Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Response Rally, Part III (UPDATED)

As the Response rally continued into the afternoon, listeners heard from other political figures in addition to Gov. Rick Perry. In a pre-recorded video for the rally, Florida Gov. Rick Scott thanked Gov. Perry for the Response rally. Unfortunately, my livestream link faltered at that very moment, and Gov. Scott's message was over by the time I reestablished the livestream link.

Next, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas spoke live at the rally, citing the Beatitudes as a guide for believers. He led a prayer asking for forgiveness of hypocrisy, judgmental attitudes, lack of mercy, and other sins, urging believers to be humble and at peace in an unstable world.

At approximately 1:55 p.m. Eastern, controversial preacher John Hagee delivered a prayer and talk, starting with Ephesians 1:15-23. "We confess that we are still a Judeo-Christian nation. We confess that we are still one nation under God," he said, drawing cheers from the audience. Hagee prayed that people leave behind their wicked ways and that the U.S. be healed of its division. Furthermore, he prayed to God to guide lawmakers, the Supreme Court, and the president, pleading that the "cloud of chaos and confusion that engulfs that city may be lifted." Finally, he praised Gov. Rick Perry for his courage in calling for a time of fasting and prayer.

The Response schedule featured a prayer for Israel, and at approximately 2:15 p.m. Eastern, a bearded caucasian man (whose name I did not catch, unfortunately) gave a heartfelt talk on Israel and Christianity. Celebrating Israel as "host nation of all host nations," the man claimed that God made a covenant with Israel, promising to bless all nations of the Earth through Israel. None of the nations of the world received a Messiah except Israel, he reminded listeners, and that messiah went on to become the world's redeemer. He lamented that Jews have been persecuted throughout history in the name of Christ, citing tragedies such as pogroms, exile, and the Holocaust. For these wrongs, he asked God to help the church repent. Afterwards, a procession of people came on stage and prayed for Israel.

Throughout the Response rally, there was a conspicuous lack of overt LGBT-related rhetoric until Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer took the stage. Bickle looked askance at "tolerance" in the churches that is "redefining love," insisting that Jesus alone defines marriage. He also had strong words about non-Christian religions, refusing to acknowledge their validity. (Click here if you're having trouble viewing the video.)

"There's a crisis of truth in the pulpits today in our land that in the name of tolerance, even in the name of love, we are redefining love that's not on God's terms ... All the world religions, they can say what they say. There is no other God besides Jesus ... Jesus alone is the standard of truth. He defines morality. He defines marriage. He defines life. He defines righteousness, and in our allegiance to him, we say what he says."
After a long day observing the Response rally, I decided to sign off early, before the rally concluded. Click here to read parts I and II.

For additional news and commentary, visit the following links.

Los Angeles Times: Rick Perry Offers a Prayer for Obama at the Response rally

RH Reality Check: Kansas Governor Brownback Goes to Texas... To Pray for a U.S. Theocracy

The Wall of Separation: 'Gee, Thanks, but I Have to Wash My Hair": Governors Skip Perry Prayer Rally


  1. Darlin', I'm surprised you lasted as long as you did. What a sacrifice!

    I liked this part: they asked for "forgiveness of hypocrisy, judgemental attitudes, lack of mercy, and other sins." It's good to know the errors of your ways.

  2. Nance -- It's good advice for that audience, for sure. :D

  3. I wonder how well this sort of thing will translate onto the national stage? Will it come back to haunt Perry in New Hampshire?

  4. I don't know how you sat through all that. Just the videos you posted made me cringe. Maybe it's because I'm so newly removed from it, but I couldn't possibly have listened to all of that. I bow to your superior fortitude!

    The thing that frightens me is that while spending copious amounts of time praying for humility, judgmental attitudes, lack of mercy and the shed blood of the innocents(aka abortion) throughout the history of mankind when the Jewish/Christian people had the kind of "revival" these people seek there has been some kind of ethnic/religious cleansing.

    And if you are going to pray for forgiveness of these things how can you arrogantly exclude other people at the same time? It's an oxymoron and they can't even see it.

  5. D'Ma -- Ultimately, I don't think the rally was really about humility or repenting for hypocrisy, but about drawing support for Perry from fundamentalists. Excluding others from the Response and beyond is not humble.

    Paul -- It had better! By allying with controversial groups, Perry has alienated progressives, LGBTs, women, etc. If he runs, the Response WILL come back to haunt him.

  6. Yeah, the Religious Right may have a chokehold over the GOP, but not the majority of Republican voters. Totally turns off independents. The best that can be said about this debacle is it makes Perry look completely whacked to normal people.

  7. Cognitive Dissenter -- Very true. By appealing to the Christian right, he has alienated moderates and progressives.


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