After the congressman in church, I wasn’t in the most receptive mood a few does later when I was handed a copy of a speech by Texas Governor Rick Perry. An excerpt of the speech that left me perplexed and a little torqued off (but, sadly, completely unsurprised) is this:
On Aug the 6th of this year, 2011, we are going to have a day of prayer and fasting.
And it’s going to be the real deal. It’s not going to be some program where we line up a dozen political figures to come in and talk.
It’s going to be people standing on that stage, projecting and proclaiming Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas .
Let me tell you, that’s a big stadium and there will be a lot of people. But it’s going to send a powerful message across this country!
Our country’s broke.
Well, actually, Washington’s broke; our country’s going to be just fine. But we’ve got to have men and women who are willing to stand up to proclaim the values that this country was based upon.
In 1774, at the Continental Congress when they got together and penned that first document, they talked about “life” and “liberty.” Interestingly, the third thing they talked about was “property.” A couple of years later, when they actually wrote the Declaration, they changed that “property” to “the pursuit of happiness.” I just signed a piece of legislation today, the immanent domain legislation.
I tell people, that “personal property” and the ownership of that personal property is crucial to our way of life. Our founding fathers understood that it was a very important part of the pursuit of happiness. Being able to own things that are your own is one of the things that makes America unique. But I happen to think that it’s in jeopardy.
It’s in jeopardy because of taxes; it’s in jeopardy because of regulation; it’s in jeopardy because of a legal system that’s run amuck. And I think it’s time for us to just hand it over to God and say, “God, You’re going to have to fix this.” (I think it was Herman Cain who stood up the other day and said, “How’s that “Hope and Change” thing working out for you?”)
I think it’s time for us to use our wisdom and our influence and really put it in God’s hands.
That’s what I’m going to do, and I hope you’ll join me. I hope you’ll join us in Houston on the 6th day of August and really start a revival across this country.
Here’s what I want to leave you with. I know from time to time, people will say something like, “There goes Perry. He wants to secede.”
But I love this country.
We’re a special place. We were created by God-fearing individuals who understood those biblical values and how powerful they could be and would be in the future.
In response to this, there’s a part of me that wants to comment upon how interesting it is that politicians are so completely unabashed in shaping their words to utilize the fear of the day — today’s fear being not so much that we’re all being turned into socialists, but that somebody is going to take away all of our toys.
There’s a part of me that wants to quote something from Thomas Merton, off the top of my head something like:
[People] imagine that they can only find themselves by asserting their own desires and ambitions and appetites in a struggle with the rest of the world. They try to become real by imposing themselves on other people, by appropriating for themselves some share of the limited supply of created goods and thus emphasizing the difference between themselves and the other men who have less than they, or nothing at all. They can only conceive of… cutting themselves off from other people and building a barrier of contrast and distinction between themselves and other men. […] I have what you have not. I am what you are not. I have taken what you have failed to take and I have seized what you could never get. Therefore you suffer and I am happy, you are despised and I am praised, you die and I live; you are nothing and I am something. And I am all the more something because you are nothing.
But, I think the simplest thing I want to do is just ask a question about “those biblical values.” Question is, just where is it that Jesus says owning property is a very important part of my happiness?
Do me a favor and email me the reference when you find it, because I’m at a loss here.