Rick Perry has left the Texas governor’s office behind, but he still likes associating with religious-righters who want to take America back to the 1950s (or further).

The Des Moines Register in Iowa reports that Perry has hired an ordained minister and radio broadcaster with ties to religious-right activists to serve as senior director on his upcoming presidential campaign. Talking Points Memo notes that the new hire, Jamie Johnson, previously worked as director of outreach for Iowa Right to Life and the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and on the 2012 presidential campaign of former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

Des Moines Register piece in 2012 about Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign noted Johnson’s views on women:

Rival presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent out an email saying that children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president. He wrote it in June [2011], but it surfaced on the campaign trail in the fall.

“The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?’ ” Johnson’s email said.

Johnson… Read More

Gov. Rick Perry will officially become the former governor of Texas this Tuesday at noon when he hands over the keys to the governor’s mansion to Greg Abbott. And thus will end Rick Perry’s governorship after 14 years and change.

Before he goes, let’s take a few minutes to look back at Gov. Perry’s most notable moments as a member of the Religious-Right Hall of Fame. Never one to shy away from using faith as a political weapon to attack and divide Texans, we’ve narrowed Gov. Perry’s many moments to these Gov. Perry’s Top Religious-Right Moments.

1. The ‘Strong’ Ad, Gay Veterans Can Get Out of Texas and Equating Gay People with Alcoholics

OK, so this one is technically three moments. But, hey, with the outrage level so high in these instances of Gov. Perry attacking gay people, we decided to just call it a tie.

So moment 1a. is Gov. Perry’s infamous “Strong” commercial that ran during his failed bid for the White House, an ad that many saw as a sign of desperation from a campaign that was at that point pretty much doomed. In the ad, Perry says:

“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m… Read More

The religious right’s response to the indictments against Gov. Rick Perry has at times been comical. We’re not going to get into the details of the legal case against Gov. Perry itself — it’s not our thing here at TFN, and we’re not a law firm.

What is our thing is monitoring and reporting on the loony things the religious right says and does. Like this tweet from Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, the Mississippi-based hate group that helped organize Gov. Perry’s prayer event in Houston just before he announced his first presidential bid in August 2011.

A few things about this:

1) There was no district attorney indicting anyone in this case. Grand juries, not district attorneys, are the ones tasked with indicting people.

2) There really isn’t a district attorney litigating this case either. What there is, however, is a special prosecutor — appointed by a Republican judge.

3) The special prosecutor in this case is San Antonio lawyer Michael McCrum. And she is actually a he, making it incredibly difficult and therefore unlikely that he is a lesbian.

But in any case, you probably know who Fischer was trying to attack in this mess of… Read More

Texas Gov. Rick Perry got a lot of criticism earlier this month when he compared homosexuality to alcoholism while answering questions at an event in San Francisco:

“Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way.”

Last week he tried to defuse the controversy over his remarks by suggesting that he had been distracted by the question over homosexuality and that, in any case, he really thinks America should be “respectful and tolerant” of everyone:

“I got asked about issues, and instead of saying, ‘You know what, we need to be a really respectful and tolerant country to everybody,’ and get back to talking about, whether you’re gay or straight, you need to be having a job. I readily admit I stepped right in it.”

Those comments are so cynical and transparently political.

It might be a little easier to believe Gov. Perry if he hadn’t made an almost identical comparison between homosexuality and alcoholism six years ago in… Read More

Defending his offensive remarks comparing gay people to alcoholics, Gov. Rick Perry on Monday dug himself an even deeper hole. He even tried to dismiss his rancid history of pandering to religious-righters by bashing the LGBT community.

CNBC’s “Squawk Box” host Joe Kernan told Perry how offensive his most recent remarks were:

“I have a really high bar for what I would take offense to, but that would exceed the bar for me on being an offensive comment. I don’t think gay marriage leads to cirrhosis of the liver or domestic violence or DWIs. I don’t understand how that’s similar.”

He went on to ask whether Perry thinks gay people can be “cured” of their homosexuality, as the new Texas Republican Party platform suggests. Perry said he didn’t know and would “leave that to the psychologists and the doctors.” Kernan didn’t let him get away with that cynical trick:

“Well, the psychologists, they’ve already weighed in. They’ve dismissed the idea that sexual orientation is a mental disorder.”

Kernan then gave Perry the chance to explain how his and the Republican Party’s unrelenting hostility to the LGBT community doesn’t turn off a growing number of voters. Perry’s response was breathtakingly hypocritical: