Saturday, 17 December 2011
No doubt you all have probably watched it--there have been many parodies that have already sprung up from the internet which is unsurprising. On one hand, he holds more conviction than most politicians out there, well, most people out there actually in fact. On the other hand he is a bit peculiar to put it lightly. From the beginning of the Republican race for candidacy, he always been considered as one of the more likely candidates to run for the Elephants which is even more reason perhaps for him to be considered peculiar.
"I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I'll end Obama's war on religion, and I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong; it can make her strong again. I'm Rick Perry, and I approved this message."
I mean, he likely already knew that liberals would hate him for releasing a video like that, but that probably was part of the intention of the video. Gaining strong Southern and the passive middle-voters support for his candidacy for the Republican party, knowing he isn't fighting yet for the more staunch Northern voters. In many ways, I think it's an advertisement that only Republican voters would understand and other people, because they do not understand and feel alienated, would hate on.
I don't think of Rick Perry as foolish, or maybe I feel he is so idiotic that he makes a full circle to become intelligible. He is not foolish, for his argument is multi-layered, and he fits a multitude of ideas into a few sentences. There are two observations from the advertisement that I want to highlight:
1. The advertisement is successful because he mixes religion and politics together which makes it hard to say as a Christian that you disagree with him. What he says about the ideas of Christ about prayer and sexuality is correct, but the consequence from these is that he ascribes a political change, not a spiritual change. In other words, he has mistaken being able to pray in school and gays being able to serve in the military as an indicator of the state of a nation. The two things may be indicators of the state of a nation, but a war on freedoms as opposed to religions. I don't see how a nation is less or more Christian because of the freedom of prayer in schools, faith doesn't hinge on this.
2. Furthermore, the advertisement works because he fails to define "strong". When he says that "Faith is what made America strong" he doesn't really define strong in what sense? Economically? In terms of religion? In terms of morality? In terms of military strength? It's the ambiguity that makes the advert so convincing because I think he implies all of the above strengths. He has made the point that spiritual strength has a direct correlation with the physical strength of a country. You see, he appeals to the patriotism to the American country, as well as the Christian Kingdom and to a lesser degree, faith in materialism as well--these things which combined are a mighty weapon. His weapon is bound together with the bonds of ambiguity and subjectivity. Because by what he is implicitly saying, a reversal into a traditional values would improve an economy and greater prosperity--it is a new cult he has created, and temporary ecstasy and subsequent disappointment would conspire.
What the advertisement is, when it all really boils down, is a collection of slogans. I don't understand Rick Perry and admittedly 30 second advert is hardly enough to go by. I think if we are not careful enough, we can be easily lured into believing in just mere slogans. For all I care, he could be saying "God loves you" and it would be equally meaningless if we don't display love, and we don't search deeper for these truths. In other words, I find less insult in the lack of tact in his advert, but his compacted message. Watching all the debates, all the nominees seem to be just spurting out slogans, of which have no real substance--in fact, that would apply to most politics.
What I would want to see more of is, if he would expound for hours about what is strength and what that would mean in relation to other verses in the Bible like 1 Corinthians 1:27. And, how verses like 2 Chronicles 16:9: "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars" apply to America and modern culture in general.