Did Sleep Apnea Save This Country?
It appears that undiagnosed sleep apnea may have been a contributing factor in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s famous/infamous moment of cognitive flatulence during a 2011 debate where he could not remember all of the Federal departments that he had proposed for elimination.
Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs when the patient is unable to maintain an open airway during sleep. Breathing stops for several seconds (apnea) resulting in a build up of carbon dioxide that triggers a brief arousal in order to clear the airway. This brief arousal is usually not enough to totally awaken the patient – hence they don’t remember it – but it is enough to disrupt normal sleep patterns. Apnic episodes can occur dozens to hundreds of times a night which is enough to impair short term memory and concentration.
Was his chronic sleep deprivation a factor in Perry’s bizarre tendency to “outsource” his leadership to magical thinking via prayer? In 2011 Perry officially proclaimed 3 days of prayer for rain for the Texas drought. In 2008 he led a mass prayer for economic recovery and prayed for the repeal of ObamaCare and EPA regulations. Well, it certainly didn’t help. The fact that none of Perry’s celestial emails had much of an effect beyond that expected by random chance hasn’t prevented him from recently promoting this amazingly ineffective governing style for all holders of public office.
. . . . this separation of church and state is just false on its face. We have a biblical responsibility to be involved in the public arena proclaiming God’s truth.
And what is God’s truth? Perry does not make this very clear but at least he tells us what the “untruth” is.
Satan runs across the world with his doubt and with his untruths and what have you and one of the untruths out there is driven—is that people of faith should not be involved in the public arena.
What is clear is that Perry does not understand Thomas Jefferson’s metaphor for the establishment clause of the first amendment. There is nothing in the US Constitution or any Federal or state law that restricts or prevents “people of faith” from being elected to office. In fact, Article VI, Paragraph 3 of the US Constitution specifically forbids this in stating “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” It is by the very graces of this separation of church and state that Perry is able to govern by prayer with impunity though he does not appear to appreciate this.
What is also clear is that Perry does understand the extreme irony in proclaiming the dangers of doubt and untruths spread by the Devil while assuming, without bothering to justify, that he himself is immune from being mislead. Given Perry’s line of thought, it is perfectly logical to assume that it is the Devil who is responsible for the idea that the Separation of Church and State is a devilish construct. Certainly even Rick Perry would not suggest that disastrous instances where the Church and state were closely intertwined, such as The Spanish Inquisition, were of divine origin.
Keep in mind that prior to the GOP debates of 2011, Rick Perry was leading the rest of the Republican primary field in the polls by a wide margin. Given his sure to be calamitous style of governing and using Rick Perry logic, it could be surmised that God herself was responsible for Perry’s sleep apnea which resulted in a series of inept debate performances, the premature end of his presidential aspirations, and the avoidance of yet another disastrous Texan Presidency. For this at least I can say, thank God for sleep apnea.