You are hereBuzzflash: Rick Perry's Own Private Alamo, as He Brings Together Some of the Most Hate-Filled Christian Right Groups

Buzzflash: Rick Perry's Own Private Alamo, as He Brings Together Some of the Most Hate-Filled Christian Right Groups

June 14, 2011- By calling for a day of fasting and prayer, Texas Governor Rick Perry is bringing together some of the most hate-filled Christian right groups in the country. Is this the type of headlines a possible presidential candidate really wants?

No matter what they may call it, when conservative Christian evangelicals stage a prayer meeting/mass rally at a big stadium, if you're gay, you'd be advised to stay away. And that warning goes for Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Atheists as well. Despite what organizers may publicly proclaim, these mass rallies praying for Jesus Christ's guidance through hard times, have a tendency to turn towards the dark side for those outside the faith.

And when the initiator of the event is a governor of a big state looking to make national headlines, the main sponsor of the event is the wholly un-cuddlesome and anti-gay American Family Association, branded a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and key organizers of the event are closely linked to TheCall, Lou Engle's unambiguously anti-gay organization, that's a prescription for a decidedly partisan, and, dare I say it, un-Christian gathering.

Governor Perry's program

The key figure spearheading "The Response" is Texas Governor Rick Perry. There is speculation that Perry is considering entering the Republican race for the presidency. He appears to be weighing whether he really wants to do all that it takes to get there; especially the part about subjecting himself and his family to broader media scrutiny.

By taking the lead role in organizing "The Response," Perry is getting all the headlines he may have envisioned, and a whole lot more. "Perry's Day of Fasting for Ballots" was The Austin Chronicle's headline of a Richard Whittaker piece about "The Response."

A recent report by the San Antonio Express-News found that while Perry talks the talk at prayer meetings and Christian right gatherings, he falls short when it comes to walking the walk.

According to the Associated Press, "The Perry family's income tax return shows Perry gave $90 to his church in 2007, a year in which he reported an income of more than $1 million. ... Tax records from 2000, when Perry became governor, through 2009 show he earned $2.68 million and gave $14,243 to churches and religious organizations, about a half percent, the newspaper reported. Perry reported no religious contributions in 2000 and 2009, according to his tax records"  (

AP reported that "Perry declined an interview for the Express-News story, according to the newspaper. 'He never talks about his faith,' Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. However," AP pointed out, "he addresses faith often in public.

Nevertheless, according to numerous reports, Perry appears to be putting together a team of supporters, talking to potential funders, and sending out feelers to test the waters.

With the field wide open, it would not surprise anyone watching Republicans jockeying for position, that Perry might stand as good a chance as any of them - especially considering that a small number of conservative voters will have the pick of the litter.

As governor, Perry has made national headlines before; according to Think Progress, "while Texas was facing a historic drought and rash of wildfires, Gov. Perry extolled Texans to 'pray for rain,' as he tried to cut funding for the agency battling the wildfires." Perhaps even more memorable was when Perry seriously indicated that the state of Texas might consider seceding from the Union if the federal government kept up its intrusive ways.

Now, Perry is set to host "The Response" on August 6, an event characterized as "a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our troubled nation." Perry has invited fellow governors to join him at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Thus far only Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has accepted his invitation.

The event, which is free but requires registration - a way to gather data on potential supporters -- has been described by Perry as an "apolitical Christian prayer service" to offer "spiritual solutions to many challenges we face in our communities, states and nation."

At the event's website ( Perry's invitation letter to his "Fellow Americans" explains that, "As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and than Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy."

The letter maintains that "Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response." 



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