On Sunday August 6, Reliant Stadium became a cesspool of homophobic, women hating Christian fanaticism when 30,000 people descended in Houston Texas for Rick Perry’s the Response Rally. The Guardian reported, “There was plenty of prayer, some of the faithful stood with arms held high in supplication, other danced trance like in the aisles and still more lay spread eagled on the floor.” People wept and prayed, grateful to answer Rick Perry's call to repent to god for the salvation of America. Athiests groups and LGBT advocates righteously organized counter-protests. People of different faiths including Christians who wanted to distance themselves from Perry also attended the counter-protest.
This rally could not have happened on the scale that it did without Rick Perry. Perry is the Governor of Texas. He is rapidly anti abortion and was responsible for passing laws that banned late term abortion, forced young women to get parental consent and all women to have ultra-sounds before they could get an abortion. This year, Perry signed a bill that stripped Planned Parenthood from being publicly funded. He is an advocate of prayer in schools. Being that Rick Perry is the Governor of Texas his participation in this rally and even fact that he has passed these laws based on his interpretation of the bible could be deemed as illegal as it is a breech of the separation of Church and State. He is an emerging figure in the Republican Party and went to the same church as George W. Bush.
Joining him on this day billed as the “The Leadership ” were a core of reactionaries that KPFK radio host Michael Slate correctly described as, “ Hitler’s Cabinet.”
The “Leadership” included organizers and leaders from the American Association of the Family, an organization, officially marked as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for their hatred of homosexuals. They recently launched a boycott against Home Depot for having a float in the Gay Pride Parade. The American Association of the Family deems homosexuals as a threat to the public, criminalizing a whole section of people for their sexuality. Gary Glen, president of the Michigan Chapter of the AFA has been quoted as saying “ As with smoking, homosexual’s behavior’s ‘second hand’ effects threaten public health, thus individuals who choose to engage in homosexual behavior threaten not only their own lives but the lives of the general population.”AFA is also know for wanting to prevent Muslims from entering the country and has claimed that Native American remain in poverty because they didn’t accept Christianity in their lives. They also blamed the Virginia Tech Massacre on public schools not allowing school praye.
The Rally included anti abortion activists like Lauren Zevala Allred, of the “Back To Life Movement”, a movement that will set out in Spring 2001 foot to harass clinics. This “pilgrimage” will start at the Houston, Texas Planned Parent Hood and end at the Dallas Courthouse, the birthplace of Roe vs. Wade. The Back To Life Movement is “focusing on the time when our country once stood for life.” So in short this is a movement, that worships the days when Rowe vs Wade did not exist and when women were forced in to die from back alley abortion. This is the dark ages they want to take the U.S. back to.
As much as this might seem like gathering a lunatics, this day was much more than that. This is part of a larger strategy on behalf of the Christian Fascist movement to set themselves in a position to usher in a new era of biblical rule in the U.S. In that society, women would be submissive to to men, gay people forced to be straight and slaves obedient to their masters. These laws would be enforced through violence such as a police force and military. This is their vision of an “ideal” society.
This movement is forging a network of foot soldiers to bring this society into being both through organizing a social base but even more significantly, gaining influence throughout the military. In 2009, Jeff Sharlet’s article: Jesus Killed Mohammed, The Crusade for a Christian Military in Harper Magazine revealed that Christian Fundamentalism was serving as justification and coherency for the war on terror, telling soldiers that they were in war with Jihad.
This ideology has been spread by high ranking officials. Sharlet gave the example, ” There’s Major General Johnny A. Weida, who as commandant at the Air Force Academy made its National Day of Prayer services exclusively Christian, and also created a code for evangelical cadets: whenever Weida said, “Airpower,” they were to respond “Rock Sir!”—a reference to Matthew 7:25. (The general told them that when non-evangelical cadets asked about the mysterious call-and-response, they should share the gospel.” So yes, is is all very scary and has potentially bad ramifications for people in the U.S and around the world.
It is well known that people vote Democrat because they are consistently terrified of the idea of any of these monsters having their hands on the levers of power. In fact, people attempt to use this as an argument for why no matter how disappointed you are in Obama, you ought to vote Democrat. But this direction has not been repudiated by Obama. The officers and military officials who were exposed as proselytizing in Sharlet's article continue to serve in high ranking and influential positions, with some even being promoted.
If the Democrats were capable of keeping this movement in “check”, why did Obama ask Christian Evangelist and homophobe Rick Warren to give the Inaugural Prayer? Warren even gave a presentation to senior officials including military generals. This presentations“inspired' one military general to advise all his subordinates to read Rick's Book, “Purpose Drive Life.” Like the wars in the middle east, the destruction to the environment, and torture; the fascist direction continues even with a Democrat in office.
But why is this whole Christian Fascist movement seen as legitimate by anybody?
The capitalist system is facing many heavy contradictions at the moment , the U.S is bogged down in 3 illegitimate wars , environmental catastrophe and the global economic crisis. For more on this I recommend reading this interview with Raymond Lotta On The Debt Ceiling Debate, Global Crisis, and Savage Austerity
This form of Christian Fascist rule could pose as a resolution to the many of the contradictions that capitalism is facing.
On the Response’s website, a message from Ricky Perry reads:
“Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. 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, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.”
The truth is the democrats are incapable of suppressing this movement even if they wanted ( and they don't) In order to suppress this reactionary movement they would be forced to call out their “base”, the people who are progressive, poor, black and Latino. In at time of global economic crisis with U.S capitalism, the LAST thing the democrats at the top would want to do is call out this base to be visible in the streets. In fact, that could create a situation where both of the parties legitimacy to rule would be called into question. Masses of people throughout the world have risen up against U.S backed dictatorships and have shown others that things don’t have to be this way.
Enough is Enough! People who want a theocracy and believe they are on a mission from God, will not go away without a fight. We don't have to be trapped in the paralyzing sphere of “politics as usual”, hoping for a little better, only to get swallowed up by a horror larger than what we had imagined.
We CAN tell people the truth about where this is all going and call them into the streets to stop the crimes of our government. And WE SHOULD!
Call it out like this kid!