I don't intend to criticize religious fundamentalism here. It's not my cup of tea, but what I really object to is the strong commingling of religion and politics.
Isn't there supposed to be a separation of church and state?
Rick Perry's been the governor of Texas for a long time, 10 years. The longest of any sitting governor. He got elected for the third time last fall, in 2010. He musta not had much to do, because he immediately began to plan a religious event, starting last December. The event takes place this weekend. Over 8 months in the planning, "The Response", as it has been dubbed was launched as a "Day of Prayer and Fasting for our Nation" to seek God's guidance and wisdom in addressing the challenges that face our communities, states and nation. It is a nondenominational, apolitical, Christian Prayer meeting at Reliant Stadium in Houston. It will last 7 hours.
Perry's enthusiastic about his plans and has invited every governor in the nation, members of Congress & the Texas legislature and the Obama administration and a few thousand others. With only 8000 RSVP's thus far, Perry's cast, at this point, includes only one of the political people, Sam Brownback, governor of Kansas. It may be a little empty, since the stadium holds iover 70,000. It's sponsored by a private association out of Mississippi that owns 200 radio stations - the group strongly opposes abortion and homosexuality and has made statements to the affect that the religious freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment applies only to Christians.
Are you surprised?
People who will appear - Mike Bickle, John Hagee, C. Peter Wagner.... look them up. They are radical in their fundamentalism. Wagner drew his "fame" from a number of sources, one, his book "Hard Core Idolatry" where he supports the burning of religious objects that are Catholic, Mormon, Native American and the like. Things like statutes of the saints and the books of Mormon.
This is a strange endeavor for a sitting governor, but even stranger when you consider Perry's presidential aspirations.
Leaders in the state of Texas and the anti-defamation league have begged Perry to cancel the event, but Perry seems immune to their please, even as his political machine wrings their hands at the message. Perry has said: "I truly believe with all my heart that God has put me in this place at this time to do his will."
I'm fine with Perry's commitment to this, but do think he belongs in the ranks of the ministry, not the government executives of this land. But then, this is the guy who supported Texas seceding from the union.