Rick Perry

Gingrich's Lone Religious Right Supporter Being Wooed By Perry

As we noted last week, Rick Perry gathered with a whole range of Religious Right leaders at the ranch of right-wing megadonor James Leininger over the weekend and details continue to emerge about what took place during the event, like Perry vowing to them that there would be no revelations about his past that would ever embarrass them.

We are also seeing more reports about which leaders were in attendance:

The meeting received little public attention, though the 200 or so in attendance included luminaries of the Christian right such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, California pastor Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Washington-area Bishop Harry Jackson, who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the East Coast.

It is especially interesting to see that Garlow was present at the gathering, given that he had pretty much been the only Religious Right leader supporting Newt Gingrich's presidential bid.

The fact that Garlow traveled to Texas to participate in this meeting with Perry seems to suggest that even Gingrich's most ardent supporters know that his campaign is dead in the water.

The Governor and The Christocrat: A Match Made In Texas

As we noted last week, Rick Perry spent some time this weekend at James Leininger's ranch in Texas meeting with a bevy of Religious Right leaders and activists.

According to Time, there was some 300 such leaders in attendance and Rick Scarborough, though he refuses to confirm that he was actually in attendance, appears quite smitten with the Texas Governor:

Last weekend, Rick Perry privately met some 300 conservative evangelical leaders at long-time supporter Jim Leininger’s home near Fredricksburg, Texas. And on Monday afternoon, reported-attendee and evangelical leader Rick Scarborough told TIME he is endorsing Perry: “I was holding judgment,” says Scarborough, who in 1998 founded the group Vision America to mobilize pastors and their congregations to vote on social issues, “but the more I’ve studied and listened, the more I have liked what I have heard.”

Perry first charmed Scarborough, who supported former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for President in 2008, over a decade ago when Perry gave an impromptu personal testimony of his evangelical faith at a 1998 Republican convention. “It was obvious to me as a preacher that it was real, it was undoctored, it was unprepared, it was off the cuff. It really resonated with me.”

The governor had help in winning over the evangelical leader. Scarborough cited Perry’s wife Anita as a major factor in his decision. “I’ve had a chance here recently to hear Anita, much more close and personal,” Scarborough said. “Unlike [previous Presidents’ wives], I find that she holds the same values that he holds.”

...

The pastor’s endorsement has real sway. Vision America’s “Patriot Pastor” coalition has 20,000 members, and American Family Association founder Don Wildmon and Left Behind author Tim LaHaye are on the group’s advisory board. Scarborough says he’s already begun making his case to other influential social conservatives. “That’s not to say Rick Perry is Jesus because he is not,” he says. “But when you look at his full body of work, he’s been the best governor we’ve ever had.”

As we noted before, Scarborough is a self-proclaimed "Christocrat" who believes that it is his duty to "mix church and state God's way" in order to stop the country's "slide further into Communism/Socialism [and] sexual anarchy led by sodomites" and fight President Obama's efforts to "de-Christianize" this country.

Oh yeah, and he is also a Birther who stated, just a few months ago, that AIDS is God's judgment for engaging in an immoral act:

Right Wing Leftovers

Rick Perry To Spend The Weekend With A Pseudo-Historian, A Christocrat, And God's Sugar Daddy

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News reports that Rick Perry is heading to a weekend retreat to meet with a group of Religious Right leaders and donors:

When Rick Perry heads this weekend to Jim Leininger's ranch for a confab of Christian conservatives, he'll be on hallowed ground. Leininger has long been one of Perry's financial angels. He's been a leading proponent of school vouchers. And he's given large sums to Perry campaigns over the years. In some quarters, he's seen as saving Perry's political career with a last-minute infusion of $1.1 million to fuel Perry's 1998 victory as lieutenant governor.

...

Perry is scheduled to attend and to talk politics with leading evangelical leaders including retired judge Paul Pressler, a Southern Baptist leader, Christian historian David Barton, East Texas evangelist Rick Scarborough and others who supported Perry's Christian prayer rally in Houston. The event isn't about fundraising, but about motivating true believers.

Leininger has been called "God's Sugar Daddy" due to his willingness to dump large sums of money onto right-wing groups and candidates that share and promote his views.

David Barton is already well-known to readers of this blog – he's the Religious Right's favorite pseudo-historian who thinks that Jesus supports employment discrimination and opposes and the minimum wage, that the Founding Father's were against the teaching of evolution and that gay sex ought to be regulated by the federal government.

And Rick Scarborough is a self-proclaimed "Christocrat" who believes that it is his duty to "mix church and state God's way" in order to stop the country's "slide further into Communism/Socialism [and] sexual anarchy led by sodomites" and who stated, just a few months ago, that AIDS is God's judgment for engaging in an immoral act:

We can now add these activists to the ever-growing list of extremist Religious Right activists with whom Rick Perry is associating himself.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • NOM Exposed: Circumventing campaign finance law for donor secrecy.
  • Towleroad: NOM Rabbi Yehuda Levin Blames Earthquake on Gays, Claims Direct Link Between Quakes and Homosexuality.
  • Nick @ Bold Faith Type: Kathryn Jean Lopez Continues to Put Partisanship over Principles.
  • Norman Lear @ Variety: "What You Talkin' Bout, Willard?"
  • Alvin McEwen: GLSEN forces Family Research Council to change fraudulent video.
  • Igor Volsky @ Think Progress LGBT: Rick Perry Compared Homosexuality To Alcoholism, Condemned ‘Radical Gays’ For Promoting ‘Gay Lifestyle.’
  • NPR: The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Florida school teacher Jerry Buell has been reinstated after posting anti-gay marriage remarks on his Facebook page. But that probably won't be the end of the Religious Right's crusade about it.
  • Tony Perkins says the Religious Right would be pretty happy with any of the GOP frontrunners. I highly doubt that is true regarding Mitt Romney.
  • Rick Perry has signed the Susan B. Anthony's anti-choice pledge.
  • Another day, another piece dismissing dominionism devoid of any research whatsoever.
  • The defamation claim against John Stemberger over statements he made while representing Rifqa Bary has been dropped.
  • Finally, Peter LaBarbera thinks that Fox News is pro-gay because it is "based in New York City, which is a gay Mecca."

Right Wing Round-Up

If Dominionism Doesn't Exist, Someone Forgot To Tell The Dominionists

Thanks to the presidential campaigns of Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, there has been a lot of attention focused lately on dominion theology and its role within the Religious Right political movement.

This, in turn, has led to a number of pieces asserting that there is no such thing as "dominionism" and claiming that it is nothing more than a conspiracy-theory/scare-tactic dreamed up by the Left.

Our colleague Peter Montgomery addressed this effort to downplay dominionism in an excellent piece he wrote for Religion Dispatches yesterday, but Religious Right activists continue to claim that there is no cause for alarm whatsoever.

Today, John Aman, Director of Communications at Truth in Action Ministries, went a step further, writing a piece for the Christian Post claiming that dominionism doesn't even exist:

I had never even heard the term until 2005 when a Christian Science Monitor reporter asked me about it in connection with our Reclaiming America for Christ conference.

The reason I was so clueless is because, as Joe Carter explains in First Things, it’s a label used exclusively on the left. Berkeley-educated sociologist Sara Diamond, the author of several critiques of Christian civic engagement, including Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right, invented the term in the 1980s.

Dominionism, Carter explains, is a term “never used outside liberal blogs and websites. No reputable scholars use the term for it is a meaningless neologism that Diamond concocted for her dissertation.”

It is, however, a handy way to smear evangelicals like Bachmann and Perry who bring biblically informed moral convictions into public debate.

...

The truth is that dominionism is a sham charge-one reserved for Christians on the right.

Really? Maybe someone ought to tell that to all the dominionists who have suddenly started downplaying their dominionism. 

And I guess someone ought to really tell C. Peter Wagner to change the name of his book:

And perhaps Aman ought to talk to Janet Porter, since she lost her radio program because of her well-documented dominionism

As it happens, Porter was once the National Director for the Center for Reclaiming America, the sister organization to Coral Ridge Ministries ... which just so happens to be the former name of Truth in Action Ministries, where none other than John Aman serves as the Director of Communications.

For Rick Perry, Fighting "Over-Taxation" Is A Testament Of Faith

Texas Gov. Rick Perry raised eyebrows yesterday when, while campaigning in South Carolina, he likened the struggles of corporations resisting paying their fair share in taxes to the civil rights movement. When told that he was visiting a town where civil rights advocates held a sit-in fifty years ago, Perry mused that the corporate fight against taxes and regulation is an extension of the civil rights movement: “I mean we’ve gone from a country that made great strides in issues of civil rights,” Perry said, “And as we go forward, America needs to be about freedom. It needs to be about freedom from over-taxation, freedom from over-litigation, freedom from over-regulation.”

Immediately, critics rightfully questioned how the fight against “over-taxation” and “over-regulation” could be seen as an outgrowth of a movement that fought for social and economic justice.

But it is important to remember that Perry’s fight for lower taxes and regulations for corporations (on the backs of low-income families) is not just an economic position but also a spiritual issue. Before his Response prayer rally earlier this month, Perry told The 700 Club that he would be praying to end “government’s over-taxed, over-regulated, over-litigated” policies that have “caused roadblocks to economic prosperity.”

In an interview with televangelist James Robison in May, Perry claimed that the current economic crisis was God’s way of ending our “slavery” to government. Like civil rights leaders who used the story of Exodus in their struggle against discrimination, Perry contended that “Pharaoh” exists today in the form of government and “we’ve become slaves to government”:

Right Wing Round-Up

Rick Perry's Long History Of Attending "Nonpolitical" Religious Right Events

The Austin Chronicle has begun tweeting links to old articles about Rick Perry, like this one from 2005 when Perry spoke at a "Texas Restoration Project" with a gaggle of anti-gay Religious Right activists:

A source who attended the event spoke to the Chronicle but requested anonymity because he serves in a local congregation and was sensitive to its politically diverse viewpoints. He recorded the event and provided the audiotape to the Texas Freedom Network, which in turn provided copies to the media.

Millionaire San Antonio conservative James Leininger was in attendance, as was East Texas chicken tycoon Bo Pilgrim, who introduced the governor. The two are among Perry's most generous campaign donors, most recently chipping in $50,000 apiece to the governor's re-election campaign, according to state Ethics Commission filings.

Though the audiotape is of poor quality, there is no mistaking the fever-pitched gay-bashing theme of most of the speeches. The group is fashioned after a similar evangelical organization in Ohio that worked to pass that state's marriage amendment in November and helped produce a narrow victory there for President Bush. Critics accuse the Ohio group of operating in tandem with the Bush presidential campaign, managed by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, now running for Ohio governor in 2006. Blackwell was one of the featured speakers in Austin. Other guests who spoke in Austin included two key players in the Republican Party of Texas – Vice Chair David Barton, a self-described Christian nationalist, and former executive director Susan Weddington, who now heads Perry's faith-based initiatives program. Weddington called Perry "a spiritual giant."

Additionally, Ohio evangelical Pastor Rod Parsley lambasted the "homosexual agenda" and railed against Islam; Arlington minister Dwight McKissic – other than Blackwell, apparently the only African-American speaker at the event – delivered a hellfire condemnation of gays and lesbians, climaxing his address with the biblical story of the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and declaring, "God has another match!" The crowd roared. "He said the most horrible things," the attendee said. "He was the most difficult to listen to."

Kelly Shackelford, who heads the Plano-based Free Market Foundation, may have stolen Perry's thunder in being the first to announce the governor's choice to fill the vacancy on the Texas Supreme Court – Don Willett, who was seated in the audience. Shackelford introduced Willett as a "strong believer in Jesus Christ. … I have no doubt where this man stands on any issue." Shackelford urged pastors to start organizing support for the upcoming constitutional election. "The other side is very organized," he said of the "No Nonsense in November" campaign, which opposes the amendment. "They are out there working in your communities."

Perry steered clear of directly incendiary comments, but left no doubt where he stands on the referendum. "For the record," he said, "this is one Texan who's going to be voting to protect the family unit this November by voting to preserve the institution of marriage between one man and one woman." Afterward, someone asked the governor what they could do to help him – the closest anyone came to mentioning his re-election campaign. Perry thought a moment before responding.

"Pray for me."

If the names of the participants sound familiar, there is a reason for that:  many of them also endorsed Perry's recent prayer rally, including David Barton, Dwight McKissic, and Kelly Shackelford.

You may also recognize the name of Susan Weddington, who has been working wtih Barton and close Perry friend Alice Patterson, to get African Americans to support the Republican Party.

In fact, these Restoration Project events are organized by David Lane, who was not only responsible for the recent similar Rediscover God In America conference, but just so happened to also serve as the National Finance Chairman of Perry's The Response prayer rally.

Perry has been attending these distinctly political Restoration Project events for several years and then partnered with many of these very same activists in organizing his recent prayer rally ... all while bogusly insisting that the event was distinctly non-political.

Why Are The Dominionists Suddenly Downplaying Dominionism?

Last week, we noted that C. Peter Wagner was growing the recent attention and criticism his New Apostolic Reformation movement has been receiving and sent out an email trying to downplay all of their talk of taking dominion.

It now seems like this is becoming a pattern as Os Hillman, a leading Seven Mountains advocate and the man behind Reclaim7Mountains.com, is also seeking to downplay all that dominionism talk:

An important understanding and distinction must be stated at this point. Dominion, or perhaps a better word to use is influence, is a result of our love and obedience to God, not a goal to be achieved. It is the fruit of our obedience. Otherwise we begin to use fleshly strategies to exploit and subjugate others to our way of thinking.

Jesus never sought to have dominion; rather, He encouraged others to love and obey God. It is better that we avoid the word dominion in our culture today due to the connotation that comes with this word of control and manipulation of others. It also reminds people of a flawed movement in the body of Christ called dominion theology that caused great harm to many.

On August 19th during a CNN Situation Room broadcast with Wolf Blitzer, Jack Cafferty attempted to tie Michelle Bachman [sic] and Rick Perry to dominionsim theology. He took their words out of context, yet the very word "dominion" brought out the worst in the secular media for fear that Christians want to rule the world.

Of course, none of this changes the basic facts about dominionism or the agenda, as Hillman's own website still makes clear that the US is insufficiently Christian because "we have not understood our biblical mandate to have dominion on the earth" and they have failed in their responsibility to institute "preparatory dominion, as in the earth being prepared for the return of the King":  

(1) God’s covenant people taking dominion of the earth has been the main theme of every covenant that God has ever made with mankind.The New Covenant for the church is no different with its expectation of dominion by making disciples of all nations.

(2) The Dominion Process is two-fold.First, human beings are blessed by God. Secondly, these blessed human beings are given a mandate to take dominion of the earth for the purpose of blessing it.

(3) The first advent of Christ was for the purpose of creating a blessed seed upon the earth - the church.The second coming of Jesus will take place after this blessed seed has completed the Dominion Process upon the earth by making disciples of all nations.

And, of course, they are focused on taking "the Mountain of Government" since it is "the most important of the mountains because it can establish laws and decrees that affect and control every other mountain." As such, every level of government - from presidents to mayors - must be taken over by "true Apostles" because "we need to fill the entire mountain with children of the Kingdom who know why they are there" in order to establish a "virtual theocracy" and "bring the influence of heaven to bear on whatever political machinery that exists."

And the key to this endeavor is stealth:

The goal is not just to have Christians in high places, but rather to have Christians who are called to be in high places step into that role. And wearing a "Christian” label on our sleeve isn’t the point. We need to learn to be "as wise as serpents and harmless as doves” and realize that stealth authority and influence are much preferred over overt authority and influence. A low profile diffuses resistance from the opposition. Political righteousness isn’t determined by whether someone calls himself a Christian or not anyway. That’s established by whether the political values they are prepared to defend or establish are actually righteous. A Christian who espouses abortion rights or the validity of gay marriages, for example, is worthless as a "Christian” candidate. If candidates don’t understand righteous politics, they aren’t anointed for this mountain. They may have enough Christianity in them to enter heaven, but they don’t have enough Christianity to bring the rule and reign of God down to earth.

This will change as the Elijah Revolution is released upon the nations. Sons and daughters of the King who understand the call to take the seven mountains will rise to the mountaintops ... One of the primary roles of future government leaders will be to instruct in righteousness. The more God’s judgments are poured out on earth, the more explicitly will they be able to give that instruction.

I guess one good way to maintain a low profile and diffuse resistance from the opposition would be to try and downplay all the talk about taking dominion.  Which is exactly what they are now doing.

AFA Using Perry's Prayer Rally Mailing List To Mobilize Christian Voters

One of the standard claims from organizers of Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer event was that the event was going to be non-political, so that any criticism about mixing church and state was totally unfounded.

So maybe they can explain why the American Family Association is now sending out this email to everyone who registered to attend "The Response," urging them to get active politically and "imagine the impact we could make on the future of America if these Christians made their voices heard in the voting booth":

Thank you for registering for The Response on August 6 in Houston. I hope you were able to attend or participate online as it was certainly a day to remember. I was especially encouraged to see so many youth and young adults in attendance. In addition to the tens of thousands who were in attendance at Reliant Stadium, over 2,000 churches and groups gathered together and joined the event via a live web stream, and hundreds of thousands participated via a live web stream from their homes. If you were not able to participate live, we encourage you to watch the video archives of The Response that will be available at the website (http://www.theresponseusa.com) until the end of August.

The Response was just the beginning of a nationwide initiative to return America to the principles on which she was founded, with God at the center of our nation. All of us in attendance in Houston were moved by the overwhelming call to repentance, prayer and action.

Today, I want to introduce you to Champion the Vote (CTV), a friend of AFA whose mission is to mobilize 5 million unregistered conservative Christians to register and vote according to the Biblical worldview in 2012. Only half of the Christians in the United States are registered to vote. Imagine the impact we could make on the future of America if these Christians made their voices heard in the voting booth!

CTV’s research has shown that it takes only 5 million voters to influence the outcome of an election. This is a do-able goal, and Champion the Vote is seeking Champions – an army of volunteers -- to help with the effort. A Champion is simply a Christian talking to other Christians about registering and voting.

If you would like to be involved in this important initiative, go to the CTV website (http://www.ChampionTheVote.com) for complete details. We can make a difference, one by one, multiplied across the nation.

Sincerely,

Don Wildmon, Founder
American Family Association

Champion The Vote is a initiative of United in Purpose, the group responsible for the Rediscover God In America conference, which was organized by David Lane ... who just so happened to also serve as the National Finance Chairman of The Response.

Geller: Republicans Allied With Norquist Are Tied To The Muslim Brotherhood

Pamela Geller has a second column out today attacking Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his ties to the Aga Khan, the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam, and to one of Geller’s favorite targets, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Anti-Muslim activists have long viewed Norquist as one of the principal architects of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the conservative movement and American society at large because of his work to make the political Right more inclusive of Muslim-Americans. Geller writes today in her WorldNetDaily column that she doesn’t “want to see a GOP presidential candidate palling around with Grover and his thugs,” and says that Perry’s relationship with Norquist “raises legitimate questions about whether or not Perry knows about, or cares about, or even endorses, that activity by Norquist”:

First, Norquist. Yes, all Perry did was give a speech in partnership with Grover Norquist, and promote it on his website. Norquist heads up Americans for Tax Reform, and Perry's tax-cutting message is redolent of Norquist's influence. But Norquist also has deep and extensive ties to Islamic supremacists and jihadists, as I showed in the first commentary. That raises legitimate questions about whether or not Perry knows about, or cares about, or even endorses, that activity by Norquist. I certainly would refuse to speak at the same event in partnership with Grover Norquist – let alone promote it on my website. Shouldn't Rick Perry have, too?

Grover Norquist's background is no secret. His tax mask has worn thin. It was old five years ago. Grover Norquist is toxic and should be persona non grata in the Republican Party. He is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. And has been exposed as the recipient of huge donations from a Brotherhood figure who is now in jail for financing terror activity. I don't want to see a GOP presidential candidate palling around with Grover and his thugs. I want a presidential candidate to declare that he will appoint an attorney general at the Department of Justice who will press forward immediately with the prosecutions of the co-conspirators named in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terror funding trial in our nation's history. I want a presidential candidate who is unafraid of the stealth jihadists in our midst, and who will vow that he will clean out the infiltrators.

But Perry is far from the only Republican to collaborate with Norquist, who Geller calls “a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Norquist’s organization Americans for Tax Reform spent close to $4 million in the midterm election to elect Republicans to Congress, and 235 Congressmen and 41 Senators, all Republicans, have signed Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” In fact, just seven Republican representatives and seven Republican senators have not signed Norquist’s pledge to never support a tax increase. Already, Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have signed Norquist’s pledge, as have congressmen Louie Gohmert and Allen West, both darlings of anti-Muslim activists.

Since the vast majority of Republican members of Congress have no problems affiliating with Norquist, does Geller see them all working with the Muslim Brotherhood?

Geller goes on to argue that Perry is one of the “dhimmi candidates” who is “going along with our civilization suicide.” She contends that Perry must take a more active stance against Muslims and Muslim organizations or will be complicit in the “stealth jihad,” or the furtive and gradual Islamic takeover of American society, and must not put “lipstick on a halal pig”:

The fact that Hamas-tied CAIR, one of the top five groups named in AFDI's Threats to Freedom Index, immediately praised Perry, speaks volumes. All this speaks to a pattern. And the pattern is not good. It speaks to a pattern of going along with our civilization path to suicide. No matter who wins the nomination, I will support him or her with every breath of my body. But I am going to fight like a cat to get the right cat there. Of course, a candidate should make nice with Muslims who oppose jihad. But introducing the Islamic whitewash into our public schools and universities is the most dangerous thing you can do. It is not my intention to damn all Muslims, but we need a president who will call out the Islamic supremacist groups on stealth jihad. That is real political courage, not calling for tax cuts.

We have had enough of dhimmi candidates who kowtow, out of ignorance or financial interest or both, to Islamic supremacists. In my new book, "Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance," I detail the advances it is making, and show how Americans can and must resist. Do you really think that Rick Perry, in light of the information above, is really the man who is going to lead that resistance? Has Gov. Perry addressed the jihad ideology that has been responsible in recent years for the slaughter of thousands across the world? Or is he busy putting lipstick on a halal pig?

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Following a poor showing in Iowa, Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the presidential race.
  • Apparently, the fact that he had back surgery is somehow going to help Rick Perry attack healthcare reform ... or something.
  • Richard Viguerie hasn't liked any GOP candidate for a long time, but he likes Rick Perry.
  • WorldNetDaily, on the other hand, does not like Perry.
  • Barry Hankins, author of "Francis Schaeffer and the Shaping of Evangelical America," does not approve of the portrait of Schaeffer constructed by Ryan Lizza's in his profile of Michele Bachmann.
  • Finally, Gary Bauer says that "the media’s war on faith — their continued attempts to force Christianity into the closet — is very dangerous for our republic."

The Company That Rick Perry Keeps: Jerry Boykin and Obama's Brownshirt Army

When Rick Perry was organizing his massive public prayer rally, we put in a lot of work chronicling the radical views of the activists with whom Perry was partnering. 

But there are others with ties to Perry who were not involved in this effort and therefore never made it on to our list ... people like Jerry Boykin who believes that George Soros and the Council on Foreign Relations worked to collapse the economy in order to help Barack Obama win the election and that passage of healthcare reform legislation is really just cover for Obama to establish a private Brownshirt army loyal only to him:

I vaguely recall having seen clips of Boykin talking about attending Gov. Perry's inauguration in January 2011 and have been trying to track it down for the last week or so but have been unable to find it.  But today I stumbled across a different video of remarks Boykin recently delivered at something called the Gideon Media & Arts Conference where he proudly asserted that he is intolerant while praising Rick Perry for being one of the few political leaders who are willing to stand up for Biblical truth and revealing that he met with Perry recently as part of a private meeting the Governor held in June with right-wing leaders: 

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Alan Keyes is not impressed with Rick Perry and doesn't seem to think he is a very sincere Christian.
  • But Keyes is an anomaly, as lots of other Religious Right leaders really love Perry.
  • S&P makes clear that it was the fact that a minority of "people in political arena [that] were even talking about a potential default" that led to the downgrade.  Can you guess who they are talking about?
  • James Robison is still worked up about living in a "secular theocracy."
  • Finally, Gary Cass explains that it is okay to outlaw drugs and prostitution because they are unbiblical, but not alcohol, because it is.

Rick Perry, Alice Patterson, And The Demons Who Control Our Politics

When Gov. Rick Perry took to the stage at his prayer rally last weekend, he brought with him two close friends: C.L Jackson and Alice Patterson, whom he publicly praised and thanked:

Patterson, as you may recall, is deeply involved in the New Apostloic Reformation where she focuses on "racial healing" in order to get African Americans to leave the Democratic Party, which she believes is literally controlled by demonic spirits.

As it turns out, not only is the Democratic Party controlled by such spirits, but the Republican Party is as well.  But whereas the Democrats are controled by "Jezebel" via a "network of demonic principalities that demanded allegiance, worship, and the shedding of innocent blood," the Republicans are controlled by "Ahab" which makes GOP leaders passive and yield to intimidation instead of standing up on Godly principles.

In fact, Patterson explains in her book how it was this very spirit of passivity that caused prayer to be removed in school, which resulted in the murder to President Kennedy:

Passivity caused the court cases that removed prayer from our public schools to remain, causing the protective wall around the United States, our schools and our government to crumble. The very next year President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The country mourned but the protective walls were not restored.

Patterson warns that "the further you get up the ladder in Washington, D. C. or state government, the harder it is to withstand the power of the Ahab structure if you’re a Republican" ... which is why President George W. Bush did so many ungodly things, like appointing "an open homosexual to high office," meeting with Muslims, and failing to pass a federal marriage amendment:

Although the Republican Party Platform is full of virtue, many individual Republicans tolerate what the platform does not. Take former evangelical President George W. Bush. Here are just a few of his actions that align with King Ahab’s tolerance of Jezebel.

• He was the first Republican President to appoint an open homosexual to high office— Scott Evertz to the White House Office of National AIDS Policy.

• After the Islamic terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001, President Bush invited 50 ambassadors from Muslim countries for a traditional meal and prayer at the White House in November 2001 to mark the start of Ramadan. A Republican President was the first to invite Muslims to pray in the White House. President Barack Obama continued the celebration of Ramadan in the White House, but it was started by a Republican President.

• President and Mrs. Bush bowed before the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo.

• President Bush “removed his shoes, entered a mosque and praised Islam for inspiring ‘countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity and morality.’ For the second time since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the president yesterday visited Washington’s oldest mosque, the Islamic Center, where Muslims from 75 nations gather to worship. Bush marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by praising Islam as a hopeful religion of mercy and tolerance.”

• President Bush outraged evangelicals by stating that he believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.

• In 2004 President Bush campaigned in favor of a Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, when he was elected, he said no more about it. If he had put as much importance on it as he did in reforming Social Security, the Marriage Amendment would have passed through Congress. He even said on several occasions that he supported civil unions, which give the same rights as marriage to same-sex couples.

• President Bush proved over and over again that he was an Ahab.

Understanding The "Apostle" In The New Apostolic Reformation

Last night, Rachel Maddow dedicated a segment of her program to discussing the New Apostolic Reformation and its ties to Rick Perry as well as a follow-up segment with Forrest Wilder, author of the excellent piece on NAR in The Texas Observer - also, if you watch carefully, you will recognize lots of our videos:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

For all the recent talk about the New Apostolic Reformation, one of the issues that has largely gone uncovered is just what it means to be an  "apostle" within this movement.  I have recently been reading C. Peter Wagner's "Apostles Today: Biblical Government for Biblical Power" in which he helpfully sets out his definition:

An apostle is a Christian leader, gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church and for the extension of the kingdom of God.

Wagner also explains that there is no such thing as "self-appointed apostles" because all apostles are appointed by God.  But that creates a bit of a dilemma for those trying to determine who are actual apostles versus those who are false apostles and so Wagner offers a rather ingenious way to tell the difference:

God's decision to make an individual an apostle must be recognized and affirmed by real people. If someone says, “God has called me to be an apostle,” but no one else agrees, then I have to doubt whether that person has accurately heard from God.

Now, if that logic seems rather circular to you, Wagner also offers up a list of "12 characteristics that are displayed by many (if not most) apostles," though he is careful to explain that not all apostles have all 12 characteristics. 

But, as a basic rule of thumb, seeing Jesus, performing miracles, suffering persecution, casting out demons, and fighting witchcraft are among the characteristics that a NAR apostle might posses:

1. Seeing Jesus personally. Of course the original 12 saw Jesus, but so did Paul, when Jesus appeared to him on the Damascus Road, and as he indicated in 1 Corinthians 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” According to an informal survey of the apostles whom I know today, about 20 percent have actually seen Jesus personally.

2. Performing supernatural manifestations such as signs and wonders. “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Cor. 12:12). Almost every apostle I know has seen physical healing in their ministry, but not many have seen mass healings through the casting of their shadow as did Peter (see Acts 5:15). The application of this, therefore, might well be mostly a matter of degree.

3. Planting churches. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation and another builds on it” (1 Cor. 3:10). While planting churches is a very important apostolic characteristic (one that David Cannistraci even included in his definition above), not all apostles have a church-planting ministry.

4. Appointing and overseeing local church pastors (or “elders”). Paul and Barnabas planted churches, and then returned and “appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting” (Acts 14:23). Paul instructed Titus, a member of his apostolic team in Crete, to “set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city” (Titus 1:5).

5. Settling disputes in the church. The Corinthian believers were at each other’s throats. Paul wrote, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). Apostles are frequently called upon to bring resolution and unity to division.

6. Applying discipline, including excommunication. “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! … In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:1,4-5). Denominational pastors are rarely equipped to take this kind of drastic action. Apostles, however, have few inhibitions about doing it when needed. Sadly, I have found it necessary through the years to dismiss or to force the resignation of several members of ICA.

7. Providing spiritual covering for other leaders. Paul did this. Here are two examples: “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you” (Rom. 16:12). And, “Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do. Therefore, let no one despise him. But send him on his journey in peace” (1 Cor. 16:10-11).

8. Suffering physical persecution. “For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles … From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep” (2 Cor. 11:5,24-25).

9. Attracting and distributing financial resources. “All who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need” (Acts 4:34-35). Most apostles have access to the financial resources necessary to implement the vision that God has given them.

10. Casting out demons. “So that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from [Paul’s] body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them” (Acts 19:12). Not all apostles have deliverance ministries, though many do.

11. Breaking curses of witchcraft. Paul broke the spirit of divination (witchcraft) in Philippi (see Acts 16:1618) and directly confronted the occult sorcerer Elymas in Cyprus (see Acts 13:8-11).

12. Frequent fasting. As he displays his credentials as an apostle, Paul mentions that he fasted often (see 2 Cor. 11:27).

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Rick Perry Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/12/2012, 6:35pm
PFAW: Six Months Since Last Circuit Court Confirmation, PFAW Urges Senate Action on All Nominees. Jeremy Hooper: Bryan Fischer thinks he's entitled to his own facts; is wrong. Joe.My.God: Scott Lively Endorses Uganda's "Revised" Plan To Imprison Homosexuals For Life. Laura Bassett @ The Huffington Post: Rick Perry: Banning Abortion Is 'My Goal.' Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Bill O’Reilly: Why Aren’t Christian Leaders More Outraged Over The War On Christmas? Aviva Shen @ Think Progress: Lindsey Graham Compares Marriage Equality Debate... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/18/2012, 4:45pm
During his conference call with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Vision America’s Rick Scarborough hailed Perry’s The Response prayer rally, which occurred in August of last year, for supposedly ending the state’s extreme drought that began in October, 2010. However, according to StateImpact Texas, "in 2011, Texas endured the worst single-year drought in its history" and while “the situation has improved recently, the drought is far from over — and the conditions that caused it aren’t going away anytime soon.” Scarborough, who made the claim before... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/18/2012, 4:15pm
Texas governor Rick Perry spoke today on a conference call with extremist pastor Rick Scarborough as part of his “40 Days to Save America” campaign to motivate and organize Religious Right voters. Perry said that the separation of church and state, which he dismissed as a myth, is being used to drive “people of faith from the public arena.” Perry said that he believes Satan is using the “untruth” of the separation of church and state to remove Christians from public life: “The idea that we should be sent to the sidelines I would suggest to you is very... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 08/31/2012, 12:55pm
During the presidential campaign, Rick Perry was one of the first candidates to embrace the theme that Obama is waging a “war on religion,” a message that was quickly embraced by Mitt Romney. As Perry ponders another run for the presidency, he told Family Research Council head Tony Perkins on today’s Washington Watch Weekly that he believes President Obama thinks he was elected “King” and is leading a “clear attack on people of faith”. How? Perry cited the contraception mandate, the Department of Justice’s stance in the Hosanna Tabor case, where... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/12/2012, 1:22pm
The guest on today's edition of "WallBuilders Live" was Gerald Molen, the producer of the new anti-Obama film "2016: Obama's America," which is based on the book "The Roots of Obama's Rage" by Dinesh D'Souza. Molen was on the program to discuss a recent incident in which a scheduled speech he was to deliver to some high school students was supposedly canceled because of his conservative views, but after the interview, David Barton and Rick Green talked about how excited they were about his forthcoming film, with Barton revealing that Texas Governor Rick Perry was... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 07/06/2012, 2:50pm
Just before Rick Perry announced his ill-fated presidential campaign, he organized a prayer rally in Houston’s Reliant Stadium, The Response, to save America from spiritual collapse while building Perry’s conservative credentials, too. Everyone from top Religious Right leaders to radical, Oprah-fearing dominionists gathered for the prayer rally to laud Perry, convert Jews and other non-Christians to Christianity, and lament America’s supposed cultural decay. Now, The Response is going to hold a prayer rally on October 27, right before the election, in Kansas City, Missouri: MORE >
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/19/2012, 12:00pm
With reports today that Rick Perry is exiting the presidential race, we thought it was fitting to look back on the efforts to draft Perry into the race and anoint his candidacy. Right Wing Watch closely followed Perry’s claim that he was working to return America to God, whom he claimed sent storms to keep him in Texas and was using the economic crisis to bring America to “bring us back to those biblical principles.” Last July, Religious Right leaders gathered in Texas to push Perry into the presidential race, hoping the Texas Governor would be the more conservative... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Wednesday 01/18/2012, 2:44pm
Remember that “game-changing” endorsement of Rick Santorum by a group of evangelical leaders desperate to deny the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney?  As Brian reports, there wasn’t really that much of a consensus in Texas.  And it certainly didn’t make it to South Carolina, where Romney, Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry all paraded before a gathering convened by Ralph Reed’s “Faith and Freedom Coalition” just hours before the latest debate.  All had their fans in the crowd, and Gingrich seemed to have more, or at... MORE >