Separation of Brain and State

From El Paso Times:

HOUSTON — Spotlights shined on a stage that seemed set for a massive rock concert.

Three 18-by-24-foot projection screens allowed an estimated 30,000 people to watch and pray, sometimes on their knees, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other speakers took the stage and called on God to lead “a nation in crisis.”

Attendees at The Response, a Christian prayer event and brainchild of Perry, at times appeared as if they were at a rock performance: raising their arms in the air, weeping and singing along to lyrics that included “God end abortion.”

And, like a rock star, Perry, 61, beamed as he twice walked on stage to adoring fans or, in this case, the conservative Christians he eagerly hopes to woo as he weighs his national political aspirations.

Original painting (Dinner at Emmaus by Caravaggio)
(Click on image for larger version)

Participants at the specifically Christian prayer event filled less than half of Houston’s 71,500-seat Reliant Stadium but gave Perry the platform he sought to talk about his love of country and God. He also spoke to about 1,300 religious groups that were streaming the event live in their communities, saying the only thing participants loved more than the United States was “the living Christ.”

Perry, now mulling a run for the Republican nomination for president, had said the event would not be political but he wasted little time in asking God to help guide political leaders, always speaking of “them” and not including himself in the plea for direction.


Perry, a constant critic of Democratic President Barack Obama and Washington politicians, could soon be trying to join their ranks. He is expected to announce as early as this week a campaign for the presidency.


It is unclear how Perry’s involvement in the prayer event will play with voters on a national stage. It sparked support from conservative Christians, while drawing strong opposition from civil rights groups, who said it ignores the separation of church and state, promotes one religion over another and violates the governor’s duty to treat all Texans equally.

By participating in the event, Perry gave an unspoken nod to conservative Christians that, should he run for president, he would be a candidate who shares in their opposition to issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. He talked about a heart that “breaks for America” and said that as God calls for repentance “this day is our response.”


The about $1 million price tag for the prayer day is being paid for through donations to the American Family Association, an event spokesman said. The “pro-family” organization has been criticized by civil rights groups for some of its out-of-mainstream positions and comments. One prominent member of the organization [Bryan Fischer] has suggested that Adolf Hitler was gay and “homosexual thugs” created the Nazi Party.

No expense seemed spared on the event, which called for prayer and fasting.

Perry himself was fasting during the event but had scheduled dinner plans with organizers afterward, spokesman Mark Miner said. Long lines also formed at concession stands that offered hot dogs, nachos and pretzels for participants who chose not to fast.


And, unlike at rock concerts, attendees generally did not leave drenched in sweat as air conditioning blasted through the 1.9-million-square-foot building the day after Perry asked Texans to conserve energy to help minimize power outages.

“Because of the extreme heat that has created an unprecedented demand on the state’s energy grid, and with no relief in sight, all Texas residents and businesses are being asked to conserve electricity,” Perry said in a statement issued Friday.

Perry urged people to conserve energy over the weekend and next week, “especially during the peak hours of 3 to 7 p.m.” His prayer event ran from 8 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, protesters stood on a sun-baked sidewalk outside the stadium waving signs that read: “Hate speech is not Godful,” “Your prayer can’t hide your hate,” “Didn’t a governor put Jesus to death” and “Pastor Perry must resign”


John Hagee, the pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, asked attendees to pray for Perry “who has had the courage, today, to call for this time of fasting and prayer just as Abraham Lincoln did in the darkest days of the Civil War.” [But I don’t recall Lincoln ever calling for secession.Β  But maybe I’ve just forgotten.]

Perry’s invitation to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, congressional and Senate leaders from Texas, and all of the country’s state governors generally fell flat.

The only other governor to attend and speak at the event was Sam Brownback, a Republican from Kansas. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, also a Republican, taped a message that was played at the event, but he was not present.

U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said he did not plan to attend an event that was held simply for Perry’s “own self-serving interest to bolster his national image before running for president.”

“If he is sincere, I hope he prays for the Texas children who will have fewer educational opportunities, the elderly and the poor who will lose access to vital health-care services, and for the rest of us who will have to pay more in local taxes because of his desire to spare the wealthiest from new taxes at the state level,” Reyes said in an email to the El Paso Times.


Filed under abortion, Barack Obama, Christianity, Congress, Democrats, Gay rights, Homophobia, Homosexuality, humor, Jesus, Joe Biden, Painting, parody, politics, religion, Republicans, Sam Brownback, snark, Texas, Wordpress Political Blogs

58 responses to “Separation of Brain and State

  1. sorry so late, kids. it was pouring here all day today, and i’ve had to work between power outages.

  2. Power out between thunderstorms? I suspect you aren’t going to like the name Emily much after this.

    As for Governor Goodhair’s hair, it looks better short. He’s a little too old to wear it that long.

    Finally, posted to Facebook. May you get a bunch of hits.

    • there was no between today. it rains and rains and rains all day long here lately. no extended power outage, just those annoying momentary ones where the surge protector starts beeping. i figured it would be better not to turn the computer on instead of risking it getting fried.

      i think that’s what gov little ricky goodhair’s hair looks like every morning before he plasticizes it.

      thanks for the facebook post, neon vincent. last week’s stats sucked. i’m thinking of taking a couple of days off each week, because i get frustrated when i put in so many hours of work, and just a few people see the posters. maybe i’d finally get my closet reorganized. πŸ˜‰

      • I’ve been reblogging your images a lot lately and including links to them. Then again, I average 50-60 hits to the site per post. Drudge, I ain’t. I’m happy to get 100 hits/day.

        • i know you have, and i can’t tell you enough how much i appreciate it. i really should get a twitter or facebook account for the raisin. can i do that? do you have to give personal information? that’s what i’m trying to avoid.

          • Facebook can be sticklers for real information, which is why I use my real name there. They are also not very forgiving of sockpuppets–should they catch them. However, I know several people who have been able to run sockpuppets there for years with no problems. Mostly, they use them to be their own neighbors in games like Farmville. However, you can create a page for Hysterical Raisins from your personal page and no one who likes the page will be the wiser, as they can’t see the creator unless they’re an admin.

            As for Twitter, that place is pseudonym and sockpuppet central. All you need is a valid email account. Create a throwaway one on GMail or Hotmail and use that.

            • i have a twitter account! i am now HRaisins. the hard part was getting another email account. gmail was not cooperating, and when i put in 2-17-2007 as the birthday (that was the date of the first post here) in a new account, hotmail wanted permission from a parent. i put in my hotmail account, and then it wanted a credit card number so it could charge me 50Β’. screw that! i finally got another email account and signed up with twitter. now i just have to figure out how it works. that will probably take a few months. 😳

              ooh! i think i just sent out my first tweet! i used the button under the post! πŸ˜€

              p.s. i’m following you, neon vincent!!! you’re the first person i’m following! πŸ˜€

  3. Curtis Walker


    • how do they decide when to thank jeebus and when to thank st. ronnie?

      • It’s kind of like the doctrine of the Trinity — you know, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all the same Being? Well, St. Ronnie has been elevated to the same kind of station. He’s another part of the Godhead in political Christendom, so it doesn’t really matter.

  4. elizabeth3hersh

    You can find a copy of Gov’ner Perry’s college transcript here:

    Speechless (I’ll be back once I have recovered).

  5. Spent $1mil (+cost of electricity) for this hootenanny — how many poor people could have been helped with that money– guess these zealots never actually read the bible!
    But I do hope Perry throws his 10 gallon in the ring, imagine him & Bachmann having a holier/crazier-than-thou slugfest…then see their political careers wither in the spotlight of national attention.

    • i hope he throws his hat in the ring, too, because he got an F in phys ed, so he’ll probably give himself a hernia by slinging the hat, and we won’t have to see him for a while.

  6. maggiejean

    Thanks nonnie. There was a Christianist gathering in Houston with the Christ teachings removed. Who are these people?

  7. Perry makes for one ugly Jesus. 😯

  8. So the King of Texas had his little do. Does His Hindass realize the divine punishment of heat and drought is brought on by his ilk. Like former preacher (now sack of shit) Huckaby doing those awfull TV spots denouncing the ACA. That right Huck, you stand in judgement someday and tell Jesus face to face how much gold your rich buddies have and He will show you all the pain and suffering that was not averted…”That you do unto the least of these, you do unto Me”. He should renounce any affiliation with the believing church and buddy up with slick Rick and fashion a calf of gold so they can worship it……Notice all them there “yellers” are boys? This is the era when a lawsuit had to be pursued to get girls in the band (lest it upset their distinct homosexual tendacies). Aggie jokes–Why did the Aggie marry the sheep?—-had to.

    • i was going to give you a serious answer, but then i read the joke at the end, and i’m laughing too hard to think of anything serious to say! πŸ˜†

  9. elizabeth3hersh

    This co-mingling of religion and politics has me very troubled (even more troubling are Perry’s A&M grades which speaks VOLUMES). Our nation is in dire need of innovation and leaders possessing a modicum of mastery in science and technology (both sorely lacking in the Republican party presidential lineup). Which pains me as I actually subscribe to some of the Teapub charters (balanced budget, living within one’s means and less guv’ment).

    P.S. I love Twitter…I hope you do too nonnie!

    • i think the revival is much scarier than his grades. grades are not always an indication of intelligence. i know people who have gone to law school and passed the bar and are still among the dumbest people i’ve ever known. in little ricky’s case, i think his grades are an indication of his intelligence, but i didn’t need to look at his grades to know that he’s an imbecile. on real time the other night, dr. neil degrasse tyson decried the number of lawyers in congress and the lack of scientists and engineers and other professions. i totally agree with that. that’s why there’s no innovation. how do you get innovation when there are no people who know what they’re talking about?

      i have no idea what the hell to do with twitter. so far, i’m thrilled i figured out how to follow neon vincent! πŸ˜†

      • elizabeth3hersh

        My FAVORITE person to follow on Twitter is Neil de Grasse Tyson. I highly recommend following him (Richard Dawkins comes in second)…all quality tweets. I saw the clip on Real Time (Tyson tweeted it!). What I would give for those in academia to run Congress. Now that would be innovation!

        P.S. Twitter just changed their format. You jumped in at the right time. We are all making the adjustment.

        • it’s a shame that, when someone from academia does run, they’ll be labeled as ‘elitist.’ it seems that stupidity is rewarded in much of the country by the same people who have suddenly decided that teachers, firefighters, cops, and other civil servants are the bad guys.

  10. In Christian circles, I wish that the conversation about this event began and ended with Matthew 6:5-6 —

    β€œAnd when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. ”

    Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work that way.

    There is so much wrong with what Perry is doing, it’s sick.

    Whether you come to it from American or Christian principles — those two things he says he loves best — this is wrong in every way.

    • wken, al sharpton just read that passage on tv to criticize gov little ricky goodhair. ain’t that the truth? anyone who has to proclaim his faith that loudly and that publicly is overcompensating. i read that, about 7 miles down the road from little ricky’s revival, 100,000 people showed up at the convention center for free school supplies, immunizations, and food. just imagine if the people that put on the prayerpalooza had spent that money handing out food for the poor and health care for kids. that would have won a lot more votes that the elmer gantry impersonation.

      • Sadly, this crap gets votes in the stupid Evangelical community.

        There is a whole school called Dominionism, which has a lot more support than people think. It relies on people who want to feel Christian but don’t actually read their Bibles. They feel Christian by holding big parties to show how much better they are than other people.

        And they miss the irony completely.

  11. GreenApples

    Sorry I was late getting to this. You know I like to make fun of Goodhair.

    I’ve been avoiding twitter, but just may have to break down. I’ll be interested in how you find it. πŸ˜‰

    • no need for apologies, apples. it’s never too late to make fun of gov little ricky goodhair. so far, i’m totally at sea when it comes to twitter. maybe i’ll figure it out one of these days.

  12. johncerickson

    Well, I’m late to the party again. Not much to add except a second on thoughts of what all that electricity and money wasted, could have done for those less well off. Not to mention hogging the religious limelight as a cheap booster to political glory.
    Of course, there is always my favourite dichotomy of the religious right – claiming to be pro-life yet demanding women have children even if it kills them. But that’s a peeve for another day.
    Stay dry! May Emily find herself a different corner of the world to sog all over.

    • Yeah. Can you imagine how many meals for shut-ins that event could have provided?

      Of course, that promotes dependency, and we all know how many verses Jesus spent ranting about how we shouldn’t let people get used to us helping them survive.

      • johncerickson

        Why, WKEN, are you possibly referring to that great rule, “Do unto others, then split”? Or are you shooting more for that concept of giving your fellow man, down on his luck, a hand up – as in, up and out of that deserted building so the Koch Bros. can put in a new whites-only golf course? πŸ˜€

    • not only the electricity, but the cops who were on traffic duty had to be paid, too. that’s on the taxpayers’ dime.

      it was soggy here before emily, and it will be soggy once she’s gone. it’s rained every day here for weeks. it’s so gray and gloomy outside.

      i just heard that oklahoma has the highest temperatures of any state ever. i wonder what inhofe thinks of that! remember he said that the big blizzard this winter proved that climate change is not true? doesn’t that mean that the highest recorded temps means that global warming is true?

      • johncerickson

        Nope – just a transient. And all those Pacific islands disappearing are doing so because the residents are fat and lazy, and sinking them with their flab. And polar bears aren’t losing their homes, they just keep falling off the ice. And most of eastern Africa starving is just uneducated heathen.
        See how easy life is when you don’t bother with those annoying little facts?

        • gee, you could run for the senate in oklahoma, john! nahhh. you’re lack of teabaggedness would eventually show through. πŸ˜‰

          • johncerickson

            I don’t know, I get a LOT of practice down here in Ohio. After all, I come from Chicago, Michigan – according to one local jeanyus. πŸ˜€

  13. Nice dart board. πŸ˜†

    • i’ve used that gag so many times. i wonder how many times people have actually noticed it. i have the dartboard saved in photoshop, and i have a bunch of interchangeable faces for it, so i don’t have to redo it each time.

  14. The loons are gathering for the future of our national theocracy. Gang! Love you title.

  15. Perry is such a hypocrite. He wants Texas to secede, but then comes running like a squealing pig whenever they want help from the Feds- like the H1n1 outbreak, and the Deep Water oil spill & probably for the drought.
    How strange that he gave the “conserve energy” speech & then blew it off himself. Typical “screw everyone else” then play the god card, GOP mentality.

    • the rethugs want to rewrite all the rules. gov little ricky goodhair wants to secede from they union, and then he comes back and says he wants to lead it. botox batshit bachmann wants to be president (of the unineted states of america), but she thinks she should be able to pick and choose what questions she wants to answer. who goes for a job interview and demands to control what questions will be asked?

  16. LOVE the Caravaggio parody.

    • thanks ahab! i’m really starting to like redoing the old masters’ paintings. not only are they fun to work with, but when i’m looking for a painting to use, i get to see a lot of beautiful art i’ve never seen before.