As if we didn’t already know Rick Perry didn’t get it, he proved it unequivocally.
This campaign ad is almost like a satire of the knuckle-dragging, bible thumping, southern Republican stereotype.
I’m being serious when I say the Republican Party leaders need to tell Rick Perry to go back to Texas and keep his mouth shut because he’s doing more harm than good.
The importance and ignorance of this ad are two fold: the first is the complete lack of tact Perry uses to convey his message, and second is the utter incoherence of the message itself.
“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. “
That’s the opening dialogue of his sham of a campaign ad.
The neanderthalic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed this year, much to the dismay of the evangelical right. I get it that you’re mad.
I don’t quite understand why, but that’s a separate issue.
Here’s what Perry is really saying, “Queers can be out and I can’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ without offending people.”
He says it in only a slightly less offensive way.
Giving Perry the benefit of the doubt, he may have been trying to say “Hey look how far we’ve come, you can be out in the military now. So, why can’t I practice my religion openly.”
He wasn’t saying that, but that would be a coherent position to hold. Sometimes, as a society, we try to quell mainstream qualities in order to appear just to the non-mainstream qualities.
If you can be openly gay, why can’t I be openly Christian? That’s a coherent position.
Unfortunately, the way Perry characterizes it, he makes it seem like “If these godless heathens can fornicate openly, why can’t I praise God in public?”
In order to make his point about the inequality he sees in freedom of religion, he denigrates homosexuality.
That’s not the way to get things done.
No, it’s not fair that we have “freedom” of religion and I can’t say “Merry Christmas” without offending someone. If a football team in Texas all want to pray before a game, being in a public school shouldn’t preclude them from doing it.
Just like the proximity to ground zero shouldn’t preclude a Muslim organization from building a mosque.
There are certainly some inequalities when it comes to freedom of religion, but Gov. Perry’s attempt in this add is heinous at best.
Furthermore, the message he’s attempting to promote is bring religion back to the presidency. It’s part of what many evangelical conservatives espouse.
It’s also unconstitutional.
We have a separation of Church and State for a reason. The tyranny we see in countries like Iran where women are not allowed to be equals, where the press is federalized and people have few rights, is based in the theocratic system they have in place.
There is no problem with allowing one’s faith to shape his or her moral code and as a result, shape legislative decisions.
It would be impossible for any person of faith to separate faith from decision-making since the basis for faith creates a standards by which theists live.
For many, it isn’t even a conscious decision to allow faith to affect decisions.
What’s more, if the government is legislating morality, we’re in trouble. It’s anti-conservative, anti-liberty, and anti-justice.
The state has no business interfering in our lives in this way. Morality can only be legislated inasmuch as any immoral act which also infringes on the liberty of others, must be curbed.
Gay marriage, for instance, ought not be the business of the federal or state government. A church, as a private entity, has the right not marry a gay couple, but the government has no business legislating that right.
Rick Perry’s fall as a Republican candidate came well before this ad went viral. Conservatives were disappointed he failed so publicly since he was widely seen as the most likeable conservative candidate.
For the Republican’s sake, they should be glad he failed when he did, or this video would have been a much larger issue.
As it is, the video reenforces the notion that Republicans, especially southern ones, have no idea what they’re doing.