The excerpt (below) from a piece about Texas Gov. Rick Perry in yesterday’s Deseret News (Salt Lake City) appears dead-on to us. The writer quotes Shaun Casey, a professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary. Casey is also an expert on the role of religion in presidential politics. He comments about Gov. Perry’s courting of the religious right:
“Perry is a cheaper imitation of George Bush … and I think Perry has really studied Bush. But Bush’s brilliance with the religious right was that he did everything behind closed doors. There were no photo-ops, there were no press releases saying I met reverend so and so today. Bush did everything through intermediaries, and so there was no public trail of him reaching out to the religious right. The irony is that here comes along Perry, the dollar-general-store version of Bush, and here he is meeting with these people in public and you start looking at the line up of the people he’s cozying up to in public and all he is doing is setting himself up for trouble later on if by some miracle he actually wins the nomination … Some of these guys are really beyond the fringe — folks who George Bush would have never been caught dead with within a hundred miles of.”
TFN Insider has reported about some of the extremists helping Gov. Perry organize his Christians-only prayer event in Houston next month. See here and here. Then sign an open letter calling on Gov. Perry to end his association with a hate group and stop using faith as a political weapon to divide Americans.