But verily, yon Richard be a godly man, withal…

No sooner had I posted the earlier Perry video than this one came in, and it truly boggles the mind in its simplicity. In case you have trouble watching it, here’s the script:

Gov. Perry: “When you run for president, you get a bunch of questions about your faith.”

Text: Rick Perry

“People want to know what drives you, how you make decisions.”

“Now some liberals say that faith is a sign of weakness. Well they’re wrong. I think we all need God’s help.”

“America’s greatest leaders have been people of strong faith, strong values. That makes for a strong America.”

“I’m Rick Perry, I’m not ashamed to talk about my faith, and I approve this message.”

Really? That’s it? You spend who knows how many thousands of dollars producing this and getting it aired, you have this golden opportunity to address the entire nation on the subject of God, the universe and everything, the ultimate questions, and that’s what you say? I’m one a them good folks whut believes in the Lord, and not one a them heathen lib’ruls.

That’s it?!?!?

And this is supposed to work for you?

Tell you what, Rick. Go read Matthew 6:5. In fact, read the whole chapter. Run along, now, there’s a good lad…

26 thoughts on “But verily, yon Richard be a godly man, withal…

  1. bud

    It’s a simple-minded ad for a simple-minded audiuence. Perry is trying to tap into the piety of the GOP electorate by branding himself as a man of faith. Indeed, the implication is he’s not a liberal heathen. Nor is he one of those Mormon cultists. Actually it may have some effect. GOP voters these days just seem so very easy to sway.

  2. bud

    Speaking of religion, the church of college football in South Carolina has blown a gasket over the past couple of days. Dabo Swinney has his panties all in a wad over a remark that Steve Spurrier never even said. Talk about you thin skin. Geez man, focus on the next game, not some silly post-game bravado.

  3. Phillip

    Brad, pretty much the entire GOP for the last 30 years has been a repudiation of Matthew 6:5. My favorite part of this Perry ad is “some liberals say that faith is a sign of weakness.” Any examples you care to provide, Rick? There are straw men, and then there are straw men, and that’s a doozy.

  4. Brad

    Thou sayest things are astir at the Grid Temple? Do I hear lamentations, and rending of garments?

    I must pause to give credit to Dave Moniz for coming up with that sobriquet, the “Grid Temple.” Dave had a way…

  5. `Kathryn Fenner

    I’ve never met a single liberal who said faith is a sign of weakness. Puhleeeze. Straw man, much?

  6. Brad

    Well, now, let’s not exaggerate too much in the other direction, either.

    Some liberals are also atheists (so, I suppose are some conservatives), and many, if not most atheists, regard faith by definition as a weakness of the mind, so the statement is factually verifiable to that extent.

    More common would be the liberal who regards public expressions of faith — merely mentioning God in public, without self-congratulatory righteousness — as tacky and unseemly, even a violation (through some bizarre mental gyrations) of the First Amendment.

    So if he had confined himself to that, I at least couldn’t have argued the point.

    What’s wrong here is the grotesquely simplistic division of the universe into “us vs. them.” One sees a lot of that these days, but on seldom sees it done quite this bluntly.

  7. bud

    One sees a lot of that these days, but on seldom sees it done quite this bluntly.

    Have you watched a GOP debate, Fox News or listened to talk radio? This is actually remarkably subtle compared to some stuff that’s thrown out there. Practically anything Rush Limbaugh says is in defense of this very principle. And most Republican candidates make a pilgrimage to the temple of Limbaugh at some time in the campaign season.

  8. `Kathryn Fenner

    I don’t believe most atheists regard faith as a weakness of the mind, either. All atheists do not believe there is a God. The ones I know don’t regard believers as “weak”– indeed, they fear the strength of the true believer–when one is completely convinced one has found the Truth, regardless of any reasoning, one is far more dangerous than weak! The hegemony of fundamentalism here in the Bible Belt, the Catholic Church where it controls things, and any manner of other religious zealotry is not perceived as weak. Ha!

  9. Phillip

    What exaggeration, Brad? “Liberal” is not synonymous with “atheist,” so what atheists may or may not think about faith is irrelevant.* It would be the ultimate in sophistry therefore for Perry (or you) to defend his statement as “factually verifiable.”

  10. David

    Earlier Brad on Rick Perry:

    “But think about that. That’s what one who would be emperor would do”

    And now Brad is saying that Perry finds liberals’ lack of faith disturbing?

  11. Mark Stewart

    Did you really expect more from the guy? He gave it all he’s got, I think. Sadly.

    Plus, he really sets himself off against some of Obama’s finer campaign moments from 2008.

  12. Mab

    Has anybody wondered whether those ‘Oops’ moments were orchestrated? Not that Perry is incapable of being dumb on his own. But think how smart, religiously reserved and moderate Newt will look in comparison to all of this. Has Perry been the fall guy all along? These new age Rs can be some conniving desperados.

  13. `Kathryn Fenner

    Now, Christopher Hitchens thinks the faithful are weak, but then, he thinks everyone who isn’t Christopher Hitchens is weak. Same with Richard Dawkins.

  14. Tim

    The poor fella has to spend all that campaign cash somehow. What else is he gonna say to appeal to those meager few who have not already moved on from his epic fail of a run?

  15. Brad

    Phillip, I didn’t suggest all liberals are atheists. Far from it. While there are superficial moderns who believe otherwise, there are few things more compatible than liberalism (in the broad, global sense of the word) and Christianity.

    I was simply suggesting that he could go out and find examples to support the premise. It would be anecdotal, but it would be a form of support. If people who are liberals do indeed think believers are weak, then the statement can be supported, even though one could find many examples that dispute it.

    Note in particular that he said “some liberals.” That’s what makes the statement defensible on grounds of truth, even if what he’s doing with it is abominable.

    If I said “Some liberals believe the moon landings were an elaborate hoax,” I could probably support it if you gave me enough time to hunt down some examples that fit my hypothesis.

    Of course, a lot of liberals, upon reading that last statement, are immediately thinking “It’s more likely that you’ll find conservatives who think that.” Which is putting people into derogatory boxes in much the same manner as Perry suggesting that liberals are anti-faith.

  16. Brad

    And yes, Kathryn, I was thinking of the sort of thing Hitchens would say, and to a lesser extent Dawkins. They are the most influential atheists of our time, so I don’t think I’m maligning anyone to suggest that, as I said, “many, if not most atheists, regard faith by definition as a weakness of the mind.”

    Perhaps I pushed it a tad with “if not most,” but think about it: If you were a convinced atheist, would you not regard faith as a weakness? It would seem to follow. But I admit I was extrapolating there.

    I like your characterization, “he thinks everyone who isn’t Christopher Hitchens is weak.” Indeed. He can be way harsh on pretty much anybody. But I enjoy reading him from time to time.

  17. Scout

    I have never understood the notion that the liberal mindset is anti-faith. But my opinion is colored by my own inclinations since I am moderately liberal and also have a strong faith. Seems to me that both liberalism and faith often (see, I can do it too) do not shy away from dealing with the complexities of life, which is not what I would consider weak. If weakness is defined as doing the easier thing, then Perry’s mindset in this ad, which could possibly be characterized as – “call it bad instead of try to understand it” seems pretty much to me like the weaker way.

  18. `Kathryn Fenner

    Hitchens and Dawkins are probably the most vocal advocates for atheism, but I bet they are hardly the most influential atheists. I believe studies show that atheists and people of faith are indistinguishable across pretty much all measures, so….

  19. Karen McLeod

    People like Gov. Perry are the reasons Dawkins and Hitchens think that Theists are weak in the head. That and there own overweening intellectual pride.

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