Prayerapalooza: The Response at Reliant Stadium With Rick Perry and a Packed House

Categories: Texas

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Groovehouse
Governor Rick Perry leads Reliant Stadium in prayer on Saturday morning.
Our country's credit rating was downgraded just less than a day before The Response event at Reliant Stadium opened its doors. The world is scary and getting more so by the day. People are afraid of the future, like we are living in a sci-fi flick, and those that don't know what else to do but look upward, pray. For the rest, they look inward. Options are scarce, you know.

It just so happens that the 30,000 Christians and spirit-minded have a mainline to God and following the lead of Governor Rick Perry, took to Reliant on Saturday to raise their hands to the sky, which was obscured by a closed roof.

Following the instructions I had seen on the Response Web site and its literature, I started fasting on Friday evening after polishing off a man-sized meal from Popeye's. Maybe I would gather some sort of insight from not taking in food for 24 hours, and touch a glimpse of clarity.

Once I got into the stadium Saturday morning, I realized that most of the concession stands were open, and what was a fast for some was just a loose rule for most. People eating stale nachos covered in canned cheese while intermittently praying. I can get behind that.

responsepreotest.jpg
Photo by Groovehouse

Here's my feed from the day's events.

-- I walked on the Reliant grounds around 10 a.m. A group of protesters are set up on Kirby, a few feet away from the media entrance and the Houston Texans weight room. Dr. James Dobson is at the podium talking, but you can barely understand him for the Spanish interpreter speaking behind him. It's like a weird, bizarro echo. People hear the word "prayer" or "America" and cheer.

-- Now it's Bible study time, and out come the worn Bibles in the crowd. Rick Perry is here in an hour, according to the program the media was given upon entry. It's like waiting for the headliner at a rock show.

-- At least twenty thousand here now, according to officials from The Response team. Praise and worship going down now. It's a very multiracial crowd. Black, white, Hispanic. This seems to not be the "white" event it was supposed to be. This is religious and spiritual.

-- There are reporters here from all over the world. I have seen people from The Guardian shooting video with teams from other far-flung places milling around the media room. A freelancer from the Boston Globe and the Atlantic is here, too; he parked next to us in the parking lot. There is a VIP section to the side of the stage, for donors and important worshippers, I assume.

-- The speaker just tried to say traffic was backed up to "the airport." Really? Which airport? Hobby? Bush? Ellington? Is Houston evacuating and we don't know it?

-- Lots of teens look like they were dragged here. Playing on their phones. They look up every now and then to smile or nod. Still, a lot of them are fervently worshipping, with hands held high and eyes sealed shut. One kid is in the corner by the media aisles, singing along to a song about abortion, making hip-hop stances like he's at a Linkin Park show.

-- People praying in the concession lines waiting to get hot dogs and nachos. What was that fasting business about then? It's the worst line I have ever seen at any stadium in town.

-- Members of the Texans are working out in their weight room, which you look into as you walk in the bowels of Reliant. They don't care what's going on. Eric Winston is doing lunges with small cars.


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NRG Stadium

2 Reliant Park, Houston, TX

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63 comments
Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

I was going to carry a sign saying "Perry for Antichrist" but it was too hot and the people at the rally wouldn't have gotten it anyway. I used to go to revivals when I was a teenager because a good hellfire preacher could really get the girls horny, but they had a disconcerting habit of wanting to do it without protection so I quit. Who needs another generation of Bible-thumping pinheads? Ever noticed how these people are so "love" oriented until somebody questions their beliefs? Then the knives come out...

Guest
Guest

~Whew!~ I'm glad they're gone. The lines at the glory holes around town were un-freakin-bearable all weekend!

H_e_x
H_e_x

http://tpcmagazine.org/article..."And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray in public places to be seen by others… But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your heavenly parent, who is unseen." (Matthew 6:5-6)"God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matthew 5:45)Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism." (Acts 10:34)"I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me… Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!" (Amos 5:21-24)

Guest
Guest

AFA wants people to boycott Home Depot for sponsoring homosexual events. AFA says until The Home Depot agrees to remain neutral in the culture war, and stop supporting homosexual events, to boycott their stores.When will AFA remain neutral and stop supporting NON homosexual events? I boycott AFA morons and am spreading the word as such. Look into your own selves - people like AFA are more deviant and disgusting that any homosexual, straight, pervert and molester.

ChurchAndState
ChurchAndState

Where did the loss of understanding the concept of "separation of church and state" go?

Dudley "Booger" Dawson
Dudley "Booger" Dawson

Pray to Cthulhu!! He is the only way!  Give him your soul and he may not eat you when the world ends!

LULZSecular
LULZSecular

The US was founded on Christian principles? Really? Christianity had been around for almost 2000 years and they finally figured out that Christianity meant Democracy?

Follower_of_Christ
Follower_of_Christ

The only agenda for this event was to stand up for Jesus Christ and to get together as ONE church. Fasting is by choice and not a requirement. Christianity is not a religion but a way of life... a personal decision to follow Christ and be Christ-like. It does not mean that we have to be perfect as Christians but it does mean to stand up for what we believe in and to serve our God. Just like we are all different... we serve God differently... we worship differently... we pray differently... we fast differently... but the main thing is that we honor God when we do it. People playing with their phones, eating, or doing other things during the event... who cares? You don't know exactly what they are doing... and that's their thing. You can't be concerned about what others do... you are there for your own purpose. It's so sad to see all of the sarcastic and negative remarks but that is how this world operates. I pray for every person on here who hasn't accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour that one day they will... because one day EVERY knee shall bow and every tongue will confess to God as it says in Romans 14:11. If you doubt this even for a second... ask God to reveal Himself to you and He will.

Collins4him
Collins4him

The Response was the most awesome event I have been to in a long time and every state needs to follow suit. We need Gods guidance and direction. We need God back up front in America!!!

H. Armitage
H. Armitage

I was there, and truly, a good time was had by all.

Um, although... did anyone else find it weird at all when Governor Perry screamed "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!", then sacrificed  all those puppies? 

eudemonist
eudemonist

Good review, Craig.  Seems pretty well balanced to me (although I will point out that fasting was obviously a suggestion, rather than a requirement, hence the nachos).  Thanks for objective coverage!  Glad they sent you.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Looks like a campaign rally to me. Jesus was just a pretense.

Schwarzestiefel
Schwarzestiefel

Lakewood Church - remember them?  Don't they have more people packed in every Sunday at their huge stadium than this rally did? What a kerfuffle over nothing special.  There are stadium churches with charasmatics and rock bands and sound and light shows all over the USA and parts of South America.  So what?  

Elgreco54
Elgreco54

The world's most developed countries are getting less religious and more rational, while we in the States embrace a bronze-age solution to our problems. Very nice.

JEREMIAH 4:18
JEREMIAH 4:18

CLEARLY RICK PERRY AND FOCUS ON THE FAMILY HAVE ANGERED OUR GOD WITH THEIR PRIDEFUL AND ATTENTION SEEKING SPECTACLE!!!MATTHEW 6:5

THEY HAVE ANGERED OUR GOD BY THEIR HAND WAVING AND SONGS ABOUT ABORTION!!!!MATTHEW 7:22

THEY HAVE ANGERED OUR GOD WITH THEIR CRUEL JUDGEMENTS OF OTHERS!!!!MATTHEW 7:1

IT'S 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE AND NO RAIN IN SIGHT!!! COINCIDENCE??? I DON'T THINK SO!!!

Emerald Princess
Emerald Princess

It is clear you have a negative slant from the beginning.  Who, besides you thought this would be a "white" event?  I am a Christ follower, and people like you think that means "perfect".  I am by no means perfect.  While I no longer smoke, I did once and I knew Jesus.  I also knew Jesus and had an abortion.  People who criticise others for being homsosexual, addicts, pedophiles, etc. are simply imperfect whether Christ followers are not.  Christ followers are supposed to strive to be like Him, but He recognized that it would take much cleansing to be like Him.  Do I believe it is wrong to have sex with a member of the same sex?  Yes, just as much as I bleieve it is wrong to lie, commit adultery, or over eat.  I personally do my best to focus on my OWN issues, and strive to make my life like Christs.  Just because some, perhaps many "Christians" say and do things that are not Christ like, doesn't mean we are not trying to be like him.  The homosexuals, addicts, and others who complain about us, are no better or different.  They too have their own wrong thinking.  Some of them hate, some of them lie, some of them steal. I am not interested in what they may or may not be doing, or who they are.  I am interested in being the best Christ follower I can be, by loving others, and getting to know Him more.  By doing that, I will be changed. I don't know what Perry's motive are/were, but I kow this Country is in bad shape, and praying to the God because we desire to change canot be a bad thing.  I would love for you to come to Austin, Texas.  I would love for you to come to my church.  I would love to have you as a guest in my home.

Jim
Jim

It is sad

 that a rally for Christianity gets morenegative coverage than a gay pride parade. Heaven help us.

ArgieBargie
ArgieBargie

Not directly. It was sponsored by the American Family Association (AFA), which is widely-known in the civilized world as a hate group.

ArgieBargie
ArgieBargie

"Thank you for calling God. All of our representatives are busy assisting other hypocritical religious zealots. Please continue to hold and our next available representative will be right with you..."

Richard Crawford
Richard Crawford

"-- Dr. Tony Evans is from Dallas, and he's using great football, highway analogies. There goes a Wizard Of Oz reference. He's wearing a lot of gold for a pastor too."The line above is from the article, too bad they don't share any of the analogies, also what is up with the last statement? Like pastors can't wear gold or is there a certain amount where it's ok and more that that is not? It's obvious the writer knows nothing about Tony Evans or the ministry of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, if  he did he might rethink his last statement. Of course the media only wants to concentrate on Rick Perry whereas most of the people there did not go there to listen to Perry.  Yes folks,  the media is biased because many times when it comes to Christianity and by Christianity I mean the kind where it affects every part of your life and you don't just identify as a Christian and go to church on holidays but instead have an active life in the service of Christ, the media is clueless.  

tab1063
tab1063

Craig, I am so sorry you had to only report any negativity that you saw today but I feel overall this was a wonderful thing!  I am not sure if you are a Christian or not but I will say a prayer for you.  You may have thought you got some laughs but it was at our Lord's expense, you may need to be a little worried about that.  You might want to repent.  The bottom line is this country DOES need an awakening!  If you are familiar at all with the Old Testiment you might see a pattern here in this country because of our "turning away from God".  It didn't end so well for the nations of the Old Testiment.  I pray that the Lord will revive our hearts and hear our cries to heal this nation!  May God Bless you..

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

And I think Perry already has the job of Antichrist.

Guest
Guest

According to Perry...he says the separation of church and state just 'isn't for him'. I loving hating Rick Perry...So Goddamn much. I hope he shoots his balls off with his gun while he's jogging. Not hope, pray.

AC
AC

"You can't be concerned about what others do.."

Too bad none of you "christians" follow this advice

GWEST
GWEST

YOUR MOMMA bows on her... no, no, dammit. This is all wrong. You're making this way  too easy. I'll be in my trailer.

chef504
chef504

You really need to get out more. We need god, any god, like a boat needs a hole in the bottom. Religion should stay a hobby, and not become such a big issue. Never should it become a Government issue. 

Gwest
Gwest

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh YOUR MOMMA R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

GWEST
GWEST

YOUR MOMMA is pretty well balanced to you!!!!

chef504
chef504

You knew christ? You are either a vampire or some other type of immortal creature. I have no problem with people trying to be like christ as long as all those people are crucified at the age of 33. If they rise again than I will admit they are on to something. I do not expect to be surprised by their rising just relieved by their absence. 

Maggie_May
Maggie_May

The writer probably was expecting a Whites Only event because he's confusing the people  running The Response with the Tea Partiers--that glaringly pale group who only started talking about Fiscal Responsibility after Their Boy--who started two wars & cut taxes--was replaced by a (sort of) Black President. 

So, points to the folks at Reliant for not being 100% racist. But studying the background of some of the sponsors shows considerable prejudice against all non-Christian religions & some of the Christians ones. And against homosexuals--like Our Mayor. Who took the high road & didn't criticize this group, meeting in the middle of our very diverse city.

Guest
Guest

so, it would've be perfect if it were a white event?

H_e_x
H_e_x

Maybe because gays don't say Christians are going to burn in hell for eternity.

chef504
chef504

I am glad that christianity affects all aspects of yalls lives. I am just very fucking tired of it effecting any aspect of my life. Why is it so hard for you people to just do your little hobby in private? There are more people in the Hindu religion than any other, and they seem to have found a way to not be so goddamn irritating and pushy. If you folks think you have some secret that must be told to folks you don't.  

John
John

I think that when people hear certain 'leaders' speak about sacrifice, giving, being charitable, that it doesn't mesh well with bling.  Is that really that hard to understand or come up with on your own?

H_e_x
H_e_x

Must be hard being in the majority religion.And pastors weeing gold is fucked up. Where in the Bible did Jesus wear large amounts of gold? I could have sworn he preached the complete opposite, which was to give all the crap up.

tab1063
tab1063

Great reply Richard!  I agree, the media IS Clueless. 

Katy
Katy

It's odd that you would only see the negative aspects of that story.

It's actually WAY more positive - about diversity of the crowd, the speakers, message, etc. - than I would have expected in the Houston Press, and makes me think of Saturday's events in a more positive light.

I know a conservative Christian can probably look at the article and see one thing, while a liberal anti-Perry type can read it and only see something else - everybody likes to play the victim. But that generally tells you more about the reader than about what is read.

I PRAY that the Lord will take the chip off your shoulder that has blinded you to the plain meaning of the words you read.

Guest
Guest

It's "Testament". Try opening a Bible once in a while.

GWEST
GWEST

YOUR MOMMA will hear our cries to heal this nation!!!

Elwoodgrain
Elwoodgrain

tab. 1 prayer is not going to cut it.you need to say 3.jeans, moobs, and the hair thing. c'mon...

Winchesteracademy
Winchesteracademy

1) There is lots of accurate positivity in this report.  There is also accurate reporting of things that were less than positive.  That is what reporters are supposed to do.  2) Whatever laughs may have been gotten were not at your Lord's expense, and, unless you can show me exactly where Craig makes fun of God, I'm sticking with that claim.  3) This country does need an awakening.  I agree.  Unfortunately, the hard reality of it is that this country *will* end up like every nation of the Old Testiment (sic).  That is what nations do.  Nations fall.  God is a rock.  Empires collapse.  God is a rock.  Societies crumble.  God is a rock.  The United Stated will fade away.  God will be a rock.  The less we confuse our nation with our God, the better off we'll be when the nation cracks.  My suggestion to you is to figure out if you are an American first or a Christian first.  They are *not* the same thing.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

That's cool you think that, because I actually am a conservative. 

Winchesteracademy
Winchesteracademy

I like your spunk, but you're factually wrong.  Hinduism is, even according to the most generous estimates, the 3rd or 4th largest religious group in the world.  Christianity is #1 worldwide (although some researchers claim Islam is larger - either way, both are larger than Hinduism).  Furthermore, there are indeed Hindus who are, to use your phrase, goddamn irritating and pushy.  I commend you to Wikipedia's article about the Babri Masjid controversy, as well as the larger history of the Hindutva movement. 

Also, apostrophes, spelling, affect/effect. 

But again, I like your spunk!

GWEST
GWEST

YOUR MOMMA is what reporters are supposed to do!!

Follower of Christ
Follower of Christ

I attended the prayer and fasting for our nation today and my experience of "The Response" was quite diffent than what the writer perceived. I am really not upset with his article because he has a right to share his opinion. Honestly, for those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, their perception of what occured today is probably pretty much the same. Today was not about Gov. Rick Perry but about coming together and praying in unity for the condition of our country. While this day may be funny to some, it was a day that Jesus Christ was glorified. I am not commenting to condemn anyone for how they feel but I am leaving a comment to say that today was a day that history was truly made and I am so proud to have been a part of it. A day where all men and women came together (regardless of color, race, creed, age, etc) to pray and worship God, Jesus Christ. I am a Christian, a follower of Christ. I am an American, I love my country. One is where I am proud to live, the other is who I am. God bless you!!

tab1063
tab1063

You have Got to be Kidding!??!!  First of all, this country was Founded on Biblical principals.  Christian views are what made our Constitution. We Do need to put God back into the equation of this nation.!  Anything less will be destructive!  Whether or not this country falls is not the main issue.  It's what spiritual shape will we be in when it does?  We are responsible to spread the word of God to as many as we can!  As Christians we don't want to se ANYONE miss out on eternal life!  And as far as your comment that Craig didn't make fun at God's expense you are wrong.   Even though this event was put together by men it was all about God...he was all around today inside the stadium, inside all of the homes and churches that watched via the web so any so called "cute" remarks were at his expense.  If it is targeted at the people there who are filled with the Holy Spirit then it IS aimed at our Lord!  I'm sticking with THIS claim!  It seems you have a very negative attitude!  I believe we are living in the last days of this earth before Jesus' return and we should "step up" our game when it comes to winning the lost souls out there!  This came more clear to me last August when I lost my 18 year old son.  God truly does work our trials and troubles to his good.  Will keep you in my prayers

chef504
chef504

I was unaware that all posts were subject to strict amateur grammatical editing. I was playing with the effect affect for affect. A little word play. I am certain that there are hindu extremists, but the number is far less, than that of other religions. I don't see them holding mass prayerathons, and picketing abortion clinics and rock concerts. I suppose what I am asking Winchesteracademy, is, why the christians feel it so necessary to be so loud, and uppity about their beliefs? Why do they think they are on to something? The christian religion isn't even that old, and uses bits and pieces of older religions, and repackages it and sells it as their own. I just can't wrap my head around trading common sense for faith. It seems like a bad trade. If religion were to get a credit score it would be a bad one. No tangible results in over 2000 years. No direct words from the CEO, "god", in over 2000 years. For some reason, he likes to take a person in private, and tell him his thoughts, desires, and orders. He thinks that's the best way to pass along life or death information. I am glad you enjoy my spunk.           

Guest
Guest

How were the nachos?

god hates you 2
god hates you 2

I am really confused. I was always taught that this country was founded on the basis of people being able to freely choose and follow their own religious beliefs with out being interfered with by the government. And on the principle of separation of Church and State which supports the first idea in that there is no State (government) sanctioned religion that citizens must adhere to. 

And where was God when your son was "lost"? Didn't you pray hard enough? Or maybe your faith isn't as strong as you say it is. Is God punishing you for "his good"? Or maybe your God was trying to get him out of the clutches of a religious nutcase such as yourself...and like a true masochist, you say this was to "his good" as you bend over and ask for more.

bored now
bored now

Definition of PRINCIPAL: most important, consequential, or influential : chief <theprincipal ingredient> <the "christian="" 1.="" a="" and="" as="" behavior="" behavior.let="" belief="" chain="" constituting="" curriculum"="" didn't="" for="" foundation="" fundamental="" governing="" grammar?="" guess="" gunsandtacos...home="" include="" me="" noun="" of="" one's="" or="" personal="" principal="" principal(see2principal)prin·ci·ple="" proposition="" reasoning.2.="" region's principal city1: of,="" relating="" rule="" schooled="" serves="" spelling="" system="" that="" the="" to,="" truth="" with="" ˈprinsəpəl=""></the></theprincipal ingredient>

GWEST
GWEST

YOUR MOMMA really gets aggressive spreading her "agenda"!

Jesus H. Christ, esq.
Jesus H. Christ, esq.

Firstly, I'm sorry for your loss.

However, I don't see where Craig made "cute" of anybody in the article.

What you're saying here is, anyone who is ostensibly engage in a pursuit that they personally deem to be Christian is beyond scrutiny. This, despite however hypocritical ("eating nachos during a fast"), insincere ("this isn't about politics") or hateful ("picking a protestor to punch") they are being when they do it. and since we're "living in the last days", then it's time for the Christians to really get aggressive in spreading their agenda.

Your words here represent EXACTLY the kind of thinking that terrorists engage in. 

Arnoldzgreat
Arnoldzgreat

I like the principles, could do without the dogmas and supernatural stuff though- kinda like that Jefferson guy who is getting less and less room in our TX history books thanks to zealots who believe the founders were religious. What was the reason people left the old world again?...

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