Rick Perry and the imperative of obedience

Texas Governor Rick Perry had himself a bit of a party on Saturday. Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches has a report:

The people who gathered at Reliant Stadium are not just Rick Perry’s spiritual army, raised up, as Perry and others imagine it, in the spirit of Joel 2, to sound an alarm and prepare the people for Judgment Day. They are the ground troops the religious right set out four decades ago to create, and duplicate over generations, for the ongoing culture wars. One part of that army is people like Perry himself, supported by religious right political elites who aimed to cultivate candidates, advocates, and political strategists committed to putting God before government.

That a sitting governor would laugh off charges that his “instigation” of an exclusively Christian—and, more specifically, a certain kind of Christian—event is proof of the success of the cultural and spiritual warriors, who believe they are commanded to “take dominion” over government and other spheres of influence. Perry is their man in a high place, in this case an especially courageous one, willing to rebuff charges from the “radical secularists” that he’s crossed the line between church and state. That makes him something much more than just a political or spiritual hero; he is an exemplar.

Category : The Lead

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3 Comments
  1. DnWillets

    It seems to me we just don’t think about how convoluted our perceptions of how the world works are. For example, so many people I know decry the state of our political system and the ineffectual members of Congress as well as the White House are to solve the problems of common people. Yet these very same people cling to a version of patriotism that claims we’re the greatest government in the world and everyone should be just like us. Whoops, a logical disconnect!

    It seems that we cling to an image of the Bible, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, often blurring the lines between them, and never reading them, never analyzing them, never studying them, never trying to model our own lives after them. How in the world can anyone repeat the Pledge of Allegiance and really believe we live where there is liberty and justice for all?! It’s all quite amazing to me!

  2. I think this is simple politics. Perry wants to be president. The most competent Republican candidate with a chance at the nomination is Mitt Romney. But Romney is a Mormon, and is very vulnerable on that score with the Christian evangelical right. He can’t be attacked on that basis directly, but the prospect of a Perry candidacy running on a platform of explicit right-wing Christian religiousity would raise the issue directly enough. Looks to me like one of the more cynical ploys to come down the pike in a long time.

  3. J Michael Povey

    I agree with Rick. The below the radar message of Perry’s Rally was “I am not a Mormon”

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