Will Prayer Save America?

Since I’m writing a book on prayer, I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject. So has Texas pastor Rick Scarborough. The pastor-genius behind the Rick Perry prayer rally “The Response:” has now launched a 40-day prayer-fast to save America. It starts this Friday and runs, coincidentally, until election day.

Over to you, Stephen,

Let’s Hear It for Execution!

It’s been getting lots of buzz today that last night, in a Republican presidential debate (that I did not watch), Rick Perry invoked the crowd to an ovation for…execution!  Live blogging the debate, Andrew Sullivan wrote,

9.48 pm. A spontaneous round of applause for executing people! And Perry shows no remorse, not even a tiny smidgen of reflection, especially when we know for certain that he signed the death warrant for an innocent man. Here’s why I find it impossible to be a Republican: any crowd that instantly cheers the execution of 234 individuals is a crowd I want to flee, not join. This is the crowd that believes in torture and executions. Can you imagine the torture that Perry would authorize? Thank God he’s doing so poorly tonight. (via Live-Blogging The Third GOP Debate – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast.)

Today, fellow Patheos blogger, Bruce Reyes-Chow weighs in,

One question that keeps swirling around in my head is, “What about those who burst into applause and also profess a Christian faith?” I can’t speak for other faith traditions, but I would be hard pressed to see where Jesus creates a gray area for this one. Even towards our deepest enemies, we are to show love. In fact, it is in the very act of being different than those who would commit evil in the world that we express the purest form of our faith and our understanding of community.

Like Bruce, I am vehemently anti-death penalty.  I also think that our prison system is one of the most broken aspects of our society.  But I’m a bit at a loss about what to do about it.

Rick Perry Is Making Me Cynical

Okay, I was already cynical.  But Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally, “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis,” which takes place today in Houston, is making me more cynical.  The Dallas Morning News reports,

Gov. Rick Perry’s prayer rally is expected to draw thousands of protesters Saturday, including Muslims, Jews and even some Christians who say the evangelical event is exclusionary and inappropriate and Perry is overstepping the bounds of his office by hosting it.

And, they continue,

Protesters, including a group of 50 local religious leaders who signed a letter expressing concern earlier this week, are calling the meeting exclusionary and disrespectful of the separation of church and state. One of the sponsors, the American Family Association, has been criticized by civil rights groups for promoting anti-homosexual and anti-Islamic positions on the roughly 200 radio stations it operates.

And yet, Perry’s rally, regardless of its size and in spite of the fact that it seems like a clear breach of the separation of church and state for an elected official to use his bully pulpit to promote a particular religion — in spite of this, Perry’s rally will gets tons of attention today, and be on every newscast tonight.

[Read more…]

Will Rick Run?

My fellow Minnesotans, Tim Pawlenty and Michelle Bachmann, are keenly interested in the question about whether Rick Perry will throw his hair hat in the ring.  So, it seems, are evangelical voters.

“And while Bachmann has been on a hot streak since the first candidate’s debate, Christian Right leaders continue to be far less willing to embrace her (or Sarah Palin, for that matter) than the rank-and-file or more secular politicos. Is that sexism at work? Possibly. Maybe even probably. But geography is an important factor as well. Many Christian Right leaders think the GOP primary schedule favors a Southern candidate. And southern Minnesota does not count.” [READ THE REST]


UPDATE: God Urges Rick Perry Not To Run