We have been following the progress of Rick Perry’s prayer orgy in Houston on August 6, and as we last reported, even though a court dismissed the case against Perry’s attendance, only 6-8,000 had RSVPd to attend (the 8,000 figure appears more accurate), along with only one governor, Sam Brownback of Kansas. Now it appears even Brownback is hedging his bets, says Kansas’s Lawrence Journal-World (and Perry is talking as though he may only be an usher, rather than the featured speaker).
After first accepting the invitation to attend in June and at his own expense, Brownback’s office hasn’t had much to say about The Response. Right now they’re not confirming any plans the governor may have. Apparently, he’s planning on being on vacation during that time period.
If Brownback doesn’t show, the closest Perry is going to get to a visit by another governor is a video message from Florida’s governor, Rick Scott (R).
One of Brownback’s problems is his relationship with extreme right hate groups, especially his old buddy and former roommate, Lou Engle, from the International House of Prayer (a group of false prophets) and co-founder of TheCall. Engle is infamous for his ties to the Uganda anti-homosexual legislation, which could lead to the death penalty for those in the Ugandan LGBT community.
Engle has tried to detach himself from that public relations fiasco by claiming he was misunderstood (aren’t they all?) but right now, Brownback’s close relationship with Engle is not helping him. This is the US governor who has spoken at rallies with Engle, the guy who wants to kill gays and lesbians. It was such an issue in 2010 that State Sen. Tom Holland (D) demanded Brownback denounce Engle. We all remember when Barack Obama was supposed to denounce a black minister for not liking white folks, but here is a guy who wants gay and lesbian folks dead.
Brownback, like Engle, like Perry, like the AFA that is hosting the event, is a hater, a hypocritical, Bible-thumping Old Testament-style hater. It remains to be seen how many of these haters can survive the 2012 culling, when Americans get to go to the polls again to rectify the errors of 2010. Pulling back from Perry and the others may not be enough to help the Kansas governor, despite his attempts to distance himself from ground zero.
Conservatives are swimming against the tide. Americans increasingly want equal rights for the LGBT community, including marriage equality, and Republicans (and the Tea Party) seem to think the best response is to ramp up the hate and continue to press the obviously dishonest meme that the American people are behind them. The trouble is, the American people can read. Poll after poll reveals the lie that is conservative politics in this country.
How many Republicans are going to want to step up on that podium with Rick Perry and proclaim their association with what is essentially a bunch of lemmings heading for the cliff? It’s a big decision to make; by going, a Republican governor is supporting and quite publicly not only the extreme conservative agenda but Rick Perry himself.
Nobody but nobody is fooled by the Perry/AFA rhetoric surrounding the event, that it is “apolitical.” And if it’s “nondenominational” as claimed, that’s true only to the extent that those attending will be fundamentalists of all denominations. Talking about “religious diversity” as an email sent out this week does is hypocrisy of the highest order. This is not an event for religious moderates, let alone non-Christians, who have been identified as idolaters who worship “false gods.”
Here we have a football stadium-based rally hosted by an extreme right-wing hate group (the AFA) and a state governor who will likely soon be running for president. You do the math.
Don’t believe Perry’s “This isn’t about me” routine. It’s all about this grandstanding grifter and you can bet your last “God hates fags” t-shirt that Brownback knows this as well as anyone. At lot is riding on this, for Perry in particular, but also for any public figure who dares attend. If you were Brownback, would you want your political future riding on another man’s roll of the dice, especially when the truth is that man is a rank opportunist who’s previous actions show his lukewarm religious beliefs and his backers are a nationally recognized hate group just as opportunistically joining their star to the only man desperate enough to give them a public stage?