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Texas Governor As E3 Keynote Speaker Causes Strife 272

Zonk pointed out a post on Joystiq highlighting a recent tantrum thrown by the ESA. Apparently the ESA didn't appreciate the framing GamePolitics chose to use for a story about E3's Keynote speaker and Texas Governor, Rick Perry. GamePolitics continues to call Perry into question as a choice for keynote speaker, saying: "While there are surely many Christians among E3 attendess, there are just as surely many who aren't. Aside from the fact that Perry was a bizarre keynote choice from the get-go, his divisive comments indicate that the ESA should rescind the offer. We have to ask again: why is E3 2008 being politicized? The answer, we suspect, has much to do with embattled ESA boss Michael Gallagher."
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Texas Governor As E3 Keynote Speaker Causes Strife

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  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:19PM (#23644723)
    It seems fair to ask whether GamePolitics is motivated by anti-Christian or anti-religious bigotry in their coverage. There's no information to suggest that the keynote speech was going to have a religious theme or message of any kind.

    A lot of game companies are located in Texas. The governor of Texas seems like he might have some interest in that.

    The ESA is doing a poor job lately and the TX governor seems like a poor choice for an E3 speaker. Most people might suggest someone in the game business instead.

    But none of that is an excuse for bigotry against religious folks in general or any particular religion. What other reason would GamePolitics have for their attack?
  • Re:ESA? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:21PM (#23644743) Homepage
    I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again: Editors really need to learn how to use the <acronym> and <abbr> tags. It would make things so much more convenient.
  • Perry Hater (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mojatt ( 704902 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:25PM (#23644779) Journal
    The only reason Rick Perry is even Governor of Texas is because G.W. Bush was elected Commander in Chief!

    Until recently I lived in Texas with Rick Perry as Governor. Never liked his policies, his political decisions or personal choices on a wide range of topics. Not only that but the guy is a complete buffoon when it comes to technology, he's solely in the position for money and power (the worst type of politician IMO). The guy had to know that GW was going to run for Pres., assuring him the top seat in Texas. Shame, shame on him.
  • by SethJohnson ( 112166 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:38PM (#23644921) Homepage Journal

    Some dipshits who can't see that is nothing new,

    Ok, who were the governors that gave previous keynote speeches at E3?

    You shouldn't be surprised that people on Slashdot would question Perry's credentials for speaking at a video game industry expo. Like President Bush, Perry can't figure out a way to properly archive his emails for longer than a week []. They just don't have the server space, he claims. And this guy grasps technology well enough that he should be treated as an inspired speaker at a video game convention?

    Clearly, his administration could easily sort out how to archive all staff email. They're just claiming technical ignorance while it's convenient for them to obfuscate their communications. When it comes to Perry ramping up a run for the White House, oh, he's a technical genius!

  • by Loopy ( 41728 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:42PM (#23644979) Journal
    Reading the original complaint about Perry giving the keynote, they have these "odd" feelings about the choice because the only thing they can see tying him to the video games industry is Perry's signing of some entertainment-related legislation. Forget about the ESA's mission statement of "serving the business and public affairs needs of companies that publish video and computer games," or that governors have much to do with legislation and other areas that directly affect their state's business and industry. In the end, the complaint seems to focus on some nefarious right-wing sub-plot linked via the ESA chairman having "deep Republican roots, as does Perry."

    Then, in another article, they link the "E3 speaker" to "divisive" comments regarding his belief in non-Christians' path to hell in questions asked of him _on that topic_ way back in 2006, as if those have a particular bearing on anything he might say at E3 2008.

    First mistake: claiming agreement with someone who shared basic beliefs as proof that he'd get up on stage and proselytize. Hate western religion much?

    Second mistake: not researching someone's "quote" because, since it agrees with your bias, it must be true.

    One wonders whether a professed atheist, an Islamic mullah or Wiccan priest, instead of one of those dastardly Republicans, would get the same scrutiny or presumption of bias or other "odd" or "bizarre" feelings.
  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:46PM (#23645015)
    I know this is Slashdot, but it's more interesting to discuss an article like the GamePolitics one if you actually read it. GamePolitics attacked the TX governor on the basis of his religion.
  • Re:So (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:49PM (#23645059)

    How does using one's beliefs to exclude him from an event fall into anything but discrimination? Sounds like the same thing the Christians are always accused of doing.
    Its not his religious beliefs, but rather what statements he makes in regards to them as a public figure. If, for example, I'm white, that doesn't automatically make me racist. but if I talk about how non-whites will go to hell, it would. and it would be the racism, not the white that would exclude me from being an appropriate speaker for an event with both groups.

    In the same way, its not being Christian that is the problem here, but his statements in regards to a good proportion of the people who may attend the keynote and the hell-ward direction he indicates for them.
  • Because there was no other reason for them to otherwise make special note of the religious nature of attendees.

    I've never noticed if my doctor is or is not religious, nor my daughter's crossing guard. I don't know if her teacher is at school either.

    The very fact that they cared enough to call attention to this highly irrelevant detail makes them seem anti-christian at the least, if not completely anti-religion.

    And for those who dare claim religion is somehow relevant, I'd love to know how you believe a Christian governor is a less qualified speaker at such an event than a non-Christian governor would be. Obviously when framed in that context, it isn't relevant at all.

    The fact that this person has nothing to do with the industry is relevant, their knowledge of computing is relevant, but their religious beliefs are completely irrelevant and did not bear mentioning.
  • by mgbastard ( 612419 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:54PM (#23645095)

    Governor Perry is known now as Mr. 39 in Texas. He won the last governor's race, for his third term, in 2006 with only 39% of the popular vote. 61% of Texas Voters don't want him either.

    The election is a plurality, so there is no runoff, no second choicing on the ballot. There were four serious candidates.

  • by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @06:54PM (#23645099)
    What does that have to do with E3 or the ESA? Why would GamePolitics bring it up to attack someone?

    It's completely off topic and not relevant to anything.

    GamePolitics might as well have said the TX governor was fat or had the wrong skin color or some other nonsense that doesn't have anything to do with the subject. But they chose a religion-based attack. Other than bigotry, what might cause someone to make that choice?
  • by Scudsucker ( 17617 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @07:03PM (#23645179) Homepage Journal
    Having a politician give a keynote speech at a gaming convention makes as much sense as a game developer giving the keynote address at a brain surgeon's convention. Or a blues guitarist making a keynote speech at a convention for criminal lawyers. Or Willie Nelson giving a keynote for the DEA.

    I know the governor signed a law to provide incentives to game developers, and sure, let him make a speech at the E3. Knock yourselves out. But to give the keynote address when he's not in the industry makes no goddamn sense, as does your blathering about "discrimination".
  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @07:13PM (#23645269)
    What. Like it or not, Christianity says that non-Christians will go to hell. If you don't believe that then I guess you've got nothing to worry about and his comments shouldn't bother you. It's not like they affect how he administrates his state. That's a tenant of the religion and there are plenty of Christians in office. Would you outlaw that religion?
  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @07:14PM (#23645289)

    I've never noticed if my doctor is or is not religious, nor my daughter's crossing guard. I don't know if her teacher is at school either.
    A key question here is why don't you know about the religious beliefs of these people? And why do you know about the religious beliefs of the Governor?

    Religion is a personal issue. Once you start to make anything private a part of your public life, you invite scrutiny.
  • by ( 1024767 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @07:32PM (#23645471)
    What's wrong with being anti-religion?
  • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @07:39PM (#23645537) Journal

    One wonders whether a professed atheist, an Islamic mullah or Wiccan priest, instead of one of those dastardly Republicans, would get the same scrutiny or presumption of bias or other "odd" or "bizarre" feelings.
    I bet the mullah would if he was speaking at a porn convention. Government intervention in video games is such a hot-button issue, it's no surprise that getting government officials as keynote speakers raises as much ire as eyebrow.

    I think pretty much everyone would much rather both parties just shut up and kept the government out of the games business. On the one hand you've got Democrats like Tipper Gore (needs no introduction) or Hillary, Lieberman, and hell, just about all of the rest of them [] etc. who want a nanny state that tells you what you're permitted to think, say and do; and on the other hand you've got Republicans like Joseph Pitts [] or Mitt Romney [] who want... a nanny state that tells you what you're permitted to think, say and do. (For what it's worth, Perry keeps his mouth shut about however he feels.)

    And of course regardless of who does it, once that nanny state is established, it opens the door for people like the one-and-only (we all hope so dearly) Jack Thompson to come in and really fuck everything up.
  • Christians are Anti-religion. Look at all the people they tell are wrong in their beliefs.
  • by demachina ( 71715 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @07:50PM (#23645667)

    It could be your are seeing backlash from the fact the Republicans have been shoving their Christianity down everyones for a number of years now. Not saying its necessarily right to apply "turn about is fair play", but you can understand why a lot of people have settled in to deep, deep hatred of right wing Republicans who wear their Christianity on their sleeves, and American flags on their lapel, like Perry and Bush. It does seem more than a little odd a gaming convention would choose a lighting rod like that as a keynote, especially since game developers and players probably don't trend toward conservative Republican, nor do they go to a game convention to listen to politician blather especially one as far to one side of the spectrum as Perry. I would say it would be just as odd and inappropriate to have Obama or the Clinton's keynote a convention like this. If you can find a politician who publicly acknowledges being an avid gamer now that might be a great keynoter. I don't think you will find one of any prominence though since gaming has been so demonized I doubt any successful politician would ever admit having played one, let alone being an avid gamer.

    The Republicans have, until recently, been extremely adept at exploiting bigotry to get elected, bigotry against gays, against right to lifers, against opponents of the stupid war in Iraq, against atheists and agnostics, against most religions outside of Christianity and Judaism, against Democrats, against pretty much everyone except white, fundamentalist, pro war Christian Republicans. Bigotry against gays alone pretty much one the 2002 and 2004 elections for the Republicans.

    The Bush administration has been applying all kinds of unconstitutional litmus tests for people serving in the executive branch over the last seven years, and quite blatantly excluding Democrats, gays, and right to lifers for non political jobs, in the Justice department in particular. They nearly destroyed the Justice department by passing over highly qualified applicants from top law schools, using litmus tests, in favor of under qualified, born again Christians from terrible law schools run by Christian universities. Just google Patrick Henry College and you will discover its become a fast track for placing fundamentalist Christians in top positions in the executive branch which kind of smacks of bigotry and discrimination against people of other religions or no religion at all. Just read Patrick Henry's mission statement:

    "The Mission of Patrick Henry College is to prepare Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding. Educating students according to a classical liberal arts curriculum, and training them with apprenticeship methodology, the College provides academically excellent baccalaureate level higher education with a biblical world view."

    If they were just a fringe college it might not matter but the fact is this College has in fact been fast tracking their students in to top positions in the U.S. government. If the Republican's hadn't so completely botched the last seven years, their long term plan was to turn the U.S. government in to a blatantly religious institution, in violation of the separation of church and state, where these people would be using your tax dollars to inflict their religious views on you.
  • Re:So (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bat Country ( 829565 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @07:51PM (#23645675) Homepage

    To the extent to which it applies to a debate such as this, that religion already is "outlawed."

    As are all others.

    The separation of church and state is one of the foundational concepts of the USA, and vocally religious politicians should be raising red flags everywhere - not just at E3.

    Although it's not specifically illegal to be a hate-mongering racist and religious bigot - and a politician at the same time if it doesn't get in the way of his policies - it's still considered to be pretty bad form considering the stated goals [] at the foundation of the USA.

    People who are stridently against the foundational principles of my country are typically not invited to my fucking fondue parties.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @08:20PM (#23645957) Journal
    Which is why I personally think it is hilarious that it is almost always the war mongering,payoff taking,poor screwing,corrupt as hell politicians that claim to be big on Jesus and the bible. Apparently they forget the whole "Love thy neighbor as thyself" bit or the whole "easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God" bit.

    Of course that fact that ANYONE would agree with Hagee who has stated on many occasions that the ultimate goal of Christians should be to help get World War III started to hasten the return of Jesus and that Hitler was doing the work of God just boggles my mind. It just goes to show you a sleazy politician will go wherever the money is no matter who's butt he has to kiss. But that is my 02c,YMMV

  • Re:So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by demachina ( 71715 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @08:57PM (#23646245)

    "It's not like they affect how he administrates his state. That's a tenant of the religion and there are plenty of Christians in office. Would you outlaw that religion?

    No, but it is extremely desirable for politicians holding public office to compartmentalize their religious views and try to keep them private, especially when said views are offensive to many of their constituents. Believe it or not many people dislike it when the person running their state or nation tells them they are going to go to hell for their personal religious views. It is a statement which is a strong indicator of bias, and that the person saying it believes you are an inferior to him because of your personal religious views. Doesn't really matter when its one private citizen holding this view about another. It matters a lot when its the chief law enforcement officer of a state or nation saying it, because that person makes life and death decisions which influence large numbers of people, someone who has a LOT of power over your life. Try being an officer in the U.S. military these days because the deck is stacked against you if you aren't devoutly religious(preferably born again Christian).

    Religious people just don't get it, but separation of church and state, is just as much in their interest as it is of atheists and minority religions. The founding fathers implemented it because many of the people in America fled to America to escape state sponsored religious persecution in Europe. They knew first hand how horrible it was to live in a country where the government favored one religion and persecuted, often brutally, all the others. The Spanish inquisition sucked and it is a logical outcome of letting religious bias permeate government. The only fair and equitable way to avoid state sponsored religious bias is to keep religion out of government all together. The founding fathers did the right thing in separation of church and state, and religious people need to "get" that.

    If people were really religious for the right reasons they would have no problem keeping their religion private. They would realize religion should be something between an individual, their god(s) and maybe the members of their their church. As soon as you start inflicting your religion on others, against their will, you cross a dreadful line where your religion has become a weapon, and not a path for self enlightenment.

    Just curious, how many self proclaimed atheists or agnostics hold high elected office in this country? Very, very few, because they are for all practical purposes precluded from getting elected in this country, they are practically outlawed from holding high public office now. If you want to get elected to any serious political office in this country its a simple fact you are going find Jesus or at least Jehovah, one way or another, even if deep in your heart you don't believe in it. That creates a seed of hypocrisy and dishonesty to self in a lot of politicians that flowers in to a lot of corrupt elected officials.
  • Re:So (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Merusdraconis ( 730732 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @10:27PM (#23646845) Homepage
    The question's more why did they invite a Texas Senator to speak at a video game event anyway.
  • Re:So (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Merusdraconis ( 730732 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @10:29PM (#23646865) Homepage
    "Religious people just don't get it, but separation of church and state, is just as much in their interest as it is of atheists and minority religions."

    I'm not American, but I'm told that the American churches were the ones that lobbied hardest for separation of church and state. The reasoning was that they didn't want some other church coming along and taking over the government.
  • Re:So (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @11:14PM (#23647169) Journal

    Well, my belief system says that you're a douchebag. What, I should have kept that to myself? Huh. I wonder if that advice might apply elsewhere. Funny, eh?
    Funny. Rick Perry's religion says he should pray for you, love you as he loves himself, and treat you the way he wants to be treated. His "belief system also states that he needs to feed the hungry, house the homeless, clothe the poor and NOT screw your wife.

    Your belief system states that you should call people who see things differently than you do "douche-bags."

    I like Rick's belief system better. Or, should say, Rick's belief system allows me to like HIM better.

  • Re:ESA? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @11:26PM (#23647229) Journal
    More seriously, what do Perry's religious views have to do with his validity as a keynote speaker at E3? Unless he decides to go off on a preaching spree, the answer is...NOTHING.
  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @11:34PM (#23647259) Journal

    A key question here is why don't you know about the religious beliefs of these people? And why do you know about the religious beliefs of the Governor?
    Uh, because he's governor and the press follows him around everywhere he goes. The whole point of church is the ol' Meet-&-Greet. Otherwise, we would all just sing hymns in our bedrooms. It's hard to do he "Meet-&-Greet" if you are hiding.

    Religion is a personal issue. Once you start to make anything private a part of your public life, you invite scrutiny.
    Sorry, but like it or not, once you enter politics your religion, like the rest of your private life, falls under public scrutiny.

    The only way for Perry to get around it would be to flat out deny being a Christian, which is kinda forbidden by the religion itself (and not very good for getting elected).
  • by mortonda ( 5175 ) on Tuesday June 03, 2008 @11:45PM (#23647345)

    Why is it that most Christians do their best to jump to conclusions so that they can cry "bigot bigot!"
    It's called a persecution complex, and you should probably replace "most Christians" with "vocal Christians" since they're really two different groups.
    I'd like to add a third category of "real Christians" that actually follow Christ in love and mercy vs people who call themselves Christian but really have no idea how it is supposed to change their life and behavior.

  • by Capitalist Piggy ( 1298699 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @12:04AM (#23647471)

    Kinda scary when people consider forcing people to inject themselves with chemicals "the right thing." Whatever happened to freedom? Silly question..
    How is protecting public health, just like we've been doing for many generations via required immunizations an issue of freedom? This only got brought up and repeated constantly on outlets, such as Fox News, once it was found most cervical cancers were caused by a virus that could be spread via sexual contact.

    This line of thinking reminds me of when conservatives didn't want to fund AIDS research because they thought only fags got AIDS and it was punishment from a god for an evil act. Now look at the state of the AIDS/HIV problem globally.

    It's always a public burden to do research on health issues, or take care of people, that is, until the problems hit your immediate community. Just as with war, people come off their high horses and get down to the reality of a situation when it affects them directly.
  • Re:So (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @12:26AM (#23647573)
    ..then they wouldn't register with the government. Assembly is a legal right under the constitution, you can't stop people from meeting and pooling their resources to do something together. Besides, churches are an _obvious_ boon to communities and provide countless hours of volunteer labor to community projects nation-wide. Which is better for society, a million people watching TV all night or a million people going out and building new parks? It makes sense to give them tax breaks (since under existing law they're nonprofits) and it makes sense to give them special protections so they can peacefully coexist with the secular government.
  • Re:So (Score:2, Insightful)

    by marxmarv ( 30295 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:35AM (#23647915) Homepage

    As an example, "If people were really religious for the right reasons they would have no problem keeping their religion private." is nothing more than you proclaiming that anyone with a religious view should not enjoy public expression.
    Jesus disapproved of the Pharisees because of their adherence to the letter of the law at the cost of the spirit of the law. Jesus also wasn't much one for ostentatious prayer and told people to pray in their closets, not in the streets. Jesus would not approve of the modern-day Pharisee emphasis on being seen enforcing the will of some guy who says he knows what God is thinking.

    Okay, how about: "If people read the Bible and didn't fall into the trap of letting their peers test their piety they would have no problem keeping their religion private."
  • Re:ESA? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:46AM (#23647971)
    There's no reason to think religion will have anything to do with what he talks about. In fact, there's no indication given at all regarding the topic he'll speak on.

    However, if he trots out the extremist right-wing view of gaming, he'd be a perfect keynote speaker since this would point out to those attending that the ESA is the only body of industry solidarity between conservative anti-gaming lobbying, and the politicians. This is critical because big name developers are pulling out left and right from the organization. Perhaps this is a desperate plea for attention by the ESA?

    Even if you disagree with what someone says, you can still learn something. In fact, you might learn more than if you only listen to those that agree with you. Listening carefully to the opposition's rhetoric is a great way to strengthen the effectiveness of counter-arguments. After all, the point isn't to just argue, but to argue effectively. You can just blindly insult someone and make sure they stop thinking and listening immediately, or tear down the foundation of everything they just said and force them to recognize for themselves how foolish their argument looks.

    Maybe they should've asked Jack Thompson?
  • Re:So (Score:3, Insightful)

    by demachina ( 71715 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:50AM (#23647989)
    "What you want is to prohibit people from believing or expressing anything other than that which you think."

    No it means I'm not going to force my religious view or absence there of on anyone else, and I don't want them to force it on me, especially using their position in government to do it. What part do you not get that I don't want someone elected to public office shoving their individual religious choice down my throat using their office to do it. I don't care that they have a religious choice and in their private life they exercise it to the hilt, but when they punch in for work they should leave their religion at home.

    I didn't say politicians can't draw upon their religious beliefs to shape their opinions and outlook. I suggested they should refrain from making public policy overtly and primarily based on their religious views, and they should especially refrain from flaunting their particular religious views in speeches and the like once they take office. It smacks of insincerity and manipulation to hide "use" God when you are pushing public policy on your constituents.

    We can agree to outlaw murder, rape and theft without crutching off religion. If you are inflicting harm on a fellow human being it follows what you are doing should be outlawed, no God required. Abortion is a tougher call, but there is an issue where people should agree to disagree and it should, within reason, be left to individuals to make their choice. If you disapprove of abortion then fine don't do it, but leave other people with different values to make their own decisions. If you disapprove of gay marriage fine, but you should leave people who don't share your views alone if they want a legal basis for a union with the person they choose to spend their life with.
  • Re:So (Score:4, Insightful)

    by demachina ( 71715 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @01:59AM (#23648025)
    You seriously underestimate the impact 10 very public executions a year will have to compel a populace to conform to the religious views of those in power. You don't have to kill everyone who doesn't conform, you just need to make it clear that those who don't run a definite risk of torture and execution. The inquisition was in particular used to ethnically cleanse Spain of Jews, something it did very well.

    You would think Protestant Christians would have enough historical perspective to remember how Rome persecuted Christians and how Catholic monarchs persecuted Protestants to realize it is a fundamentally good thing to have governments which are precluded by law from expressing their religious views as part of their governance.
  • Re:So (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Wednesday June 04, 2008 @02:28AM (#23648147) Homepage Journal
    It also tells him to stone witches and adulterers to death, be a good subject to the king, and a whole lot of other stuff.

    When you only pick out the nice parts, it's not a surprise the whole thing comes out as nice. It isn't. It's a mixed bag. Most importantly, it's got nothing to do with games and since he apparently can't keep it private but has to make it a part of everything he does, it would indeed seem better to have someone speaking about games at a games convention, instead of giving a speech about religion thinly veiled as a gaming speech.

I owe the public nothing. -- J.P. Morgan