A court ruling says Rick Perry can proceed with his attack on the First Amendment but how much company will he have? Reliant Stadium’s 1,900,000 square feet (177,000 m2) seats 71,500 people. So far, Rick Perry and his highly touted “The Response” – a fundamentalist Christian prayer orgy scheduled for August 6 – has managed to fill just 6,000 of those seats according to the Houston Chronicle (ABC News claims 8,000).
It’s no wonder that the Family Research Council is asking folks to pray for the event. Sounds like it needs all the prayers it can get. Maybe Americans don’t agree with Perry that America’s problems can be prayed away. After all, those problems weren’t prayed into existence, but legislated. It’s a reasonable assumption that only through good legislation can the bad legislation be made to go away, but that would violate the entire fundamentalist premise that our problems are a result of “impiety” by America. We’re being punished by God so only God can fix things.
As I earlier reported here (on June 8), Perry is having trouble recruiting governors. Despite Perry’s invitation to ALL other 49 governors to attend, only one has still accepted: Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, a conservative Catholic and cosponsor of the Constitution Restoration Act of 2005.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Mark P. Jones, a government professor at Rice University, though he says “he is not surprised by the lukewarm response” also doubts Perry “have trouble filling the venue.”
Obviously, as Jones points out, Democrats have nothing to gain by going and even other conservatives run the risk of being associated with something Perry says. Safer by far to hedge their bets and offer support from afar.
Given the identity of The Response’s backers, this caution seems well-placed. From Right Wing Watch:
Lest you think this is all the craziness to be had, Right Wing Watch adds a proviso to what you just viewed:
There were also several other clips that we just couldn’t work into this short video, like Cindy Jacobs saying birds were dying because of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell, Jim Garlow saying African Americans were saving the nation from the “bondage and enslavement” of gay marriage, David Barton saying Jesus opposed the minimum wage, Peter Wagner saying Japan is cursed because the Emperor had sex with a demon spirit, Buddy Smith saying gays are “in the clasp of Satan,” or any of the littany of bigoted statements uttered by Bryan Fischer over the past year.
Unfortunately, says ABC News, a Houston court has ruled that Perry can attend the event despite First Amendment concerns raised by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of atheists and agnostics based out of Madison, Wisconsin, and the Houston clergy (who were not part of the suit). Apparently President Obama’s National Day or Prayer torpedoed the effort to defend the First Amendment, along with an alleged lack of standing by the plaintiffs. Because of course, American citizens are not allowed to defend the Constitution when the government and the courts won’t.
A spokesperson for The Response, Eric Bearse, celebrated this attack on the First Amendment by claiming it was “a tremendous victory for the First Amendment.” Apparently, previous attacks on the First Amendment justify subsequent attacks. That is, two wrongs DO make a right. Who knew?
It’s nice to know that atrocities get easier the more often they’re committed. At this rate our Constitution shouldn’t outlast the decade, and that is likely the plan.
We’ll know in a week how successful that plan has been.