The Usual Suspects

Gov. Rick Perry and his spokespeople have for a couple of weeks continued to claim that The Response, a Christian prayer and fasting event organized by the hate group the American Family Association and the governor, is not a political rally.

Gov. Perry can continue to make that claim, but the people he’s partnered with have no reservations about mixing religion and politics.

The listed organizers on The Response website include Jim Garlow. Garlow is the senior pastor at Skyline church near San Diego. For the 2010 elections, Garlow organized a 40-day period of prayer and fasting (sound familiar?) leading up to election day. He was also an advocate for the passage of California’s Prop. 8, the referendum approved by voters and later overturned by the court’s that would ban same-sex marriage in the Golden State.

Garlow’s website is also pretty up-front about his involvement with other far-right political leaders like Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, who are not shy about using faith as a political tool.

Another The Response organizer is David Lane, who is also pretty up-front about his views on mixing faith and politics, blatantly declaring on the The Response’s own website:

“What I do is spiritual. The by-product is political.”

Lane is one of the organizers of the Texas Restoration Project, established to mobilize conservative pastors for political purposes. The group periodically organizes “pastors’ briefings.” Gov. Perry has spoken at least a half a dozen times at these briefings. You can read more about the Texas Restoration Project in the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund report, The State of the Religious Right: 2006.

Wayne Hamilton, the former head of the Texas Republican party, has also been involved in organizing the Texas Restoration Project briefings and is listed as one of the organizer’s for The Response.

Not listed on the event’s website is controversial San Antonio megachurch pastor John Hagee, who in a YouTube video recently announced he will be participating in Gov. Perry’s event. Hagee endorsed John McCain for president in 2008, only to have the senator reject the endorsement. Why? Because of the kind of statements the AFA is know for. Hagee, among other things, claimed God sent Hurricane Katrina to stop a gay pride parade planned for New Orleans.

People of faith having political opinions is good, but when it crosses the line into implying that God has a political party (and candidates) that it favors and wants to win elections, that’s when we have a problem. That’s on par with a sports fan’s silly belief that God has a favorite team.

You can send a message to Gov. Perry. Tell him you are troubled by his association with a hate group and his continued insistence on using faith for political purposes by signing our open letter to the governor.

3 thoughts on “The Usual Suspects

  1. There are overlapping agendas proclaimed from the Right. One of them is that “Good Old Time Religion” which is manifested in a lot of chanting and shouting at the Devil, and the repression of that other gift of God, that of sexual arousal wihtout heat. This sort of hoopla is not necssarily Christian, as Conservative Communiists in China behave the same way.

    Onother agenda is the fear/hatred of Islam, and the assertion that it is treason to assert that neitther Freedom of Speech, due process of law, and equal protection of the law apply to Muslims.

    While it is easy to understand the existence of Good Old Time Religion, it came off the boat at Plymouth Rock in 1620. The Dark Side of Good Old Time Religion was also acted out in the Salem Witch Trials. Our Constiution does support shouting out at any one for any thing, but it prehibits witch burning.

    What we have is a collective effort, in effect, that is tantamount tocarrying out witch burning, and as such constitutes a number of seriousc civil and criminal issues, including libel and conspiracy/ It is of some importance to find put where the money is coming from, as it may be that it is coming from overseas.

  2. And whenever you pray, do no be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you go to pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; Matthew 6:5-6

  3. I can’t figure out which one I am looking forward to more—the Perry faith rally or the Texas SBOE book burning.