Governor Rick Perry’s call for a Christian day of prayer and fasting such as described in the Book of Joel is scheduled for August 6th at Reliant Stadium in Houston. According to Perry, the goal of the prayer meeting is to publicly implore God to guide our nation out of its morass of unprecedented financial ills and political misery. I hope that Governor Perry’s public display of Christianity is not just to manufacture and manipulate a fundamentalist Christian base for his own political gain. I hope the prayer meeting will not become divisive, pitting Perry’s fundamentalist Christian doctrines against other mainstream Christians, or Jews, or Muslims or the beliefs of other Texas voters who don’t share Perry’s political views. The zeal with which Governor Perry publicly thumped his chest when calling upon Americans to dump our nation’s problems into God’s lap reminds me of Carl Sandburg’s poem entitled, “To a Contemporary Bunkshooter.” Sandburg had obviously experienced sincere ministers teaching the word of Jesus and compared that message to staged performances at traveling tent revivals. Remembering one staged revival in particular, Sandburg wrote, “I like a man that’s got nerve and can pull off a great original performance but, you – you’re only a bug-house peddler of second-hand gospel- you’re only shoving out phony imitation of the goods this Jesus wanted free as air and sunlight.” Sandburg went on to say that he didn’t require a lot of gab from bunkshooters mixed with his religion. A politician’s private prayers may not get votes, but they may get responses from God. A politician’s private prayers such as President Lincoln’s invocation of God’s will during the Civil War or even President Jimmy Carters’ repeated self question: “What would Jesus do?” serve useful purposes. But, Perry’s very public display of Christian piousness at this time appears as if he is using religion to spur his political horse out of the gate and into a full gallop for the upcoming Presidential race.
- Linda McNew Chandler
Thankful to be together
OK, so not really. But I did travel to Houston with my sister and pick him up to move back to East Texas. Our brother has been in a boarding home in south Houston for about three years.
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Jacksonville will always be her home
The newsroom is always changing. You never know who is coming, who is going, as so many public officials told me when I first came to the Daily Progress over the summer.
Not just who we are, but who we aspire to be
Rarely in our country's history have non-elected officials had a profound effect on public policy. While rare, it does happen from time to time.
Just Ask Janet: Update on circulation situation at JDP
In keeping with my ongoing commitment to communicate with you about things at the paper, let me update you on our circulation situation.
County budget discussion needs to begin soon
When county commissioners were forming the current fiscal year's budget this past summer, there was a lot of talk.
Silence from LMC can be deafening
Each time there's news about a change at Lon Morris — whether it be the departure of an official or the delay of paychecks — the rumor mill in the area begins to fire up again.
Transparent government a must for JEDCO, city
The concept is simple — those who handle public funds should do so in as open and transparent a manner as possible.
Just Ask Janet: Kudos to the engines behind the hit parade
I went to the Christmas Parade Thursday night, and I am so tickled to tell you that it was wonderful! I say kudos to the Chamber of Commerce and all those who participated in the parade for making this year’s event so much fun.
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