Are You Ready for This Weekend's GOP Prayer-a-Thon to Solve America's Problems? (Which Is Expected to Flop)
Texas Governor and GOP Presidential Candidate and Total Nightmare Rick Perry will be hosting a Christian prayer-fest called "The Response" this weekend in Houston, "where participants will ask for divine help to overcome America's myriad problems."
I'm guessing one of those "problems" is not the fact that a Christian Supremacist dipsack like Rick Perry is considered a viable candidate in a secular nation.
"A historic crisis facing our nation and threatening our future demands a historic response from the church," Perry said in a video recorded to promote the event. "We must, as a people, return to the faith and hope of our fathers. The ancient paths of great men were blazed in prayer - the humility of the truly great men of history was revealed in their recognition of the power and might of Jesus to save all who call on His great name."
You know what goes great with the body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ...? Testosterone. Lots and lots of testosterone.
In all seriousness, when non-Christians—and liberal Christians—object to these sorts of aggressive displays of conservative Christianity, conservative Christian leaders tend to frame that criticism as a rejection of Christianity, or religion, full-stop. And, you know, sometimes that's true: There are certain instances in which Christianity is simply inappropriate in the public sphere in a secular nation.
But, a lot more often, it's mostly (or entirely) about the precise flavor of the Christianity being celebrated—and frequently framed as the One True Christianity. Rick Perry's Party is some real male-centric, heterocentric, Patriarchal, small-minded shit, and it's not remotely indicative of the pluralistic, inclusive, egalitarian ideology that anyone who wants to be the leader of a diverse, multicultural nation needs to have to be fair and effective.
That ain't about God in Heaven; that's about being a decent human in this very earthly place.
Luckily, "The Response" will probably be a flop.
For Perry, "The Response" is not without its risks. According to the Associated Press, only 8,000 of the 71,500 seats at the stadium hosting the event have been booked, creating a potentially embarrassing situation if attendance is low. Some of the attending religious leaders have expressed views that may not play well for a national audience -- for example, one pastor participating in the event has condemned the Statue of Liberty as a "demonic idol" and "false goddess" sent to turn Americans away from religion.
But the rewards are just as clear: if Perry can steal some of Michele Bachmann's magic with social conservatives while attracting a healthy portion of establishment GOP voters he could be a formidable challenger to Mitt Romney in any number of states. "The Response" will be his best chance to make a splash with Christian voters ahead of a possible presidential announcement later the same month.
Some Christian voters.