In a shocking move that stunned Democratic and Republican leaders in Texas, Rick Perry today renounced the Republican Party's deeply anti-humanist agenda and called on his fellow partisans to behave more in line with the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.
According to sources, Rick Perry emerged from Palm Sunday services at Lake Hills Church and was immediately struck with a profound realization that in his tenure as Governor he had done immense and decidedly unchristian harm to the people of Texas. The Governor vowed to change course and immediately begin implementing policies more in line with the teachings of the faith that he previously manipulated for political purposes.
Perry made a lengthy statement explaining his decision on the steps of the Capitol today, the text of which is below.
Statement by Gov. Perry Denouncing His Legacy and Vowing to Follow Teachings of Jesus
Gov. Perry today issued the following statement regarding his legislative legacy as Texas's longest serving governor:
"Today, on Palm Sunday, we celebrate the final stages of Jesus's life on earth and his entry into Jerusalem, where he would be crucified and rise from the dead, in fulfillment with the core tenets of our Christian faith. As I reflected on the life of Jesus in the pews this morning, I was overcome with a sense of grief and anguish for the suffering I have perpetuated on the people of Texas, all in the hopes of achieving short-sighted partisan political victories.
"The Bible says that in our moment of final judgment, Jesus will welcome into the kingdom of heaven those who gave food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and comfort to the sick and imprisoned. And to those who did not follow these basic teachings, Jesus said,
"For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
"In my unrelenting pursuit of power within the right wing of the modern-day Republican Party, I have turned away from this path of righteousness, and perpetuated partisan punishment on the least of us here in Texas. Just look at the legacy of my 11 years in office:
- 15.6% of Texans are on food stamps -- we have seen the highest rate of increase of food insecurity in the nation here in Texas. And yet I have spoken out against the governmental programs that provide food to keep these Texans alive.
- 25% of Texans are uninsured. We have the highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation. Yet rather than close the gap, I sued the Federal government for trying to implement a law that provides all Americans with the ability to obtain affordable, quality healthcare, even those with pre-existing conditions.
- I refuse to fully fund healthcare for low-income Texans. I signed a budget that slashed Medicaid funding by $10.5 billion this past session and used accounting tricks to hide another $5 billion in costs that will need to be covered in 2013. I also cut provider rates to make it more difficult for doctors to afford to serve those on public health programs.
- Over 300,000 Texas women have lost access to basic health care and family planning services thanks to me. I ended the Medicaid Women's Health Program just to block the main provider of services to the poor, Planned Parenthood, from receiving funds. I also cut $73 million from the state's family planning budget, which provides women with cancer screenings and basic check-ups, and has likely saved thousands of lives in its tenure. Clinics have closed, and odds are Texas will see abortions increase as women cannot access affordable contraceptives.
- I have hoarded $6 billion dollars in the Rainy Day Fund while signing a budget that cut $4 billion from public education. I also cut another $1.3 billion in grants to school districts for early childhood education programs. As a result, many Texas public schools have closed and children have seen the quality of their education diminish.
"If we are going to be pro-life, then we need to respect the sanctity of human life from creation until death -- not merely until birth. We must support policies that allow all of God's creatures to thrive, and maximize their human potential. That means providing the best education, the cleanest air and safest drinking water, and the best access to medical care regardless of socioeconomic status. This philosophy means that our government must work for all of God's people, not just the highest earners or those who can write my campaign the biggest checks.
"I look back on my decade in office, and it's appalling that my mark in the history books of the great state of Texas will be one of using women, children, and the poor, infirm, and elderly as cheap political pawns to score points with the Republican Party.
"I have failed to follow so many of the basic tenets of my Christian faith. Jesus worked as a teacher, and yet I signed a budget that caused 11,000 teachers and 25,000 total school employees to lose their jobs. Jesus's father Joseph was a carpenter, who probably bore more in common with the immigrant workers and migrant day laborers than the Republican members of our Legislature. And yet those very Republicans continue to scapegoat immigrants, with "sanctuary city" bills that will hut public safety and destroy families. Worst of all, I have aligned myself with known hate groups in an effort to politicize religion and use it as a springboard for my failed Presidential campaign.
"I am filled with a deep sorrow and profound regret, and from this day forward, I vow to practice all of the teachings of Jesus, not just those that are politically convenient or expedient. May God continue to bless Texas, in spite of the big mess I've made of things."
Perry told reporters gathered at the press conference that he would be calling an immediate special session to remedy the horrors of the last legislative session, and that effective immediately, Attorney General Greg Abbott was forbidden from suing the federal government until further notice. He apparently also apologized for that whole "redistricting" thing, and was later spotted at Lammes Candies sending a box of pecan turtles to Lloyd Doggett with a hand-written note that --
OMG you guys, just kidding. It is April Fool's Day, after all. We all know that all of this would never, ever happen. Sorry y'all. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!