Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry's Solution to our Troubles: Get on Your Knees

The Response Promo from The Response USA on Vimeo.

"Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy." - Texas Gov. Rick Perry

This does not sound like someone who has any idea how to deal with the issues facing the United States today. It seems like Gov. Perry is taking the easy road and asking people, himself included, to forgo actually thinking critically about real-world solutions and instead ask for supernatural intervention. In other words, he apparently feels that by taking advantage of some of his constituent's religious beliefs he can appear to be making an effort to solve the dilemma while not actually doing anything substantive. He added that "there is hope for America... and we will find it on our knees." This is troubling on multiple levels.

First, this is clearly designed to be a Christian-only event. By stating that they need to call upon Jesus, he is excluding anyone who is not a Christian from participating. Gov. Perry has taken the whole "National Day of Prayer" thing to an entirely new level. While secular groups have spoken out against the NDP, and I have on this blog as well, the sponsors of that event at least attempt, however unsuccessfully, to make it inclusive of the various religious beliefs in the United States (while excluding and alienating the non-religious). Gov. Perry apparently feels comfortable enough excluding millions of Americans of other faiths, and those of no faith, to make this a strictly Christian event and for this reason alone, the event should be avoided.

Second, and to make matters worse, the event is "sponsored" by the American Family Association. For those unfamiliar with the AFA, they are a national religious right organization that has been labeled a hate-group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their anti-gay and anti-Muslim rhetoric. One of the representatives of this group, Bryan Fischer, was responsible for this gem as well:

That sounds like a good plan, buddy. Nothing like giving radical Muslims more ammunition and providing an excuse for otherwise moderate Muslims to see this as a war on Islam.

Any politician whose "solution" to our troubles is to hold a day of fasting and prayer is, in my opinion, not worthy of holding office. Politicians are elected, or at least they should be, because of the innovative ideas they may have and their ability to effectively represent their constituents. Gov. Perry's day of fasting and prayer show that he is more concerned with pandering to the religious right than he is with actually making an effort to solve his state's problems.

If you, like me, find this event to be inappropriate and would like your governor to not attend or otherwise participate in the event, follow this link provided by the Secular Coalition for America:

This is important, folks. Contact your governor today!

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