But perhaps Rick Perry's most damaging baggage comes in the form of the extremist pastors with whom he has been breaking bread these days. On August 6, the governor is hosting "The Response," a seven-hour, Christians-only prayer event at Houston's Reliant Stadium. His office hyped the event as "a Day of Prayer and Fasting for our nation to seek God's guidance and wisdom in addressing the challenges that face our communities, states and nation."
And as Perry said on the event's website, "As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles." The list of endorsers and sponsors of the event reads like is a who's who of hard-right Christian fundamentalism, including Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, and the American Family Association -- the anti-gay group designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Rick Perry's decision to pal around with these ultra-conservative religious groups and pastors will undoubtedly help him in the GOP primaries, though these affiliations could render him unelectable in a general election. This courtship began in 2009, when two Texas pastors from the New Apostolic Reformation movement -- Tom Schlueter of Arlington and Bob Long of San Marcos -- approached Perry.
These pastors, whose followers believe the End Times are near and they have a direct line to God, told Perry that God has a grand plan to anoint Texas as "The Prophet State" that would lead America to godly government. And they told Gov. Perry that he is God's man to lead the nation.
You know, we scratched our heads in disbelief that there were so many people who would be willing to fly airplanes into buildings because they believed they'd get 72 virgins in heaven. How is that any different from this idea that you're going to get to sit and eat nachos on the sofa with Jesus while you watch all those gays and Jews and people who think life is for enjoying burn in the tribulations? And please spare me your huffy comments about how Christians have never done anyhthing like the 9/11 attacks, particularly after what happened in Norway last weekend. I'm sure that if I dig hard enough I can come up with 3000 incidents of Christians who are willing to kill anyone, even their own children, who they feel aren't right with God...even more if we want to go back through history.
If you need religion to get through this massive cosmic joke that is life in America in the 21st century, have at it. But now that this notion of "candidate of faith" has changed from someone who marginally believes and goes to a house of worship on occasion to someone who is actually looking forward to the End of Days, I think it's time to call them "Crazy People" and rule them out from holding any kind of power over the rest of us. But instaed we get pundits having orgasms over Rick Perry's pearly white teeth and perfect hair and most of all, those real macho cowboy boots.