At the outset it’s important to note that though The Response is the largest gathering ever for Rick Perry, even 20,000 people is not awe-inspiring, nor was the presence of only one other governor, Sam Brownback of Kansas. Look at the effort that went into this shindig; look at the “luminaries” present. And 20,000 is the most they could manage? And in Texas? A thinking person would not see this as a mandate but then Tea Partiers saw 2010 as a mandate…alright, alright, I did say “thinking person”, which means Perry will probably draw the conclusion that he has been anointed by his god to lead America out of the wilderness.
Thanks to the folks at Right Wing Watch those people who were curious about The Response but didn’t have the stomach to watch the live-streaming, can get a quick overview of the day-long event through the following video:
For those who wanted to know more I thought I’d take a look at some individual comments and incidents as well. For example, James and Shirley Dobson portrayed America as the British army at Dunkrik in 1940, surrounded by the Nazis and needing a miracle.
Their claim is that the British army was saved by prayer. But what saved the British army was Adolf Hitler, who let the British army escape. Remember, history is not the religious right’s strong-suit. What can you expect when one of The Response’s supporters is the anti-historian himself, David Barton?
James Dobson: “And Britain was saved because of a national day of prayer. Ladies and Gentlemen, we desperately need our own miracle of Dunkirk today. Our nation is surrounded by forces that we don’t control and we have problems that none of our leaders can solve. We come to the end of our rope and we have come here today to call on the lord for a miracle – a miracle of Dunkirk to occur in this great nation. “
Shirley Dobson: “We are in great need at this time and in some ways we feel like the soldiers at Dunkirk in 1940. We are surrounded by evil and immorality.”
Actually, what the British were surrounded by was LOTS of German soldiers and tanks and planes. Immorality wasn’t a big concern for any involved. More to the point, godliness and godlessness had nothing to do with their predicament. Poor generalship and inferior equipment did.
What’s ironic is that in an email sent out before The Response, participants were lectured on the evils of lying:
Jesus tells us that all lies come from the devil (John 8:44). Lies come in many variations. Oftentimes people use truth to perpetrate lies. For instance, when only part of the truth is told to make the hearer believe something other than what is actually true, it is a deception, a lie. Satan used this method in his temptations of Jesus.
Lying in all its forms is the work of the enemy and in opposition to the Lord. Jesus is truth incarnate. He in no way agrees with falsehood. Therefore, when we speak words that are dishonest or deceptive, we are no longer operating by the Spirit of the Lord, but rather by the influence of the enemy. We must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us times when we have been dishonest or deceptive and in turn repent of this sin. In some cases it will be necessary to confess the lie to individuals who have been wronged by it. Deal with this sin in the way the Holy Spirit leads you.
Of course, that’s all we’ve seen and all we continue to see from the Religious Right, is lie upon lie. Rather than condemning lying, you would think they’d be celebrating it. There certainly seems to be no interest in pursuing the truth, as the Dobson’s so ably demonstrating with their opening prayer, as others from right wing hate groups, including Focus on the Family, have done at DOMA hearings before Congress.
If we are to take this email at face value, the only conclusion one can draw is that the forces gathered in Reliant Stadium are the forces of the devil.
As if to double-down on the lying theme, Rick Perry took the stage just before noon and did some prayerful lying of his own, saying that his god’s “agenda is not a political agenda. His agenda is a salvation agenda.” Of course, we have to remember that his supporters say the Democratic party is the party of Satan, and of course, The Response itself is nothing but political.
“Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government and, as a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us, and for that, we cry out for your forgiveness,” said Perry, praying with hands clasped.
“Father, we pray for our president, that you would impart your wisdom upon him, that you would guard his family,” the governor said. “You call us to repent, Lord, and this day is our response.”
We haven’t forgotten anything, but Rick Perry and his supporters have forgotten U.S. history, the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers who created the secular government he now assails (when he’s not begging money off it when his prayers don’t work). In the end, Perry, like his supporters, went mostly Old Testament, appealing to Isaiah and Joel, but also Ephesians, which scholars agree was not written by Paul but was forged in his name. The writing style is different, even the theology is different; the author of Ephesians says believers have already been saved (2:5-6) but Paul speaks of a future salvation – it hasn’t happened yet (1 Corinthians 15).
Given the dishonest nature of the book being quoted, it seems a perfect match for the proceedings for which it was used.
In the end, Rick Perry did as expected. He sold his soul to the forces of theocracy. Yes, he claimed he loves this country, but he says he loves “the living Christ” more, which means the U.S. Constitution – and significantly, We the People – come in a poor second.
Something else also came in second – Israel. Yes, you’ve heard all the “support” for Israel from the Religious Right. But here at the Response they prayed to God to put an end to Judaism, asking him to make the Jewish people recognize their own messiah at last.
Today Israel is not only back in the land but they are coming to their own Messiah. Tens even hundreds of thousands of Jewish people in the last decades have come to their Messiah. And so Lord we pray for the revival around the world and for Israel to come to their own Messiah.
Obviously, if they “come to their messiah” they will no longer be Jews, but Christians, but this is, of course, Christianity’s end-goal for Israel. It is not and never has been that Christianity loves Judaism (look at the history of bloody anti-Jewish pogroms for evidence) but that Israel is seen as central to Christian end-time prophecies. These end-time scenarios see Jews converted or killed, just like the rest of us, an orgiastic celebration of genocide to outdo all other genocides.
Yes, they love America, and they love Israel. But it’s a love we can all do without, thank you very much, because it’s a love that benefits only them, not the rest of us. Americans have been warned; the forces of dominionism told us what they plan for us and there is no longer any excuse to pretend no threat exists. It does, and it is represented by the forces arrayed here against the Constitution and against America itself. It only takes a small number of fanatics to win, folks. Remember, the Nazis weren’t the majority in 1933 either, and look how that turned out for Germany.
For Right Wing Watch’s Fact Sheet on Rick Perry’s Supporters at The Response go here. Prepare a bath for later because if you don’t already you WILL feel unclean by the time you’re done.
Image from ChristianPost.com