The Washington Times - December 7, 2011, 12:07PM

Rick Perry played the  faith card  Wednesday,  releasing a new television ad that contrast his Christian faith with what he sees as the Obama administration’s “war on religion.”

 “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school,” Mr. Perry says in his 30-second “Strong” television ad that is running in Iowa. “As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.”

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This is the second ad that Mr. Perry, a three-term Texas governor, has released in recent days that highlights his Christianity, in what appears to be a clear attempt to reach out to the religious conservatives who tend to play a big role in the Iowa caucuses that begin the nomination process. 

Mr. Perry raced out to the front of the GOP presidential field after entering the race in August. But he now finds himself toward the back of the pack in several polls following some poorly reviewed debate performances.

The new ad closes with Mr. Perry saying: “Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.”

Ray Sullivan, the Perry campaign communications director, claimed the “Obama administration is waging a full scale assault on Christians and people of faith” by  refusing to  protect the Defense of Marriage Act in court, while mandating abortion over the objections of church-affiliated hospitals. “Gov. Perry believes in the religious liberty embodied in the U.S. Constitution by our Founding Fathers,” Mr. Sullivan said. “Rick Perry will be guided by these principles as president of the United States.”