I don’t know if you people know much about Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, but I’ll tell you one thing, I sure don’t know all that much about him. However, last night on the Colbert Report, I learned that, well, he exists.
Beyond that, I also learned that he’s an apparent Republican Presidential candidate — and as a devout Christian, feels much of his career aspirations are god’s aspirations as well. In fact, on August 6th, he’ll be holding an event called “The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis” — an event where he may officially announce his candidacy for President in 2012.
Here’s an excerpt from the event’s official site, “I sincerely hope you’ll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.“
As easy as it might be to make a fellatio joke, or to point out that praying will fix absolutely none of America’s problems, I have other issues with Mr. Perry’s event. For one thing, it’s extremely exclusionary. It’s fine if these Evangelicals want to fill a football stadium, but as a governor of one of our states — what ever happened to separation of church and state?
And what is the deal with the fasting? People sitting in a football stadium not eating is going to fix this country? You’re probably thinking who am I as a Jewish person to criticize fasting, but there are major differences between fasting for Yom Kippur or Ramadan — compared to fasting for the purposes of Perry’s political gain. For Jews and Muslims, fasting is personal act, and one that is based in ritual. Perry’s urge for a fast is arbitrary and pointless, in my opinion.
Now, as disgusting as it is that Rick Perry is deceiving (ignorant) people into thinking that praying and fasting is going to fix our economy, foreign relations, etc etc — it’s even worse that this event can be considered a wasted opportunity for real philanthropy.
I mean, if tens of thousands of people are gathering together, at least request that they bring canned foods with them to donate to charity. At least set up booths at the venue where people can donate money to good causes. And by good causes, I DON’T mean to religious organizations or to Rick Perry’s campaign. Yes, many churches often do great charity work, but hey, I don’t need any middle man. There are plenty of charities out there without religious affiliations.
Perhaps this event will have those opportunities I talked about above for the people. Perhaps there will be some tangible benefits from this event — but as of now, I don’t see anything about that stuff on the website. All I see is nonsense, fluff, and religious jargon that is going to get our country nowhere fast.