Group Sues to Prevent Rick Perry's Prayer Day

perry-finger.jpg
Governor Rick Perry's controversial August 6 gathering in Houston for a "day of prayer" has come under attack from plenty of people since it was announced in June. But, for the first time, one group has decided to take its complaints to court.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit in Houston today seeking to block Perry's involvement with "The Response," to be held August 6 in Reliant Stadium.

The group's Web site says, "The Foundation works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church."

The Foundation sums up its motivation for the lawsuit in its official news release:

Perry's actions as governor give "official recognition" to a devotional event, endorse religion, have no secular rationale, and seek to encourage citizens to pray and nonChristians to convert to Christianity.

These actions violate the Establishment Clause by "giving the appearance that the government prefers evangelical Christian religious beliefs over other religious beliefs and non-beliefs, including by aligning and partnering with the American Family Association, a virulent, discriminatory and evangelical Christian organization known for its intolerance."

Such actions send an impermissible "message that believers in religion are political insiders -- and nonbelievers are political outsiders."

A judge will be appointed within two days and then, let the games begin.



Follow Hair Balls on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNewss
My Voice Nation Help
51 comments
christian
christian

The separation of Church and State will not establish a religion, Gov. Rick Perry is not establishing a religion. Rick Perry is a Christian and is having a meeting ONE prayer meeting with like minded Christian to pray for blessing on our people even those that would try to stop us from this  Jesus commands us to PRAY and I take a offence at those who try to stop me from my rights and freedom to pray and seek the blessing of the all Mighty God on our country  so please quit trying to supress the Christians because you are fear Gov. Rick Perry might be running for the highest office in the land    

B Nuckols, MD
B Nuckols, MD

Preamble to the Constitution of the great, sovereign State of Texas:

Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Oegakid
Oegakid

May the blessings of God Almighty be upon you in Christ Jesus

Sam Rodriguez
Sam Rodriguez

I think it's pretty simple here. As a Person, Elected official and Man of God Perry No one can take away his right to Pray or not Pray. Romney can attend his Mormon Church and Obama can choose not to attend etc. etc.. The Constitution is clear on that as well as stating that no law can be made to promote a specific religion. No law here to attend. Believers and nonbelievers are welcome as long as your plan is not to be disruptive. The Event is sponsored by a Christian Organization so no taxpayer money is used. To say he should pay for his own security is a little silly we need to protect our Governor regardless of where he’s at. In addition anyone that would like to have the right to protest as long it’s done within the lines of the law. I understand if you don’t believe in God (Jesus) why you would think this is silly. I also understand why you would be upset over believers having an event like this. The Bible is clear on this. My Prayers to all involved in these conversations in our Great Country where we have the right to do so.

Omegakid
Omegakid

that is right You are blessed with all the blessing of Christ Jesus keep it up

Keeptexasgreat
Keeptexasgreat

I think it's pretty simple here. As a Person, Elected official and Man of God Perry No one can take away his right to Pray or not Pray. Romney can attend his Mormon Church and Obama can choose not to attend etc. etc.. The Constitution is clear on that as well as stating that no law can be made to promote a specific religion. No law here to attend. Believers and nonbelievers are welcome as long as your plan is not to be disruptive. The Event is sponsored by a Christian Organization so no taxpayer money is used. To say he should pay for his own security is a little silly we need to protect our Governor regardless of where he’s at. In addition anyone that would like to have the right to protest as long it’s done within the lines of the law. I understand if you don’t believe in God (Jesus) why you would think this is silly. I also understand why you would be upset over believers having an event like this. The Bible is clear on this. My Prayers to all involved in these conversations in our Great Country where we have the right to do so.

michelle
michelle

So I count myself as Christianish, but I'm so very annoyed at this ploy.  It sickens me that I am being asked to be "contrite before God" for somehow being party to our nation running away from God, which is for some reaon why bad shit is happening.  I'm pretty sure I did not cause the sub prime morgage crisis.  Pretty sure.

It just seems like the easy way for Rick Perry to seem like he's doing something.  So we vaguely repent and ask God to totally come back cause we're soooo sorry of kicking him out of government?  And that's it? This doesn't even answer the question of WHY the crises we're facing even happened or what a healthy "God sanctioned" government even looks like to him.  But this event makes Rick Perry a hero, and he doesn't even fucking have to address his role in our current predicament.  It's actually kind of genius if you think about it..

Copycat
Copycat

Like Katy said, this idea of invoking God to solve our problems is purely political. He did the same with the drought, proposing that we all pray for rain. Rock on Chief, let's Rain Dance! It's just a way of shifting responsibility, a distraction that's emotionally appealing for some who believe God controls our actions and fate. Apparently we humans aren't responsible for solving our problems and need divine intervention. Sure, it's primitive, but it sells to most Texas voters. It appeals to his base, but won't cut it nationally. Bottom line: Perry has FAITH in his national polit ambition, but not a lot of informed analysis. Let him hang himself with the religious rope....it's the only hope he has and let's hope he gives it length.

Rustylizard
Rustylizard

In response to Governor Perry's statement, "Isn't it just the height of intolerance to say you can't gather together in public and pray to our God?" one might turn to Perry's God to see what he thinks about it. Read what Christ says in Matthew 6 5-6: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." So, Perry, are you a just a vote-pandering, attention seeking hypocrite, as your Lord & Savior seems to imply? You were elected to get a job done. Don't expect a God to do it for you.

Katy
Katy

The guy is running for President and it earns him points with his key demographic if he can say he is being getting beat up by the left because of his deep faith.

This lawsuit falls right into his campaign plans...

chef504
chef504

The Republican Texas Governor wants a day of prayer. Why is anyone surprised, just Look at his title. There is no excuse for an elected official to think it's alright to use a building payed for with tax money to propagate religious piety. The reason people are up in arms is simple, there is a certain national fatigue when it comes to this all too familiar display of disrespect. The argument that if you just are not into it then don't worry, or cry about it, or say shit. What's good for the goose is good for.... well you know the rest. It is very hard to remember anything the christians don't feel obligated to bitch and moan about, and never quietly. One just needs to attend a hard rock concert, an abortion clinic, or even Mardi Gras to see that silence is not the way of the christian. It seems like whenever a group wants to do the same protesting to the christians their response mirrors that of so many others. "If you don't like it then just don't attend." The hypocrisy is almost too much to not feel sorry for our christian brothers and sisters. If Perry wants to pray let him do so and do it the way all religion should be done, without the need for an audience, and without encroaching, and taking such liberties on those not interested in his beliefs. If Perry were a Native American and decided to put on an elaborate rain dance, and asked others to take it seriously what would people think? 

Omegakid
Omegakid

you are the kiding me sir their has ben Christian prayer meetings at the white house school house church house  people houses courtrooms hospitals this is the right of the people to gather togather in a lawfu assimbly  Christians pay taxes just like you sir and we also pray you are healthy happy scure so you can freely speak your mind if you were in another country you would not have the freedom that your Christian for-fathers who established this great country

chef504
chef504

Omegakid, I don't pray, but if I did my first prayer would be that you would be able to put a cohesive sentence together. Are you also a crappy driver that sports an ichthus on your vehicle? The fact that such practices have gone so long unchecked does not mean it is right. You are misunderstanding the point. No one is saying you can't pray, but there is a time and a place, and those places are not ones that are suppose to stand on grounds of neutrality. Let's say another religion were the issue. Lets say said elected official was a shaman. Would it be alright to put costume on and dance and burn things to invoke the sprits? I am certain that all types of religion are represented by tax payers, but then again other religions are not as obnoxious as christianity are they? I have to drive by six flags over religion every day, and each time I can only shake my head in disbelief that such places exist. I speak of Lakewood Church in the old Summit. Ridiculous. Omegakid, why do christians think that they know some sort of secret that they have to tell people and do it so loudly and with such disregard? Also, I have always wondered why, whenever god has something to say he always chooses to do it in private to one person? Strange. I don't think I could even run a kitchen with that sort of logic.        

autumn
autumn

stop, i repeat, stop commenting until you learn how to spell and use grammar and punctuation. you aren't helping your cause.

*kidding *there *been *together *lawful *assembly *secure *fore-fathers

Hill
Hill

Maybe I am missing something, but how does a "Day of Prayer" cost the citizen's of Texas any money?  I thought it was simply a proclamation?  He is just asking/pandering to everyone, of any faith, to come together in prayer.

I am generally pretty vocal about the state pushing religion on people, especially when it comes to schools, but I just don't see the problem with this.

Groups like Freedom From Religion Foundation b1tching about something as minor as this makes them sound like the boy that cries wolf.  Learn to pick your battles.

AC
AC

You don't get to use Reliant Stadium for free. That money is coming from somewhere... could it be... Taxpayers?

Maggie_May
Maggie_May

Perry's promoting The Response on his .gov website; we're paying for that.  Most of the financial backing for the event does come from elsewhere--the most extreme, bigoted groups, hardly representative of most Christians.  People "of any faith" are NOT invited--it's Christians Only.  And Only Some Christians, in fact.  

More information on Perry's Crusade can be found here: https://www.texasobserver.org/...  (In which you learn that Freemasons & Mormons are Demonic & Jezebel runs the Democratic Party.)

ClemmonsS
ClemmonsS

I think Rachel Maddow covered some of the folk who are supporting this, or will be in attendance....fire and brimstone all the way.

navymom
navymom

Sounds like the foundation is "intolerant" of Christians.  If you don't like it, don't attend.  That simple.  No one is being forced to attend this event.  It's voluntary.

HC
HC

Then Dick Perry needs to pay for his own security, instead of the Texas taxpayers paying an unknown sum.  Why is it unknown?  Because Perry got a legislator to slap the secrecy into a bill when newspapers filed an FOIA request to see how much was being spent.  Apparently finding out the sum a year after the trip was made poses a threat to Perry's security in Head-Up-Assland.

sensil
sensil

The charge that the Foundation's lawsuit is intolerant of Christians is not supported by the lawsuit itself, or the Foundation's statements about it. FFRF supports (as it should) everybody's right to meet, organize, pray, whatever suits them, irrespective of religious orientation. What it is not tolerant of (rightly) is government's (and Governors') explicit endorsement of any particular religion or sect.Many of the early Establishment Clause cases were brought by Christian groups to prevent the entanglement of religion and government. Why? Because politicians were abusing the privilege of their elected positions to demagogue in favor of one Christian sect over another. A time-honored and abusive tradition that Governor Perry has knowingly embraced for political purposes.It's in everybody's interest to keep religion and politics separate, as Christian churches have recognized over and over again in lawsuits. The Foundation's act is designed to protect everybody, and be intolerant of none.

danweasel
danweasel

Can I presume you'd be just as live-and-let-live if a Muslim Governor promoted and attended an Islamic prayer day?

Omegakid
Omegakid

because of our Christian for-fathers that where Christians wrote in the Constatution that the goverment of church and state be seprated and could not establish a religion nor hinder one we have Islamic as well as all other religion here in the state so they do and have the wright to

H_e_x
H_e_x

By Christian forefathers I assume you mean Deism. 

Sdfzdsfaf
Sdfzdsfaf

First, you need to learn how to spell...

Second, I'm sure that if a muslim gov. had a muslim-only prayer session where his state tax dollars were used to promote that session, the same christians that perry supports would go ballistic...

Evan
Evan

I can't wait for some other state's governor to have a "Jesus Was A Total Gaylord" rally. What? If you don't like it, don't attend. 

Fiorucci12
Fiorucci12

What if Perry organized a state-sanctioned 'Bible Study Day' that, based on biblical passages, endorsed slavery, retributive justice and child sacrifice?

Could I just not attend because it's not my cup of tea?

H_e_x
H_e_x

Separation of church and state. I don't want my money going to this, nor do I think our governor should waste his time on this. He needs to do his job.

Omegakid
Omegakid

your money is not going to this prayer meeting and  this has nothing to do with the job Gov. Rick Perry is doing.  As Gov. Rick Perry with the help of others have ceated more jobs in Texas than all the rest of the states together so he is doing a real good job people all over the country are moving to Texas  Gov. Me You has the right to geather togeather in a lawful asembly  ie PRAYER MEETING

H_e_x
H_e_x

Like hell my tax dollars aren't going to this. Who do you think is paying for security? Not Perry, that;s for damn sure. He is using government money to pimp and secure this event. He can pray whenever he wants to, as long as it's on his own time and dime. This is nothing more than a blatant attempt at pandering to his evangelical base.

Lkjlk
Lkjlk

Actually, yes, my money is going to pay for this. Perry is spending tax dollars by promoting this on the state website, tax dollars by spending time promoting this instead of doing his job, tax dollars by travelling to the location.

I have no problem with him praying to whomever he wants. I have a problem when an elected official uses tax dollars and a position where he is supposed to represent ALL texans to promote and attend a gathering where only people of a specific religion are welcome, standing next to hate groups and bigots.

He is using his position basically to say that anyone who isn't christian isn't welcomed by his government in his state.

Henryhigginsdr
Henryhigginsdr

No, the state is sanctioning something entirely defenseless: talking to imaginary beings, hoping that they might hear your thoughts and then take action to help you. It's primitive, and has no place in a modern world.

What if he were to declare "Texas' Imaginary Friend Day", and play up the idea that we all have an imaginary friend and that it's ok to talk about him and talk to him.

Omegakid
Omegakid

Jesus Christ is a friend that sticks closer than a brother to you it may not be of importance but to a lot of us Jesus is our life and we as Christians have a great desire to pray for you to be healthy happy have the freedom to be able to chose for yourself  because believe me we are loseing those freedoms fast Praying will not and does not hurt aryone  why do you think any one would be against it

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

I'll simply quote Trey Parker from South Park, who has pretty much mocked every religion out there and wrote "The Book Of Mormon" which is currently sold out for the next two years on Broadway.

"Basically ... out of all the ridiculous religion stories which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous — the silliest one I've ever heard is, 'Yeah ... there's this big giant universe and it's expanding, it's all gonna collapse on itself and we're all just here just 'cause ... just 'cause'. That, to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever."

SewardWm
SewardWm

sorry if science doesn't make you feel warm fuzzies....

Jim C
Jim C

You don't have to believe.  But ridiculing those that do are not helping your cause.  No one is going to stop believing because they're suddenly inspired to want to be more narrow-minded and insulting like you.

Allgrays
Allgrays

science fiction passed as fact.

Carl
Carl

Hi Shazamaglam, Jesus loves you, not imaginary love, but real love. Those who have met Him and have heard His voice are not at the mercy of the speculations of those who have not. We don't believe in tolerating you, we unconditionally love you. Bless you, Carl

autumn
autumn

god, please learn to spell. seriously.

Omegakid
Omegakid

No all Christians are not stupid and it is Gov. Rick Perry's wright to be at any meeting he desires to go to  God bless you for your boldness keep the faith of Christ

Omegakid
Omegakid

The Christian religion teaches us to love are enamys to good and to pray for those that hate us and despitefuly use us  the Bible also teaches that wars come from our own lust infact the words you wrote are deadly [the world would be better off ?] every human is loved by God and as a Christian I pary that each one will live to reac their full potinaul in this life and be filled with love have peace and joy be healthy this is what Jesus died for and teaches to love and forgive each other

Shuneithas
Shuneithas

wouldn't matter if it were Perry or Obama or Lyndon Johnson calling a prayer meeting on behalf of Texas; it would be wrong because it furthers religion, which does more harm than good, and continues to value faith over reason, baseless belief over fact

Jim C
Jim C

oh, I thought the cause was convincing people Perry's overstepped his boundaries.  Thanks for clearing that up for me.  I didn't realize Perry's participation in a religious event meant all Chrsitians are stupid.

Shazamaglam
Shazamaglam

the cause is rationality over superstition....it would take a lot to damage that cause

Jim C
Jim C

again, not helping your cause...

Shazamaglam
Shazamaglam

JimC

The religious are the ones who are narrow-minded: they believe things because their parents taught them to believe these things because their parents told them to believe these things because their parents...

And then they fight wars and pass laws based on these 'truths'. It would be a better world without this stone-age clap-trap.

Evan
Evan

Yay! I love establishment clause cases. However, considering that this was taken up by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and not the ACLU of TX perhaps indicates that either this is a case that they probably won't win, or that they should win it but the local judge will probably rule against them and thus set a precedent that the ACLUTX would prefer not exist. 

Katy
Katy

Hey, Evan. I haven't read the petition, obviously, but how do you think they even have standing?

Evan
Evan

Haha, yeah. That's a funny point. There is generally expanded standing for Establishment Clause matters. A quick search brought up a somewhat helpful article (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mis... that goes into some detail. Generally, it would be impossible to enforce the Establishment Clause if it held to the same standing requirements as other suits. Therefore, there is a broader interpretation of the matter. 

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...