‘Strong’ just plain wrong

By Samuel Charles

Oh, Rick Perry. You had everything going for you for a bit there, and then you went and opened your mouth.

The Texas swagger, the “wholesome family values” and who couldn’t love that accent? He’s George W. Bush 2.0. What could be better?

But this past week, Perry’s floundering presidential campaign released a viral video on YouTube, showing Perry strolling up a hill, saying how if he’s elected president, he’ll end Obama’s “war on religion.”

Perry clued the viewers in on exactly what he’s referring to during his mind-numbing 31 seconds on screen.

“You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know 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.” He later added, “And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again.”

Regardless of what your personal religious beliefs may be, it’s important to note a policy that has been all but forgotten in modern American politics: the separation of church and state.

Article Six of the U.S. Constitution states that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

Why is that so hard to grasp?

And let’s not sweep Perry’s blatant homophobia under the rug, either.

Homophobia and discrimination against the LGBTQ community will be something our grandchildren will read about in history books and wonder what we were thinking.

And they should, too. This is one of the most unfairly divisive issues in the history of the country. It’s rooted in misguided religious zealotry and harmful rhetoric aimed at repressing a group of Americans for no good reason.

It is a topic unworthy of dissection and analysis, simply because it is beneath any intelligent person.

Simply put, Perry is not an intelligent person. He’s proven that beyond a shadow of a doubt during the course of the last two months. But, I digress.

One of the most encouraging and re-deeming aspects of Perry’s video—dubiously titled “Strong”—was the reaction it received in different Internet areas.

As of Dec. 9, the video had more than 2.7 million views, and more than 435,000 viewers had rated it. More than 425,000 of those ratings were negative. That should give anyone a little more faith in humanity as a whole.

I must admit, though, when Perry first announced his candidacy, I had him pegged to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.