Rick Perry, Come On Down!

Paul Harvey

Amy Sullivan reports (HT Charles Marsh), in a piece for Time, that Tony Perkins (of the Family Research Council), David Barton (you know who he is), and John Hagee (he's not dead yet, evidently, despite the 2008 debacle) teamed up on a phone call a few weeks ago to express their displeasure with the current crop of Republican primary candidates -- either because they're not conservative enough, or they're not the right kind of religious conservative (i.e. they're Mormon), or they're not "southern enough," or they're just flakes (i.e. Gingrich and self-immolating campaign). Huckabee's not around, so enter their dream candidate, Rick Perry, who fits the bill on all fronts. Read all about it here. And then follow up with some more background information on all this by Sarah Posner here. And there's reporting on Perry's strategic breaks with his fellow Texan George W. Bush here.

Just a bit from Amy Sullivan's piece:

So, come on down, Rick Perry! He may be the favorite by default, but the Texas governor is also a terrific match for the Christian Right. Sarah Posner of Religious Dispatches recently outlined Perry’s social conservative bona fides and they’re impressive:

  • **Signed a gay marriage ban into law at a Christian school in Fort Worth with evangelical heavyweights Tony Perkins (Family Research Council), Rod Parsley (Ohio mega-church pastor), and Don Wildmon (American Family Association) in attendance

  • **The Sunday before his 2006 re-election, Perry attended Cornerstone Church and sat by the side of controversial pastor John Hagee (in 2008, John McCain had to reject Hagee’s endorsement after critics pointed out the pastor’s many extreme statements, including calling the Catholic Church “the whore of Babylon”)

  • **Supported and was a primary beneficiary of the Texas Restoration Project, an effort to increase the electoral involvement of conservative pastors

All of this, however, pales beside Perry’s current project–a Christian all-day prayer event called “The Response” on August 6 in Houston. The governor is sponsoring the event along with the American Family Association, which is footing the estimated $1.5 million tab for the gathering. The Response is intended for Christians only, although one spokesman said that if people of other faiths attend, he hopes they will see the light and “seek out the living Christ” for their lives.

Luckily for us, Historianess will be attending the all-day prayer event on the 6th (hey, it's local, it's free, and it's air conditioned), and giving us live updates. Or not :)


Rebecca said…
Ha! I'll think about it. The 5th is my birthday, though. I might be too hungover for prayer meetings.
DEG said…
I need a Christian Right candidate from Texas to represent. Gotta teach a class on conservatism during the GOP primaries, and it just won't fly as well without one.
Tom Van Dyke said…
Very bad statesmanship, this "The Response" thing. Glenn Beck did better. ;-)