Texas Governor Rick Perry is concluding his "prayer rally" - called The Response - where earlier today he prayed that “those who cannot see the light in the midst of all the darkness” would find their way through faith in Jesus Christ. Perry forgot, however, to heed the teaching of Jesus found in Matthew 7:3 (NRSV): "Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?"
Perry's rally was not a place of light but of division and despair. He teamed up to sponsor the rally with a collection of hard core religious right organizations - and the primary sponsor was a noted hate group. Together these organizations have distorted the Christian faith to target women, democrats, gays, lesbians, Roman Catholics and Muslims with hate filled rhetoric and a warped theology.
The Response was a political event - the unofficial kick-off to what appears to be Perry's 2012 presidential bid - and as such was a gross misuse of the Christian faith. Perry hoped to fill the stadium with 70,000 supporters but only 30,000 showed up. Still, he clearly accomplished his primary goal of establishing himself as the social conservative candidate to beat among those running for the GOP 2012 nomination. You have to wonder, however, in a general election how he will explain his deep relationships with such radical individuals whose far-right beliefs offend most Americans, most people of faith in general, and yes, most Christians.