I have a new column at Patheos on Perry’s “prayerpalooza”:
Asked in 2002 how his faith influences his politics, Rick Perry replied, “I don’t think it does, particularly.” But at the massive prayer rally he hosted in Houston on Saturday, the sitting governor of Texas prayed, “as a nation, we have forgotten who made us.” The deeply political assumptions of the event paraded past all day long, proving that the Perry of 2002 either had a problem with the truth or, like his predecessor in the governor’s mansion, has a debilitating incapacity for self-reflection.
Perry and his fellow religious-right candidates for the GOP presidential nomination may genuinely believe their messianic notions are private matters, that they can preach to 30,000 fellow believers about re-installing God as the invisible leader of the nation and still not be seen primarily as prophets of a reactionary political theology. They may be right. Evidence suggests that the mainstream press only comprehends them as kooky, delusional, and perhaps provincial figures, rather than rational actors with ideas fundamentally opposed to liberal democracy. But that is what they are—a reality made all the more tragic by the fact that the contradictions of liberal democracy created them.
Continue reading here.
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