Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for president today.
This recent article from the Texas Tribune describes the circle of radical ultra-fundamentalist Christians who are among Perry's closest supporters and advisers. This group calls itself the New Apostolic Reformation, and they make many of the more familiar far-right Christian fundamentalist groups look almost moderate. They have openly stated their goal to infiltrate government and other social institutions, so that they can impose their radical agenda on the United States. Members believe that they are prophets who have a direct line to God, and have identified Rick Perry as God's choice for the next POTUS.
Having read this article, the prospect of a Rick Perry presidency should be terrifying to anyone who is not a radical conservative Christian, anyone who is Muslim, gay or lesbian, atheist or agnostic, who believes in cultural, intellectual or artistic freedom, who believes that the Bible, as narrowly interpreted by the New Apostolic Reformation, is not the ultimate inerrant rule book for how a country should be run. If you think I'm exaggerating, consider that one of the prominent founding members of this movement, Lou Engle, actually went to Uganda recently to assist those in the government of that country trying to pass a law that would impose the death penalty for homosexuality.
Even many established fundamentalist churches in the US have distanced themselves from this group. The Assemblies of God, a large Pentecostal church, said that the New Apostolic Reformation's creed is a “'deviant teaching' that could rapidly 'become dictatorial, presumptuous, and carnal.'”
I only hope that the larger media sources will pick up on this story. Rick Perry seems committed to working with this extremist group. He is a skilled, intelligent politician who has occupied the highest office in one of the biggest states in the country for more than a decade. It would be a terrible mistake for the left not to take his candidacy for president seriously.