Friday, September 30, 2011

Rick Perry's Biblical Worldview

And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings’ courts. Luke 7:24.

For a man who claims to be of Jesus Christ, Rick Perry enjoys the millionaire lifestyle. According to this article in Politico, Perry loves to live lavishly. Wealthy campaign donors have jet Perry and his family around the world, to luxury hotels and vacation resorts, to concerts and sporting events, while gifting him 22 pairs of cowboy boots, Stetson hats, belt buckles and cuff links.

And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous. Exodus 23:8

One of his donors is a man named Bob Perry, a Texas homebuilder who gave 2.5 million dollars to Governor Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns. What did he get in return? Perry created a government agency for him, The Texas Residential Construction Commission, which exists to restrict lawsuits against builders over defective homes. That’s defective government, and crony capitalist diversion of taxpayer money to the governor’s coffers. And Bob Perry is only one of many cronies. Way to go with the smaller government, Rick! Way to protect the perp while screwing the victim! It’s nice to see that you love the residents of your state the way you want Jesus to love you.

A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue. Proverbs 17:4

During last week’s debate Perry was busted telling a blatant lie. In explaining the executive order he issued mandating the HPV vaccine for young girls, he said: “I got lobbied on this issue. I got lobbied by a 31 year old young lady who had stage four cervical cancer. I spent a lot of time with her. She came by my office. She talked to me about this program.”

The woman’s name was Heather Burcham, and Perry lied. They didn’t meet until after he’d issued the executive order. Way to let the truth set you free, Rick!

Much has been written about Cameron Todd Willingham, the innocent man Perry allowed to be executed for arson and murder in 2004. Time Magazine recently published this excellent account of the story and subsequent coverup. If Perry were truly a merciful Christian, Willingham would be alive today. Perry’s supposed LORD Jesus was the most famous innocent ever executed, so one would suppose that Perry, when considering death penalty cases, would develop a sort of vicarious empathy for potential victims of the same fate. Pontius Pilate was the infamous governor of Judaea who sent Christ to his death. Beforehand Pilate's wife came to him and said: ‘Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.’ Just before Willingham’s execution, renowned arson analyst Gerald Hurst came forward and informed Governor Perry of his conclusion that the fire was not arson, and that Willingham therefore was innocent. If Perry held a truly biblical worldview, he would have regarded the innocence of Christ and not the ignorance of Pilate--in wilfully ignoring those who came to him with the truth--when sending Willingham’s soul to appeal to God for justice.

Ironically, Perry does hold to a biblical worldview on one issue that has him at odds and on the outs with many in his party. Perry is sympathetic to the plight of foreigners, particularly Mexicans, in Texas (which was once part of Mexico).

Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Exodus 23:9

Some Republicans are livid with him for giving in state tuition rates to those who were brought into Texas as children and reared there. If America is all they know, then this is their home and nation too—certainly in God’s eyes—and Perry does right to afford them rights and respect. And yet his stance on undocumented immigrants has many of his fellow conservative 'Christians' worked into a foaming, crazed, hypocritical rage.

Still, Perry remains phony in his faith. Last week, before the debate, Perry gave a speech in Orlando, in which he said: "As a governor who has made a great deal of decisions of consequences over the years, I couldn't have done so without being driven to my knees on many occasions. As I campaign for president (his voice cracks there), I not only ask you for your vote and for your support, I ask you for your prayers. I ask you to pray for our country, I ask you to pray for our president, to give him wisdom, to open his eyes."

To open his eyes? To what? To Perry's interpretation of the scriptures that justifies being a false prophet who leads unprofitable public prayers, and a shedder of innocent blood, a liar and bribe receiver? Being such, it is clearly Perry's blind eyes that need prayers for opening, for it is about such as Perry that Jesus spoke when he said:

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, by hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. Matthew 13:14-15

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Christian Executioner

“You gotta be for life. I mean, how do you get up every morning and look yourself in the mirror and not be for life?” Rick Perry, Feb 3, 2010, speaking as a guest on the TBN program Praise The Lord.

If I could, I would use Perry’s words against him, and ask him: “How do you get up every morning and look yourself in the mirror?”

Perry was speaking about abortion, but life is life--there aren’t degrees thereof. As Rick Perry continues to flaunt his faith while flouting the Word upon which that faith is based, I am going to wield that Word against him. I have already provided biblical proof that he is a hypocrite and a false prophet; now his hands may well be awash with innocent blood.

If Perry were Christian, as he constantly claims, he would pray the scriptures into his heart and rely on them for governing.

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 2 Samuel 23:3.

But Rick Perry is fearlessly unjust. Particularly gruesome is the alacrity with which he imposes capital punishment, and there exists the distinct likelihood that he’s put at least one innocent man to death.

Cameron Todd Willingham was involved in a horrific fire in his home in Corsicana, Texas on December 23, 1991. The blaze killed his three daughters, twins aged one and a two year old. Police and investigators became convinced Willingham had deliberately set the fire and he was eventually convicted of murder. The story is riveting, and I highly recommend reading about the details and the evidence in the excellent article Trial By Fire, by David Grann, which first appeared in The New Yorker, September 7, 2009.

Much like the advances in dna science and crime scene investigation, technology and understanding of arson forensics really took off in the 1990’s, and in the ensuing years quickly disproved and outdated many of the accepted arson investigation techniques and conclusions that were pivotal in convicting Willingham. That coupled with less than credible witnesses and the testimony of ‘experts’ who really were not, placed in this reader's mind anyway, very distinct reasonable doubt.

As I imagined myself in Perry’s shoes considering clemency for Willingham, and turning to Christ for guidance, this scripture came to mind: If ye had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ ye would not have condemned the innocent. Matthew 12:7

With a chill in my spine, I would have turned Willingham over to God, and let him live. With a chill in his heart, Perry turned himself into a god, and put Willingham to death.

There are countless stories of innocent victims executed throughout history. Since 1976 more than 130 people on death row have been exonerated. Inmates being freed after serving many years of long sentences--having had their convictions overturned by dna testing--are now an almost weekly event in this country. In 2000, after thirteen death row exonerations, then governor of Illinois, George Ryan, wisely suspended the death penalty. There are thousands of examples of innocent people who've been wrongly convicted of various crimes, and a Christian ruler would have taken this fact into consideration when weighing the Willingham case.

Another consideration is fiscal. According to the Trial By Fire article, ‘because of the expense of litigation and the appeals process, it costs, on average, $2.3 million to execute a prisoner in Texas—about three times the cost of incarcerating someone for forty years.’ As Perry gouges his state’s budget, by my calculations he has spent over half a billion dollars putting 235 inmates to death over his decade as governor. Do you think God is really pleased that poor children are going hungry and being deprived of education while this ‘pro-life’ hypocrite spends hundreds of millions usurping God's authority by executing men and women, some of whom might well have been innocent--allegedly?

Notwithstanding all these mitigating factors, Perry still chose to have the needleful of poison plunged into Willingham on February 17, 2004. A spokesman for Perry said: “The governor made his decision based on the facts of the case.” Yet that's not where Perry's complicity in this seemingly unjust death ends. It seems there was a coverup.

Just weeks before Willingham’s execution, highly respected scientist and fire investigator Gerald Hurst began to scrutinize the case. He quickly came to realize the conviction was rife with flaws. According to the Trial By Fire article, ‘A Texas prosecutor once told the Chicago Tribune, of Hurst, “If he says it was an arson fire, then it was. If he says it wasn’t, then it wasn’t.”’ Hurst said the Willingham fire wasn’t arson. After reading Hurst’s report on the case, Attorney Barry Scheck said: “The only reasonable conclusion is that the governor’s office and the Board of Pardons and Paroles ignored scientific evidence.”

In 2005 the state of Texas established a commission--Texas Forensic Science Commission--to investigate allegations of misconduct in the fields of forensics. With regard to the Willingham case, they reached out to fire scientist Craig Bayler and asked him to look into it and file an independent report. He came to the same conclusion as Gerald Hurst--that the Willingham fire was not a result of arson. Bayler was scheduled to present his findings to the commission on October 2, 2009. Two days before that, Governor Perry abruptly removed three members of the panel looking into the Willingham fire. Perry then appointed a longtime political ally, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley to replace Sam Bassett as the head of the nine member Texas Forensic Science Commission. Bradley immediately employed a number of underhanded bureaucratic maneuvers to effectively scuttle the investigation by turning it into a political circus. Perry has acted more like someone with something to hide than a Christian yearning to uncover the truth, however ugly. To read more about Perry's role in squashing the commission's efforts, here is an excellent article. There is also a documentary about the Willingham case called: Incendiary: The Willingham Case.

Willingham maintained his innocence to his death. His final words were: “I have been persecuted for twelve years for something I did not do. From God’s dust I came and to dust I will return, so the Earth shall become my throne.”

Every Christian actually familiar with the word of God knows that it is written in scripture: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the LORD. Romans 12:19

Had Perry heeded that scripture, and erred on the side of life, and Willingham were guilty, he would have gotten what he deserved. But if Willingham was innocent, then Perry is guilty, and Willingham’s cries for vengeance will be acknowledged, and Perry will answer.

P.S. Governor Perry, Since the supreme court overruled the death order you signed for Cleve Foster, and he isn't being added to the reaper's harvest tonight, maybe Georgia Governor Nathan Deal could have you over tomorrow for the Troy Davis execution. There's a strong possibility Davis is innocent too.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rick Perry: For Profit Non Prophet

Just before announcing his presidential candidacy, when asked about his popularity being greater around the country than in his home state, Rick Perry responded: “A prophet is generally not loved in their hometown. That’s both biblical and practical.” I imagine that Perry, in his own mind at least, while preparing to take to the national stage, was also comparing himself to Christ when Christ left Galilee to preach to the whole nation of Israel.

Back in April Rick famously called on the public to join him in a prayer for rain to help combat the Texas wildfires. Now, when a true prophet of God prays for rain, God hears and heeds the call. Consider Samuel: So Samuel called unto the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day. 1 Samuel 12:18

There was no answer to Perry’s prayer, only more widespread fire.

Then on August 6, Perry and some of his ‘religious’ friends got together in Houston in ‘a call to prayer for a nation in crisis.’ It was called The Response, and was an event loaded with irony and hypocrisy. Eleven years ago many of these same men and women were on their knees fervently praying in the name of Christ for the election of the ‘Christian’ George Bush. Their prayers then were ‘answered,’ and along with a ‘Christian’ Bush/Cheney administration, they got unjust wars, oil spills, a ravaged economy and high unemployment. Now they’re unhappy with the result of their prayer ‘answered’ a decade ago, and want something else? God must be saying: “What exactly do you want from Me?”

The Response was also sacrilegious, in its shameless disregard of scripture. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matthew 6:5

(Incidentally, that very same day, there was a large gathering of some Christians in Houston, a gathering which Perry helped necessitate.)

The sponsor of The Response was the American Family Association. Among the AFA’s stated objectives is deregulation of the oil industry. What a strange goal for a Christian organization--unless it is not really a Christian organization, but a political/business interest that calls itself Christian for the sake of image and influence and public relations, much like the putting of lipstick on a pig. Even Hitler attempted to co-opt the Church in his persecution of the Jews.

I’d also be very curious as to how Perry would interpret this scripture. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Revelation 11:18

To destroy them which destroy the earth…if not the corporations that rip holes in the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, and poison its pristine waters while setting them on fire, then who? And how do you stand in line for a prophet’s reward while standing with the men and women whose promise is destruction? It is impossible that one receive both.

The answer is the truth, which is that Perry is a false prophet, and a self-proclaimed one at that. They have their reward.

For were he truly a prophet, would Perry really implement massive cuts in the education budget of a state which already hovers near last in the country in education, and do so to preserve and protect subsidies and tax breaks for the aforementioned oil companies, who already report absurdly huge profits? For the scriptures also say: But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled, for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. Mark 7:27

Perry also cut the budget for volunteer firefighters by 75 percent, from 30 million to 7 million. While not accountable for all the fires spreading undeterred, the firefighters certainly would have prevented some of them, which thus far have destroyed five billion dollars in agriculture alone, while consuming five hundred homes and two human lives.

Pay close attention to the fires, Governor, for I daresay you shall taste of them again, and soon enough.

But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say unto the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. Matthew 13:29-30

Why True Christians Abhor Republicans -- Introduction
Part 1 -- The Boehner Letters
Part 2 -- Rick Perry And The Wrath Of God
Part 3 -- Mitt Romney's Truth Is Myth
Part 4 -- Michele Bachmann's Most Dangerous Lie
Part 5 -- Pat Robertson Is A Sodomite
Part 6 -- Paul Ryan's Antichrist Goddess
Part 7 -- Eric Cantor, Dead Man Walking