Perry's Religious Road to the White House?

Before the rest of ya'll learned to despise the man who served as the 43rd President of the U.S. (not to be mistaken with his father, a man of the same name) George W. Bush was a lauded Governor of Texas. I didn't have much of an opinion of him, one way or the other. I'm not into sports, so W's ownership of the Texas Rangers meant little to me, and that single fact (combined with his father's having been President) seemed to gain him the governorship.

I thought Ann Richards a better governor at the time, although his wife was visible doing good things for education in Texas. I'm not sure what he did to be lauded as governor. I never saw him do much more than make feel good speeches and cut ribbons (kissed a few babies, too) There were rumors of his drinking and whatever use even then, but he seemed to be pretty harmless in the scheme of things (little did we know) willing to be the figurehead that is the sole job of a Texas governor.

His Lt. Governor was a little-known climber by the name of Rick Perry; a literal political chameleon who changed party to Republican when he saw that it would give him an 'in' as Governor of Texas when his predecessor moved up to the White House. Not only did he change parties but he became a devout, embracing religious right causes calculated to win favor amongst his supporters; a man that has wielded religion as a cudgel at every opportunity, to the detriment of the state. Instead of being the figurehead that governors are relegated to by the Texas constitution, He's subverted the office by orchestrating the creation of a tollway commission which he controls, a foreign run for profit company that charges Texans to drive on roads that they pay to build with their own taxes.

I could go on painting this picture, but you probably get my point already. As much disdain as I have for W; I'll take a coke-sniffing, drunken buffoon of a governor over an actual crook and hypocrite any day of the week.



So it should come as no surprise that the same Rick Perry that changed parties in order to secure the governorship, and that has found religion useful in holding the governor's office in Texas for longer than any other governor in history, is intending to use religion as his vehicle to run for the White House.

From a TFN insider blog article;
New reports of closed-door meetings and conference calls indicate that religious-right kingmakers are coming together in support of a presidential bid by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. One of those closed-door confabs occurred two weeks ago, when Gov. Perry spoke before a virtual “who’s who” of religious-right leaders gathered in the North Texas city of Euless (just outside Dallas), EthicsDaily.com reports.
Given that he's consistently used religion to gain political favor during his several terms as governor, it should be no surprise to Texans that their governor is planning to use religion to attempt to gain the White house. The next step on this road appears to be a prayer meeting scheduled for August 6th (TFN has an open letter you can sign on to if you want to stand in opposition to this event) The no-holds-barred blurb for the event runs like this;
We believe that America is in a state of crisis. Not just politically, financially or morally, but because we are a nation that has not honored God in our successes or humbly called on Him in our struggles.

According to the Bible, the answer to a nation in such crisis is to gather in humility and repentance and ask God to intervene. The Response will be a historic gathering of people from across the nation to pray and fast for America.
Of course, when you rent a stadium, and plan on filling it with the devout on the pretense of praying for the future of America (that future America being lead by one President Rick Perry, no doubt) calling your event a prayer meeting sounds like pious bullshit.

What Governor Good Hair has failed to take into account is that there are laws against using religion this way in the US (one might be forgiven for not knowing this, considering how often religion is misused in this fashion) and has been sued over his event's blatant mixing of church & state;
The federal lawsuit seeks to declare Perry’s participation in the prayer rally and his proclamation unconstitutional, to enjoin his further involvement, and to order corrective action. FFRF seeks to stop further publication of the proclamation, to declare the use of the official state seal of Texas unconstitutional, to order the governor to withdraw permission for the AFA to use his written and videotaped promotions (“Gov. Perry’s Invitation Video”) and radio recordings at their website, to remove links from the governor’s website, as well as enjoining Perry from issuing and disseminating further Day of Prayer proclamations or designations.

(from the FFRF press release)
Here's hoping they have better luck with this one than they did with the National Day of Prayer lawsuit. Thankfully it won't be up to the elected (and resultantly biased) courts of Texas. This is a federal issue, it will go to federal court. Yes, I imagine he'll make hay over being told he can't use religion to win the White House. Whatever it takes to shoot this pretender down, I'm all for.



The case has been dismissed;
The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s lawsuit challenging Texas Gov. Rick Perry's sponsorship of an Aug. 6 prayer event at Reliant Stadium in Houston was dismissed July 28 by U.S. District Judge Gray Miller, who ruled that the plaintiffs lack standing.

FFRF and five of its Houston members sued to block Perry from continued endorsement of the Christian event titled “The Response.” Miller (appointed in 2006 by President Bush) declined to grant a restraining order against the governor and dismissed the suit, saying that the plaintiffs had not been coerced into attending the rally. The judge did not address the merits of the case.

FFRF plans to appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals or to reconfigure the case so that it may be heard again. FFRF maintains that coercion into a religious practice is not required in order to bring suit under the Establishment Clause.

“Government endorsement of one religious view that excludes other religions and nonbelievers is enough,” said Dan Barker, FFRF co-president.
Suits brought against the government are routinely dismissed on standing these days. It has become nearly impossible to even bring a suit against the government and not have it dismissed on standing, much less win a case against the government.

...Which is why they are planning a protest the day of the event at Reliant Stadium, since Gov. Good Hair is still making noises like he's planning on attending as the governor, not a private citizen.

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