Monday, September 12, 2005

Texas Governor Mum On Offensive Pastor. And Conservative Media Stays Quiet, Too

Texas' Republican governor, Rick Perry, has remained mum after sharing the podium at two get-out-the-vote events with a minister who wondered whether God sent Hurricane Katrina to purify the nation of its sins.

"They have devil worship. They advertise 'Sin City' tours. They celebrate Southern decadence. Girls go wild in New Orleans," Rev. Dwight McKissic, organizing pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, said at meetings last week in San Antonio and Houston of the Texas Restoration Project, which seeks to register 300,000 voters. "Sometimes God does not speak through natural phenomena. This may have nothing to do with God being offended by homosexuality. But possibly it does."

Rather than distance himself from Rev. McKissic, Perry's spokesman, Robert Black, played coy: "The governor does not agree with that. But far be it for the governor to try to divine the will of the Almighty."

And that, in a nutshell, shows us Gov. Perry's priorities. It's more important to keep the religious right happy than to denounce a hateful man of the cloth.

We've seen it before in Republican politics. James Dobson compares embryonic stem cell research to Nazi science, and not a single Republican leader says boo. Pat Robertson suggests that he approves of the assassination of a foreign leader, and the White House fails to condemn the statement.

Black told the Austin American-Statesmen that Perry speaks at hundreds of events annually and "sure doesn't do public critiques of what every speaker says."

But that's just empty conservative spin. No one is asking for Perry to "do public critiques" of every speaker. But how about standing up for -- oh, I don't know -- religious tolerance, or the concept in our Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal"? How about speaking out against the idea of a vengeful, hateful G-d?

Nah, it's easier to play it safe, keep quiet, and reap the benefits of being a "compassionate conservative."


Perry isn't some small-time politician. He's the governor of one of the nation's largest states -- the state that brought us the current president. And, while he's not as high-profile as other Republicans, he certainly is part of the national political scene.

Were Perry a Democrat, I have no doubt that the conservative punditry would blast this story from coast to coast. Instead, it has been met with silence.

Is that because conservatives believe Katrina was a message from G-d against the sinners of the Gulf Coast? I can't believe that's the case. Is it because conservatives are beholden to the religious right? I'm betting that's closer to the truth.

Certainly, in other cases involving questionable, if not offensive comments, the conservative punditry has demanded quick apologies from Democrats.

Consider how the right wing came out in force last year, attacking Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry after comedian Whoopi Goldberg made an off-color joke at President Bush's expense at a Kerry fund-raiser. Or how about the conservative reaction last year after Democratic Presidential Candidate Wesley Clark failed to denounce Michael Moore, who at a Clark rally called President Bush a "deserter"?

This kind of guilt-by-association is great fodder for Rush, Sean and the rest of the gang. James Taranto and Michelle Malkin live for this sort of stuff.

But when it's a fellow conservative who shares the stage with someone offensive? Silence.


Anonymous votesomemore said...

Not surprising, instead of being reprimanded for evangelizing while in uniform, General Boykin is now the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. (Just as it isn’t surprising that despite his public call for the assassination of a foreign head of state, Pat Robertson’s Operation Blessing was one of the first groups to receive taxpayer funds from the President’s Faith-Based Initiative for “relief work” on the Gulf Coast.)

We can’t wiggle out of this, people. Alvin Hawkins states it frankly: “This is a problem we can’t walk away from.” We’re talking about a powerful religious constituency that claims the right to tell us what’s on God’s mind and to decide the laws of the land according to their interpretation of biblical revelation and to enforce those laws on the nation as a whole. For the Bible is not just the foundational text of their faith; it has become the foundational text for a political movement.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous cyclezealot said...

Last I knew N' Orleans was in the Bible Belt.

Too bad the pure of heart majority have to suffer because of the heathen minority..Maybe God is behind global warming and he will send hurricanes towards San Francisco and other godless places.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous aion said...

Paint yourself into a corner

These are all questions that our trusted media should have been asking long long ago.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous lildreamer316 said...

If God were mad at Gays he would have destroyed San Francisco.

JUST KIDDING!! Thought it was funny........

10:12 AM  
Anonymous leesa said...

Seems the French Quarter survived does this fool explain that? I suspect most of the victims were probably Baptists or some such flavor of Christian. How does he explain that?

10:37 AM  
Anonymous karynnj said...

This is despicable - also if it were God taking vengence couldn't it be against a coutry's leaders leading it astray and to add insult to injury doing it in His name?

10:38 AM  
Blogger Chandira said...

"Were Perry a Democrat, I have no doubt that the conservative punditry would blast this story from coast to coast. Instead, it has been met with silence."
I think we're all shell shocked quite honestly. I don't think we can keep up with all the BS...

That response about God punishing people is the most backwards piece of Medieval nonsense in the universe... I can never quite believe my ears when I hear that gross sttupidity from the mouth of somebody with any political clout.. so scary. It's like they'll be seeing if liberals float in the river next..

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Stephen Webster said...

I'm a journalist in North Texas, simply FED UP with how this state is run. I'm officially throwing my hat in support of Kinky Friedman in 2006. Last weekend I had the chance to interview him at a Fort Worth rally. My column, When In Doubt, goes to print Wednesday night.

Take an advance look at the man 60% of Texans say they would vote for ...

(short version) -

(long version) -

Read more about Kinky on

5:00 PM  

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