Sometimes you just can’t believe the egregious behavior of certain politicians. No, I’m not talking about Anthony Whiner, er, Weener — and I’m not talking about former California governor the Gropinator’s 13 year old love child. I’m talking about the egregious hypocrisy of Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.
Perry, you may recall, presents himself as religious man. He’s the kind of guy who attends prayer breakfasts where he puts his religious faith on display; he has even opened a national prayer breakfast for governors of U.S. states. But while eating breakfast in our Texas motel this morning, I opened today’s edition of the Amarillo Globe-News and read that Perry gives financial support to his church at a rate lower than even than most Unitarian Universalists (who are the worst contributors to their congregations of any U.S. denomination aside from Catholics). Here’s an excerpt from the AP story:
“The San Antonio Express-News reports the Perry family’s income tax return shows Perry gave $90 to his church in 2007, a year in which he reported an income of more than $1 million….”
Hmmm. If I were his pastor, I think I’d be giving Rick Perry a friendly little phone call right now. However, to be fair, Perry’s giving record was not that bad every year he’s been governor:
“The records from 2000, when Perry became governor, through 2009 show he earned $2.68 million and gave $14,243 to churches and religious organizations, about a half percent.”
In other words, over a ten year period, Perry earned an average of $268,000 a year, and gave an average of $1,424 per year to his church. By comparison, last year I earned about $60,000 and gave about $3000 (or 5%) to my church.
This leads to Harper’s Rule: Politicians may not use Biblical references, nor refer to their “Christian faith,” unless they contribute at least 5% for their income to their church. If a politician breaks this rule, you should shout “Matthew 6:5!” at him or her.