Governor Rick Perry’s “The Response” has become the Lollapalooza of right wing evangelicals, attracting such alternative acts as the ever-homophobic American Family Association; the Illuminati-inspired New Apostolic Reformation; Christian Zionist and prosperity preacher, John Hagee; and IHOP, home of the Rooty Tooty Fresh N’ Fruity End-Times prophecies.
The venue itself, Houston’s Reliant Stadium, smacks of the warning Jesus gave to self-righteous Pharisees about praying for public attention. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” (Matthew 6: 5)
Rick Perry has publicly stated the day of prayer and fasting is for our nation to seek God’s guidance and wisdom in addressing our many challenges. He has also said that it’s not just about the country’s problems; it’s about him as well, “God helping me, guiding me, giving me direction.”
Sure, to the cynical eye, Rick Perry could be attempting to pander to the religious right for a potential Presidential run. However, I do not presume to judge Rick’s heart. Maybe he is sincere about seeking God’s mercy and guidance. If so, what if God looks down through the retractable roof, past the Jumbotron, and speaks directly to Rick Perry? I can only imagine…
“What’s going on down here Rick?”
“You showed up! I can’t believe it,” Rick gushes. “It’s called The Response – I organized the whole thing for you. It’s about you forgiving us for
our sins – and telling us what to do to fix our mess.”
“Do you really want to be forgiven for your sins?”
“Oh yes! In fact, I already have a list prepared.” Reaching into his suit coat, Rick takes out a sheet of paper with typed talking points. “Please forgive us for allowing immorality to run rampant – and the enormous Federal deficit – and Obama-care – ”
“Okay, let me stop you right there,” God says as He takes a scroll from his robe. “I actually have a list I’ve been working on myself.” Not waiting on Rick to respond, He continues, “I’ve had a few complaints up here from people who were executed while you were governor.”
“And these people are in heaven?” Rick clarifies.
“Yes, it turns out they were innocent of their crimes and, as you can imagine, they’re pretty upset about not getting an appeal.”
“Huh,” Rick says, scratching his head, second knuckle deep into his hair.
“This might come as a shock to you, but I’m not a big fan of the death penalty,” God continues. “You might remember my son was executed…? Look, I know I’m not going to stop you from going all Old Testament, but could you at least refrain from executing them if there’s evidence they didn’t do it? You guys figured out DNA testing… Don’t be afraid to use it.”
God looks down at his scroll. “I have to ask… What’s the fascination with the guns?”
Rick mumbles something about “freedom and liberty.”
“What about this ‘bring your gun to work’ policy you just passed.… Did you really think that one through?”
“I think you’re referring to the ‘Texas Worker’s Right to Self-Defense,” Rick says. “The gun has to stay in a locked car.”
“So now if a troubled soul is having a bad day or gets fired, all he has to do is go out to his car to start a shooting spree?”
“Other employees will be able to get their own guns out of their cars to protect themselves,” Rick offers helpfully.
“I’m going to have to open up another wing up here just to handle the overflow from Texas.”
“What about all the work I’ve done for ‘unborn children?’” Rick cries.
“Yes,” God sighs. “I’m well aware of that. I saw where you signed emergency legislation to force women to see sonograms of their fetuses before having an abortion.”
“I thought you’d like that,” Rick says.
“You’ve got a young woman who is scared and doesn’t feel like she can take care of child – and now, you’re trying to pile more guilt and shame on her,” God says. “There’s already been enough of that in My Name.”
“But I’ve saved a lot of babies.”
“How about you let me work that out with the mother,” God says patiently. “And Rick, for the record, a frozen embryo is not a baby.” Glancing down the list, He adds, “And while you’re at it, why don’t you let me work things out with my children that are attracted to the same sex? It really doesn’t need to concern you.”
“But in the Bible – you say – ”
“Go back and read the Bible,” God interjects firmly. “Where does it say Rick Perry or the government needs to be involved in people’s private lives?”
Rick is momentarily quiet.
“The Bible does say to love your neighbor as yourself. That includes your neighbors to the South,” God says. “My Son healed the sick and stood up for the weak. He talked a lot about taking care of the poor, loving your enemies, not judging other, and showing compassion and mercy to all people. Why don’t you work on those? When you get those down, you can start telling people how to live their lives.”
“Yeah, okay,” Rick answers meekly. “Anything else?”
“And stop talking about seceding from the union,” God says. “You’re just embarrassing yourself.”
Rick nods, head down, humbled.
“Just remember, I love you Rick,” God says. “Not any more than anyone else, but I love you. Now go and do likewise.”
What’s your response to The Response? Feel free to leave your comments below…
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