|Texas governor, Rick Perry|
PERRY: Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.
Now the optimist in me says what heck. Prayer never hurts. And I have prayed many a minute after last year's mid-term election.
However, the cynic in me has several problems with this.
First of all is this the thousandth "moral crisis" America has been in? To hear some conservatives tell it, we are always in some sort of moral crisis. What are we - a country or a character in Biblical soap opera?
Secondly, what's the deal with Rick Perry anyway? Wasn't he all gung-ho a while back with talks about tea parties and secession?
Just when did he start waxing philosophical about God and prayer? Probably the same time folks began to figure out just how bad of an economic shape Texas is in. And I haven't even talked about the teachers' protest which recently took place.
But I am most reticent about Perry's "let's all come to Jesus" moment because he is partnering with the American Family Association.
That's the organization designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group due to its penchant for demonizing and passing propaganda about lgbts, Muslims, and others who don't fit into its narrow definition of Christianity.
And if the AFA is involved, like-minded groups such as the Family Research Council (another anti-gay hate group) will be sure to follow. And of course I'm guessing that so-called evangelical members of Congress - i.e Sen. Jim DeMint, Reps. Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann are sure to come.
All of this means that Perry's event will probably be nothing more than ego boosting masquerading as piety complete with prayers that will go as follows (although not using these specific words):
"Oh Lord God, please don't let America fall in spite of the sins of other people. Heaven forbid that we show a little introspection and ask forgiveness for our sins such as bearing false witness against the gay community or scaring people with phony claims of Sharia law taking over America or even our neglect of the poor and unemployed because these things were done for the betterment of your kingdom so they really don't count as sins."
Such is one of the prevailing public faces of Christianity in America - where God's love is measured by how much political power you acquire.
Where the Biblical verses in which Jesus told the rich man to give up his worldy goods or where Jesus talked about love are overlooked because verses castigating so-called sinners (particularly those homosexuals) are much better reads and easier to sway crowds with, too.
Where humility and an appreciation for a higher power is replaced by an exclusive club filled with "watchmen on the walls" and "value voters" all out to claim "America for Christ" not with love but with the efficiency and unbridled distaste for ethics that rivals the legendary Vlad Tepes (the original Count Dracula) at his most debauched.
Where somehow not being able to force the inaccurate view that America is a Christian nation upon others ranks right up there with the early persecutions the Romans inflicted on Christians - the beheadings, the flayings, the feeding to wild beasts, etc.
All of this means that Perry's event promises to be most interesting to watch, but I will pass.
I have no desire to see a group of people nail themselves on the cross of self-righteousness.
UPDATE - The event WILL include anti-gay themes.