More on Gov. Rick Perry's "Apolitical" Prayer Rally

The Response, a day of prayer and fasting called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and hosted by the American Family Association, will take place at Houston’s Reliant Stadium this Saturday. Perry has tried to deflect criticism of his sponsorship of this religiously exclusionary event by claiming (unconvincingly) that it is meant to be unifying and apolitical, even though it is sponsored by a dizzying array of divisive, bigotry-promoting individuals and groups, including those encouraging him to enter the presidential race.
 
It is true that participants recently received instructions not to wear shirts with political messages. But an email that arrived today with suggestions for daily contemplation in preparation for The Reponse sounded suspiciously like an action alert from the far-right AFA:
In Joel's day Israel experienced the destruction of a massive locust plague. The nation's economy was crippled because of the decimation of the agriculture. The reason these plagues came was because of the people's negligence to worship and serve God with their whole heart. Because the people grew cold and eventually departed from God, they experienced incredible hardships. The result of their inner departure was multiple external crises.
 
In America today we face a similar crisis. We have watched sin escalate to a proportion the nation has never seen before. We live in the first generation in which the wholesale murder of infants through abortion is not only accepted but protected by law. Homosexuality has been embraced as an alternative lifestyle. Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and Washington, D.C. Pornography is available on-demand through the internet. Biblical signs of apostasy are before our very eyes. While the United States still claims to be a nation "under God" it is obvious that we have greatly strayed from our foundations in Christianity.
 
This year we have seen a dramatic increase in tornadoes that have taken the lives of many and crippled entire cities, such as Tuscaloosa, AL & Joplin, MO. And let us not forget that we are only six years from the tragic events of hurricane Katrina, which rendered the entire Gulf Coast powerless.
 
Furthermore, because of mismanagement and greed, our national economy is in incredible disarray, with our national debt topping 14 trillion dollars. We have effectively mortgaged our children's future, while spending money we do not have on entitlements as we search in vain for "the American dream". The first "wave of locusts" has begun to descend upon us and many are oblivious to the fact that destruction has come and is still coming.
 
God destined America to be a gospel beacon to the rest of the earth a nation under God who declares His goodness, truth and mercy to a world desperately in need. How we have strayed from God's original intent for us! The crisis is extreme and the hour is urgent.

The Response email includes several days' worth of items to consider.  And while Religious Right groups like the AFA often blame secularists, homosexuals, liberals, feminists, environmentalists, and President Obama for the nation’s problems, today's email suggests the real problem is that the Church has not been fervent enough:

Often the church imagines that it is the wickedness of unbelievers that causes the deterioration of a nation. While unbelievers do contribute to a nation's moral state, Scripture is clear - God holds His people responsible for their actions and identifies their sin or obedience as the key contributor to the blessing or cursing of a nation. . . .
 
There is much at stake for the church in America. In many ways we are at a crossroads of two divergent paths. Either the church will turn to the Lord with her whole heart, sparking a great revival and reformation in our nation, or she will continue in compromise, keeping the status quo as we watch our nation turn to debauchery, sin and ultimately destruction.