The Response: Rick Perry's Day of Prayer

The Response, Governor Rick Perry's day of prayer, was held yesterday, August 6, 2011. If you didn't hear about it, you should find out more. Whether you are atheist, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim or any other form of reasonable Christian, the messages behind this day of prayer could affect you. This event was a call for prayer and a Christian nation -- but only a particular type of evangelical Christian nation.

For background on the rally, this segment from the Rachel Maddow Show discusses the views of the event promoters and Rick Perry's statements about the reasons for the event:



The promoters and speakers for the event include evangelists with less-than-mainstream notions, such as the ideas that Oprah is the harbinger of the Antichrist; God sent Hitler to hunt Jews; alternative religions to Christianity have no first amendment rights; the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol sent by the Freemasons; and Japan's economic troubles came about because the Emperor had sex with a demon sun goddess.

On the rally's website, Rick Perry's message says that this event was designed to find answers for how to run our government -- answers from god. Governor Rick Perry believes that the only answer to our country's economic and social problems is to pray that god takes over. Excerpts are below, and you can read the entire message on the rally's original homepage.
"As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy."
"Some problems are beyond our power to solve . . . Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose."
"There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees."
There were many sermons given during yesterday's 8-hour rally and Right Wing Watch has posted several clips of them, including a short highlight video. In the following clip, International House of Prayer (IHOP) leader Mike Bickle is shown advocating the idea that Jesus is the only true god and that Jesus' teachings are the only "truth" in the world:



Personally, I tend to like most of Jesus' teachings. But when I hear things like this sermon by Mike Brickle or the speeches of many Tea Party Christians, I find myself wondering what Bible they are reading. Jesus was a peace-loving, people-loving, socialist. He advocated that the rich give their money to the poor, that wronged people turn the other cheek and that only those without sin (no one) can cast stones at others.

But regardless of personal religious belief (or non-belief), the danger of this rally lies in the idea that Rick Perry -- the Governor of Texas -- is advocating the rights of these select non-denominational Christians above every other American citizen. He is calling for the country to embrace these fringe notions and take away the freedoms that let anyone hold different beliefs. And many people are encouraging him to make a run for the Presidency.

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