Our open letter calling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry to stop using faith as a political weapon to divide Americans now has more than 7,500 signatures. One news report indicates just 8,000 people have registered to attend the Christians-only event Gov. Perry has asked a far-right hate group, the American Family Association, to organize for him next weekend in Houston.

We’re sending our letter to Gov. Perry next week. So click here to sign on if you haven’t already.… Read More

Need any more evidence that Gov. Rick Perry’s August 6 prayer event in Houston really isn’t intended to unite Americans in support of our nation? Dave Welch of the far-right Texas Pastor Council sent out a militant email on Monday insisting that the event be for Christians only. Welch dishonestly characterizes the alternative as a “polytheistic approach and … interfaith event that requires Christians to squelch the mention of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

If that isn’t incendiary enough, Welch also defends the governor’s decision to ask a hate group, the American Family Association, to organize the event.

And if you don’t agree with Welch? Well, then this is what he thinks of you:

“The bottom line is that the only winners if Christians don’t pack out Reliant Stadium on August 6 will be enemies of Christ; those who espouse the liberal and unconstitutional view of separation of God and government and their allies.”

The real bottom line is that the religious right is not just willing to use faith as a divisive political weapon. Its leaders also have no problem attacking the faith of anyone who disagrees with them.… Read More

The excerpt (below) from a piece about Texas Gov. Rick Perry in yesterday’s Deseret News (Salt Lake City) appears dead-on to us. The writer quotes Shaun Casey, a professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary. Casey is also an expert on the role of religion in presidential politics. He comments about Gov. Perry’s courting of the religious right:

“Perry is a cheaper imitation of George Bush … and I think Perry has really studied Bush. But Bush’s brilliance with the religious right was that he did everything behind closed doors. There were no photo-ops, there were no press releases saying I met reverend so and so today. Bush did everything through intermediaries, and so there was no public trail of him reaching out to the religious right. The irony is that here comes along Perry, the dollar-general-store version of Bush, and here he is meeting with these people in public and you start looking at the line up of the people he’s cozying up to in public and all he is doing is setting himself up for trouble later on if by some miracle he actually wins the nomination … Some of these guys are really beyond… Read More

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

"Oh, no you don't. Get back here, Gov. Perry!" is what might have crossed the minds of the folks at the American Family Association and other extremists who have endorsed the governor's prayer rally, The Response, when they read some of his comments in a Dallas Morning News story last week. For the first time — and it took him a while — Gov. Perry has begun to inch away from the extremist views of the people he agreed to share a stage with at his August 6 event in Houston. Read More