Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Press and the "Rick Perry" Prayer Rally

Get Religion had a post yesterday looking at the press coverage leading up to this event at Breaking news: Rick Perry prays

I might do another post looking at this from a more Catholic viewpoint depending what the coverage of the aftermath looks like today.

First let me say I sort of disagree and agree with the Get Religion poster. I think because of his potential run for the White House this is sort of a deal to cover. Though because of where I live perhaps I think in some ways the coverage has been overblown in some aspects. As I told someone the other day I was getting really tired of the coverage since you know I don't live in Texas.

Let me focus on this part they highlight from a AP piece:
Openly and deeply religious, Texas Gov. Rick Perry organized what seemed like a slam-dunk event for a politician in a state where religion and politics walk hand in hand: He would fill Houston’s Reliant Stadium with fellow believers in a seven-hour session of Christian atonement by some of the nation’s most conservative preachers, exhorting believers to pray about the nation’s moral decline...

The gathering could give the Texas governor a chance to further demonstrate his bona fides with the Republican Party’s social conservatives, who are being aggressively courted by several candidates already in the race. Others worry a rally of Christian fundamentalism, and one involving several controversial religious organizations, could alienate independent voters and conservatives who are more focused on economic issues...

Of course there is that term "Fundamentalism" thrown out so easily again. However what is "openly and deeply religious". I have no idea why reporters from human interest stories to politics go into this "vague" mode so often as to religion. IF Rick Perry must be the focus of the story can we get more details.

It might be because for the first time I am not actively backing anyone in the GOP primary YET and thus have not checked out all the backgrounds of the people running, but I have no idea what Rick Perry "is"/ Is he a Baptists?, one of those Texas Methodist? one of those unique Texas Church of Christ folks?, a Presbyterian ? some non descriptive Evangelical? Who Knows?

I suppose I can google it ( He is A Methodist it turns out).

So is it because Perry is a practicing adherent from a mainstream "respected by the elite" Faith Community that it's just not sexy to go into his Faith. Had be been lets say a conservative Southern Baptist or Pentecostal would it have been mentioned? I am sure in some pieces it must have been mentioned. But as I said before this nothing strange to me so I am not going out searching for the news of this event. Thus like most people I am just getting news from traditional sources like AP and others that have a national distribution.

Rick Perry seems to be the center of the coverage of many pieces but I come out knowing little about his faith life from reading most of them.

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