The book Rick Perry wrote less than a year ago has proven to be a valuable source of information about the governor’s worldview, but as Time‘s Mark Benjamin notes today, “Fed Up!” wasn’t Perry’s first work as a published author.

[I]n a little-noticed passage in his first book, “On My Honor,” an encomium on the Boy Scouts published in 2008, Perry also drew a parallel between homosexuality and alcoholism. “Even if an alcoholic is powerless over alcohol once it enters his body, he still makes a choice to drink,” he wrote. “And, even if someone is attracted to a person of the same sex, he or she still makes a choice to engage in sexual activity with someone of the same gender.”

In “On My Honor,” Perry also punted on the exact origins of homosexuality. He wrote that he is “no expert on the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate,” but that gays should simply choose abstinence. Perry’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whether he maintains this view.

Drawing a parallel between homosexuality and alcoholism is offensive enough, but I’m especially impressed by Perry’s assertion that gays should choose abstinence. In other words, as far as this Republican presidential candidate is concerned, gay people just shouldn’t have sex — ever. They should simply “make a choice” not to “engage in sexual activity.”

If, on the Crazy-O-Meter, Michele Bachmann calling homosexuality “part of Satan” registers as a 10, Perry’s published argument has to be at least a 9.5.

Greg Sargent asked, “[S]eriously: Does the Rick Perry campaign have any strategy at all to deal with the fact that a whole host of extreme views that almost certainly render him unelectable in a general election are right there in black and white, right under his own byline?”

I really doubt it. Team Perry has tried to argue that Perry’s published sentiments are “not meant to reflect the governor’s current views,” but given that both books were published quite recently — one in 2008, the other in 2010 — the campaign may need a more persuasive line. I haven’t a clue what that line might be.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.