Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, doesn’t know who I am, and that’s just fine. Why should he? I am merely one of about 25 million people paying property and school taxes, (there is no State tax in the Lone Star State), and his salary. I don’t begrudge paying state employees, within reason; they are there to run the State, keep the services grinding, promote the area and get the best possible deal for Texans as far as Federal money is concerned.
I don’t believe in Mr. Perry’s politics or frankly, his ethics (I am not big into executing people) and though he purports to abhor big government (what is interfering in a woman’s decision about abortion if not that?) and all the shenanigans that constitute life in DC, I now learn he believes he has a divine calling and that God is guiding him towards running for the top job. No, no, I don’t mean God’s job, I mean the one that demands you live in The White House.
Now that to me is blatant political ambition disguised as sacrifice, lamb in sheep’s clothing sort of thing. I truly don’t mind ambition; it is what America has been built on and someone has to run the country. What I object to is to the blatant attempt to woe to the church-going Right, that vast swathe of Middle America, by intimating he has a direct line to God, which we all know is impossible because none of the networks can figure out exactly how to reach Him.
On a less flippant note, I am always leery of anyone proclaiming such a dependence on divine beliefs, such surety that his or her calling is the one that has the anointed touch. It is a kind of arrogance that I struggle with. Just to even the field it irritates me when sportsmen score the winning run, the deciding goal, the final ace, and immediately kiss the cross gleaming around their neck, or make the sign of the cross over their sweaty body. It seems to be as if God has chosen the man on the other team to lose; which we all know isn’t the case.
This antipathy to bringing God into the equation with regard to public life also seems to be a dangerous lurch toward blurring the edges between state and church. Surely something the Western world seems to be trying hard to stamp out in the countries that pray to a different deity.
Maybe my natural reservations about bringing a divine entity of any persuasion into any political arena has been nurtured by the despots I have seen, and some of whose countries I have lived in, around the world. Their most heinous acts coated in religious zeal, their most outrageous proclamations protected by a fervour seen on city streets in men deluded by high intakes of alcohol and drugs. Neither of which I hasten to add I think to be an issue with our Governor.
And then you have the dilemma created by announcements of other bona fide candidates. Michel Bachman, Herman Cain, Paul Sims have all said they are running because of prompts from above. Conversely Mike Huckabee is not running because God tipped him the wink not to. And then we have the edgy issue of Mormon Mitt (Romney) as would-be president; do we really know much about his god?
Think of all the furore about the current incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, when it was thought by an uneducated, intolerant and parochial segment of the country that he was a closet Muslim. I mean, what makes one man’s god any better than another man’s god?
So if Mr. Perry, or anyone else, really wants to run for president that’s fine by me, but at least have the balls, or cojones as they are known in Texas, to fight for the honour under their own mantle and not under the guise of doing their Christian duty.