Stock market dropped more than 600 points today. Perhaps now would be a good time for Rick Perry to stop praying.
Sorry, Dude. You Will Never Live Down This Image
Someone joked that Rick Perry’s much-hyped prayer-a-thon yesterday was really about him reminding everyone that he’s not Mormon.
This painfully slanted, factually challenged Politico article about the event tells us a lot:
The setting here said everything: More than 33,000 people packed into Reliant Stadium, a 71,000-seat arena that also hosts rock bands.
Yes, packed, I tell you! That’s one person for every 2.15 seats! However did they cram them all in?
Indeed, that does say absolutely everything.
Writer Kasie Hunt tells us Perry gave a “smooth, emotional 12-minute speech,” and that he “preached an anti-politics message that, paradoxically, is a central force driving conservative voters.”
Um, no. Anyone who follows religion and politics closely knows that the new breed of evangelicals are plenty sick of politics warping their religion and religion warping their politics. The days of the Moral Majority and Focus On The Family are over. Too many fundie preachers have made headlines doing very un-Christ-like things like burning Korans and hating on gays and contrary to what you might think, most churchgoing people don’t like being lumped in with these crazies.
Not only that, but religion is dying across America, everyone knows it except clueless media types desperate for a tidy box in which to place their narrative. So Kasie Hunt unthinkingly prints this quote from Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention:
Land, the former Southern Baptist Convention president, insists that’s a trend that most are overlooking. “The country is getting more religious, not less religious, and the nature of that religion is conservative,” he said. “The talking heads and the pundits are way behind the curve — they need to spend more time out there in the real country, and they would understand. This is not exotic behavior for most Americans. And they consider it odd that anyone would consider it exotic.”
First of all, honey, Richard Land is not a past president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is the current president of the denomination’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, which is the convention’s public policy arm. He’s held this post for well over 20 years. But I digress.
Richard Land’s “we’re a Christian nation and we’re getting Christianer” quote is simply not true, as plummeting numbers at his own denomination attest. From June 2011:
NASHVILLE — Baptisms fell to their lowest number in 60 years among Southern Baptists, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
The new numbers are a sign that the denomination is in trouble, Baptist leaders say.
“This is not a blip,” said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay. “This is a trend. And the trend is one of decline.”
In 2010, Southern Baptists baptized 332,321 people, or 17,416 fewer than in 2009, according to a report released by Nashville-based LifeWay Research. This marks the eighth time in 10 years that baptisms have declined and the lowest number of baptisms since the 1950s.
Land, of course, knows this, but he also knows that gullible “reporters” who eagerly gobble up every bit of spin they’re handed won’t bother to check anything they’re told — least of all the title of the person they’re quoting.
The idea that we can somehow bring back the glorious Bush years (for political journalists, at least), where the players were easily cast and the narrative was pre-scripted is ludicrous. Casting Rick Perry in the role of George W. Bush may make the media’s job easier, but it doesn’t reflect reality in any way. For one thing, people still hate George W. Bush, in case you haven’t noticed.
I just fail to see any national hunger for a Rick Perry to take the national stage, outside our lazy punditry desperate for a familiar narrative in these uncertain times. Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time the media forced an unwanted entity on the American people — there’s the Original George W. Bush, the Iraq War, the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump … oh I could go on — but I’ll be shocked if Rick Perry actually a) runs for president, and b) actually wins the nomination.
Addendum: I don’t know why this post got labeled “Housekeeping.” In fact, I don’t understand WordPress “tags” and “categories” at all. Another thing I think Blogger does a thousand gazillion times better.