“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,” Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry whined pitifully in his latest TV campaign advertisement which he calls: “Strong.”
“As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion,” he promised. “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 approved this message."
“Bringing America back starts with faith;” faith in the Almighty, who created us; faith in our friends and allies, in a time of trouble; faith in each other to not give up hope,” Perry told the Republican Jewish Coalition last week.
The nicest thing I can think of to say about Rick Perry is that he’s not the least bit bashful about showing his true colors to all the world all the time every time. He’s refreshingly honest -- not a lying weasel like so many other politicians.
He tells us straight out in so many words: “I’m a religious bigot.” “I’m a homophobe.” “If you elect me as your president, I’ll trash the First Amendment Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.”
He was flying so high right after he first announced his candidacy only to plunge to the ground, crashing and burning, when the majority of normal reasonable people found out who he is and what he stands for.
I feel somewhat sorry for Gov. Perry. He’s basically a likable man, but I’m afraid he has one or two loose screws rattling around in his head which too often cause him to play the fool. This TV commercial is a perfect example. It tells us a lot about the real Rick Perry.
First off, I’ve never known a Christian who was ashamed to admit it. So why would Rick Perry say “I’m not ashamed to be a Christian.”? Doesn’t that go without saying in the mind of all Christians? Doesn’t it go without saying in his mind? After all, what is there to be ashamed of about being a Christian?
This was the tip off to me as to what he was going to say next – things that normal people, whether Christian or not, would indeed be ashamed to admit: “… 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 what he admits yet he knows deep inside his mind that he’s rightly and properly ashamed to admit it. He’s prejudiced against gays and non-Christians. He’s ashamed to admit that if elected president he would flatly discriminate against gays and non-Christians upon religious grounds using his powers as chief executive of the United States government. If elected president he would diligently look for ways to circumvent the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
You see, Gov. Perry and all the other ultra right wing social conservatives in this country know very well that all the kids can openly celebrate Christmas and pray in school any time they want, right now today, and there is no law anywhere to stop them. The Constitution does not and never has prevented kids from openly celebrating Christmas and praying in public schools. That is their constitutional right under the First Amendment Free Exercise Clause.
But Perry and his ilk aren’t concerned about that. What they are after; what they really want; what they won’t say out loud, but what they won’t be satisfied with until they get, is teachers and principals and school administrators using the facilities of the public schools to lead all the kids in prayer and celebrations of Christmas in the classrooms during school hours, baby Jesus, nativity scenes, Christian crosses on the walls and all.
What the Christian right desperately wants is to teach their Christian religion at the exclusion of all others in the public schools to all the kids regardless of their own family and personal religious beliefs.
Secondly, Gov. Perry, and his gang of right-wing Christian zelots know for a fact deep down inside their sanctimonious souls that Obama has never waged any “war on religion” during his presidency. That’s ridiculous. They know that there have never been any “liberal attacks on our religious heritage.” And they know that “faith” is not what “made America strong.”
Perry knows enough to be ashamed of such outrageous statements because he knows that the problem with people like me who care about the Constitution is not religion but keeping religion in its proper place in America – separate from government. He’s smart enough to know that the Establishment Clause protects the rights of all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike.
That is why he hates the Establishment Clause and has, in effect, promised on national television to trash it if he’s elected president.