agenda items popular with Republicans in the Legislature. Texas also has some of the most aggressive abortion restrictions in the country.



Patrick said lawmakers are planning to require the teaching of Bible stories in schools and examining the Roman empire through a Christian lens.

We are working on a curriculum right now in Texas to get us back to teaching, not necessarily the Bible per se, but the stories from the Bible,”
Patrick said. The story of Esther can have a very powerful influence.”

According to the Bible, Esther was a Hebrew woman who married the Persian King Ahasuerus and foiled a plot by the king’s grand vizier to have all of Persia’s Jews killed. 

The Book of Esther is one of two books in the Bible named for women. The Book of Ruth is the other.



People of faith aren’t stepping up, because if they did, we could get back to the basics in our schools and our life and our businesses,”
he said.

American pastors needed to “get the vote out” and “partake in democracy,” Patrick said.

…many ministers are involved in politics.

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of Dallas’ First Baptist Church, was an adviser to former President Donald Trump.

Historically, Black churches were an essential voice in the civil rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a minister, leading the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

In 2020, Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Georgia Democrat who is pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was once co-pastor, was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Still, Patrick said more leadership is needed, particularly from those who share his values of faith, family, and conservatism.

Patrick often quotes 2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

…“If we don’t step into the fight, and do it smartly … we can lose this country,”
he said.