Late last week Gov. Perry sent some not-so-subtle signals to the American Family Association (AFA) — his partner in the upcoming prayer-rally “The Response” — that he’s not ready to commit just yet, intimating that he might not be willing to speak at the much-criticized event. Then in another surprise, the governor decided to go on the record over the weekend with his opinion that  the New York law allowing gay marriage is just fine with him, since he’s a big state’s rights supporter:

“Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me. That is their call. If you believe in the 10th Amendment, stay out of their business.”

But isn’t that another slap in the face to his gay-hating buddies at the AFA? Yep.

“Gov. Perry himself is unapologetic in his support for natural marriage. We appreciate that he signed a symbolic measure to protect marriage in the Texas constitution. But perhaps he missed an opportunity here for him… Read More

CNN is reporting that Gov. Rick Perry may not speak at the Christians-only prayer rally in Houston next month — the event he initiated.

Wait a minute. What?

The story speculates that criticism over the event — and its loony sponsors and speakers — might be getting to the presidential candidate governor. Maybe. It’s possible he is in the midst of a religious conversion that is making him respectful of religious pluralism and tolerance.

But it’s also possible that the governor is having a good, old fashioned political conversion, perhaps because at last report only 6,000 people have registered for the event (which will be held in the 71,000 seat Reliant Stadium) and 48 governors have said “no thank you” to his invitation to attend.

In any case, we’re pleased that Governor Perry is reconsidering his participation in this divisive event. And we should keep the pressure on. If you haven’t already, sign TFN’s open letter to the governor here.Read More

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), reports. The organizers of the June conference say the event was "spiritual" in nature, but their rhetoric and actions betray those claims. Indeed, EthicsDaily reports that the June event was preceded by a September gathering  in Dallas that explored a strategy to defeat President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012. Texan and longtime conservative evangelical leader James Robison called the group together for both events. From EthicsDaily: "This nation right now is facing a tremendous crisis, and it's as though Christians have buried their head in the sand and not recognized that we were placed here on earth to be overseers of what he entrusted to our watchcare," Southern Baptist evangelist James Robison told as he expressed his hopes for the gathering. "One of the points that I've made that the leaders agree with is that ……… Read More

Since the day Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he had invited the nation's governors to Houston to pray for America (so far only two have indicated that they will come), the signs have pointed to yet another cynical attempt to use faith as a political weapon. On Monday Gov. Perry essentially confirmed that assumption. His gubernatorial campaign office blasted out an email to supporters and other political activists, calling them to the Houston event. "I sincerely hope you’ll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation," Gov. Perry wrote. "There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees." That's a wonderful message for people of faith -- but its delivery through an electoral campaign office by a politician apparently preparing for a presidential run reveals it as little more than a cold and calculating political tactic. Read More

Organizers for Texas Gov. Rick Perry's prayer event in Houston this summer claim people of all faiths will be welcome (so long as they're open to converting to Christianity, apparently). Now a Christian-right group is worried that Muslims might show up to pray at the event, which supporters claim is an opportunity to bring Americans together in support of their country. An email from the Pray in Jesus Name Project  to far-right activists is warning that Muslims might try to disrupt the August 6 event at Reliant Stadium in Houston. From the email: Sadly, although the stadium was rented by non-denominational Christians, it may be interrupted by Muslims who are already demanding to share our stage to pray to Allah. But if you attend, and the Governors of all 50 States attend (none of whom are Muslim), it will signal our greatest public statement of all--that American is returning to its Christian roots. Could the hostility toward Muslims, not to mention Jews and other non-Christians, be any clearer? It's shameful that the governor of Texas insists on associating with intolerant groups that oppose religious freedom for anyone who doesn't share their views. Read More