By resorting this week to gay bashing, Rick Perry has hammered the last nail in his own coffin, signaling a final and desperate attempt to spark any interest in his badly failing campaign to become the Republican presidential nominee.
First, Perry criticized President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for coming out this week in support of global LGBT rights. The Obama Administration is clearly concerned about the rampant discrimination against LGBT people around the world, where in 76 countries it is a crime to be gay. Perry decried giving “special rights” to LGBT people around the world who are being arrested, beaten, tortured and killed. Earth to Perry: Gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.
Next came Perry’s new campaign commercial, which is pretty as a postcard with the Texas governor dressed up in black jeans, a dark blue shirt and a manly-looking beige jacket, looking as though he was auditioning to be a middle-aged model for L.L. Bean or Eddie Bauer.
That was the only thing pretty about the campaign commercial.
What came out of Perry’s mouth was blatant homophobic bull:
“I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again. I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message.”
R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans executive director, immediately took Perry to task on the new ad:
“Governor Perry is running to be Commander-in-Chief, not Theocrat-in-Chief. “Our nation was built upon individual liberty and individual responsibility, and open service by gay and lesbian servicemembers is directly in line with the vision of our Founding Fathers. It is wrong for Governor Perry to assume being a person of faith does not afford one to support equality. America is at a crossroads and our next President must be someone who is battle-focused on turning around the economy and enabling all Americans the freedom to succeed.”
Perry’s political ad clearly appeals to the anti-gay crowd that opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and those who are convinced that President Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ who was born in Kenya.
The new ad was condemned by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), which worked so hard on the repeal of DADT to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly:
“Gov. Perry is out of step with the majority of Americans who supported repealing DADT.“The governor needs to consult with the service chiefs, all of whom reported to Congress that repeal is going well without controversy.”
Perry tries to tap into the Religious Right crowd that is convinced that Obama, who himself identifies as Christian, has declared war on religion in America. Perry throws them a red-meat bone, telling them that their children can’t openly celebrate Christmas. Not sure what country Perry is talking about, but perhaps Saudi Arabia?
Perry then laments that our kids cannot pray in school. Never mind that our kids read their history books, and know that our Founding Fathers felt so strongly about this issue that they embedded it in the First Amendment! But Perry has stated that he has no respect for the Constitution, and has suggested blowing it up in order to save the republic – from liberals and homosexuals!
He claims faith made America strong, and who can dispute that? But again, our Founding Fathers were wise enough to declare that there would be a separation of church and state, to prevent organized religion and the nation state from creating an unholy alliance. Thomas Jefferson, one of our more beloved presidents, was a strong proponent of this concept.
Perry is one of those Far Right politicians who advocates Dominionism, whose followers believe that the United States should be governed by conservative Christian law. Think American Taliban. This spits in the face of our Founding Fathers, many of whom fled to the New World to escape religious persecution in Europe. When one religion dominates in a nation, all other belief systems are negatively impacted and are treated like minority faiths. In America, where many religions co-exist, attempts to declare the U.S. a “Christian nation” would have a chilling effect on all the other faiths.
We applaud Perry for not being ashamed of being Christian. His biography notes that he grew up in the Methodist Church in Texas, and that he now attends the Lake Hills Church in Austin, one of those mega-churches that is unofficially attached to the conservative Southern Baptist faith.
In 2006, Perry said that he believes in the inerrancy of the Bible and that those who do not accept Jesus as their savior will go to hell. He later clarified, “I don’t know that there’s any human being that has the ability to interpret what God and his final decision-making is going to be,” according to Wikipedia.
Perry’s actions seem to defy biblical principles. As governor, he has executed more people on Death Row than any other governor. In 2002, he vetoed a ban on the execution of mentally retarded Death Row inmates, something the civilized world overwhelmingly opposes. He has executed at least four men in cases where doubt was being raised about their convictions.
After assuming the governorship in late 2000 after Texas Gov. George W. Bush was elected president (remember hanging chads?), Perry has consistently shown his homophobia. He has also pushed for school textbooks in Texas to teach intelligent design, which he believes in, and to downplay or ignore evolution. Over and over again, Perry has shown why he is unfit to be president.
And you know what? Perry needs to actually read the Bible, particularly the sermons of Jesus. Christ was about love, not hate, and what Perry is practicing is not love for his fellow mankind.