This ad by Rick Perry has been getting a lot of outraged attention and a lot of ridicule:
(For a great round-up of parodies, see here.)
Perry's homophobia--and the fact that he's directing it, specifically, at the men and women who are protecting and sometimes dying for our country--is the obvious and appropriate target for most of the outrage. But I'm equally as offended by his vision of Christianity. Let's take a closer look at what he says: "[Y]ou 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."
In other words, you don't have to be making any effort to lead a Christian life (going to church, wrestling with what's in the Bible, performing works of mercy) to call yourself one. Proof of your Christianity comes from your vague belief in traditional, religious values--which, ideally, someone else should be responsible for teaching. After all, if the principal of your kids' school leads them in prayer and there's a big crèche in front of City Hall, then you don't have to do any religious instruction of your own, much less model a life of faith for your children; you can just rest secure in your own rightthink.
Also, if you're uncomfortable with gay people? That's okay, because it proves you're a Christian! In fact, if you're uncomfortable with anything, that's probably because it's wrong. And wrong in a cosmic, Bible-forbidden kind of way. (Which is why, as I've noted before, so many Christians don't actually read the Bible: they already know that everything they believe is in there.)
According to Rick Perry, being a Christian means being part of a very special and persecuted minority on whom no real demands are ever made.