Rick Perry, the current governor of Texas, is being pimped as a potential, even likely, Republican presidential candidate. On Saturday, June 18, "... Perry delivered the keynote address in New Orleans at the Republican Leadership Conference. Some 2,000 party activists from 38 states attended, hearing from several 2012 GOP presidential candidates on Friday as they argued why they want to replace Barack Obama in the White House. But no speech came close to getting the positive response as Perry did on Saturday. When finished, Rick Perry was met with chants of “Run, Rick, Run!” and “Perry 2012!” ...". Perry wows GOP crowd
But there is more to Perry than the fact that he has done very well in managing his state's fiscal resources.
Perry is an unabashed evangelical.That might not be significant, but his pastor is John Hagee, a pastor who makes a pretty good living selling God. One of his favorite exhortations:
"When you give, it qualifies you to receive God's abundance," he tells his listeners. "If God gives to you before you give to him, God himself will become a liar. ... If you're not prospering, it's because you're not giving."
Hagee runs Global Evangelism Television. He has made millions selling God. He has made millions telling his followers that if they do not give, they will not prosper. In actuality, if they do not give, then Hagee will not prosper ... and if Hagee does not prosper, then how can he afford those nice suits and that Bentley or Mercedes or whatever to spread the Word?
Hagee is a televangelist, and a prosperity preacher.
He is prospering very nicely, selling God.
Hagee is famous for a number of his comments:
"If you live your life and don't confess your sins to God Almighty through the authority of Christ and His blood, I'm going to say this very plainly, you're going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket."
I guess it is safe to say that Hagee is not a fan of Rob Bell. That statement of Hagee's is a very interesting interpretation of Christian love, don't you think?
But wait! There's more!
Christians don't steal or lie, they don't get divorced or have abortions. If the Ten Commandments were followed by everyone we would be able to fire half the police force and in six months the prisons would be all half empty.
Do you agree with Hagee's statement? It seems to me that if everyone followed the Ten Commandments, we would need neither police nor prisons at any time. Or is Hagee telling us that the Ten Commandments really don't have all that much juice? What does Hagee mean, with that "... Christians don't steal or lie, they don't get divorced or have abortions ..."? Does it mean that "Christians" don't sin? Does he really believe that?
We have his view of women:
Do you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.
That's from Hagee's book, "What Every Man Wants in a Woman", Charisma House, 2005. Guess he likes 'em barefoot, preggers, and in the kitchen, where they belong. Maybe in a burkha as well.
And then this remarkable view of God's love for us all:
"I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are -- were -- recipients of the judgment of God for that.... There was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. And the promise of that parade was that it was going to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in any of the other gay pride parades.... I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."
Remember that Republican Leadership Convention? It was held in New Orleans. Talk about hypocrisy.
As we all know, "God Hates Fags", so he washed them all away, along with the elderly, the infants, the kids, the cats, the dogs, and anyone else who got in His Righteous Way, down there in New Orleans. Can you feel the all-compassing love of Christ surrounding you like a warm, fuzzy cloak?
Why is this of consequence?
Because Perry signs on to Hagee's program completely and without reservation:
Gov. Rick Perry, after a God and country sermon attended by dozens of political candidates Sunday, said that he agreed with the minister that non-Christians will be condemned to hell.
"In my faith, that's what it says, and I'm a believer of that," the governor said.
"If you live your life and don't confess your sins to God almighty through the authority of Christ and his blood, I'm going to say this very plainly, you're going straight to hell with a nonstop ticket," Mr. Hagee, the minister said.
Asked afterward at a political rally whether he agreed with Mr. Hagee, the governor said he didn't hear anything that he would take exception to. He said that he believes in the inerrancy of the Bible and that those who don't accept Jesus as their savior will go to hell. (Dallas Morning News, 6 Nov 2006)
Does he really believe that the majority of humans who have lived and died on this planet, billions of souls, are roasting in hell because they don't believe in his particular brand of Christianity? Do you feel the love flooding out of Perry and Hagee? Can you feel God's grace washing over you? Really? I sure as hell don't.
Perry recently used his position as governor, and the influence of his office, to arrange a 'National Day of Prayer'.
Perry is an evangelist. That in and of itself is no big deal; I can take that or leave it - almost always I leave it, but your mileage may vary.
Perry is also a politician. And as an evangelical, he cannot keep religion out of his politics. He just can't help himself. He believes the Republican party should enforce some moral standard on the country. It may not be your standard, but it will be his, and it will be Hagee's.
Can't you just feel the Christian love? What kind of morality would Perry impose upon us? Does Hagee's and Perry's view fit with this view of God's love? That view strikes me as far more likely to be the real deal.
I believe I will pass on Rick Perry. I don't like extremists. If Jeremiah Wright is one of those, then certainly John Hagee is, and neither one is a good influence on our politicians.