So, Wait, Rick Perry May Not Speak at The Response? Well, That Seems a Bit ... Odd.

Categories: Politics, Religion
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That's what CNN's reporting, anyhow -- that Rick Perry, who called for that ''day of prayer and fasting" down in Houston on August 6 and has been the face of the franchise, could wind up on the sidelines during The Response at Reliant Stadium. That's according to Eric Bearse, spokesman for the American Family Association, tells the network: "There will be a handful of speakers, in addition to a number of folks leading prayer, plus some time for praise and worship music. Whether the governor will speak has not yet been decided at this point." Oh, really? But who believes what the AFA has to say anyway?

That soundbite comes just as the ACLU of Texas is asking the governor's office -- not to mention seemingly every government agency in Houston -- to see records related to the event; a handful of open-records requests were filed only yesterday to see if there were "tax-payer dollars and other state or local government resources used to promote the prayer event." One week ago, to the day, is when Freedom From Religion Foundation filed its lawsuit insisting the event violates the First Amendment clause separating church and state.

Says Lisa Graybill, legal director of the ACLU of Texas, "We are concerned that Gov. Perry is using public office to endorse a sectarian religious event and to advance specific Christian beliefs. We are seeking information on the degree to which state resources have been or will be used for the planning and promotion of this event and for state officials' participation in it."

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48 comments
David L Grant
David L Grant

How is this "The Response" thing that brain surgeon , Rick Perry, even legal ? Why is there not more news coverage on this maniacal, evangelical fear-mongering nit-wit even have any legitimacy. what about the 1st Amendment ?  what about religious monies being used for political strength and gain not enforced ? WTF ???

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Governor Goodhair realized that his presidential aspirations won't be helped by the YouTube videos of him speaking like a Bible Thumper being seen by moderate people in places like Ohio and Florida that he'd need to carry to win.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

The conservatives say, "Let us PREY!"

Amen.

Dr. Burlough
Dr. Burlough

My favorite Good Hair (Molly Ivins gave him that label) moment was when he called a news conference to deny his wife caught him in the bed at the Governor's Mansion on Super Bowl Sunday with a High State Official he'd appointed.  Official being male.

I'm not kidding.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

"The Response" will do for Ricky what "The Decision" did for LeBron

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

He appears to be distancing from the event - may be another sign that he's running.

The Derelict
The Derelict

scary thought, this televangelist may get elected

Barryguitar
Barryguitar

Why does the ACLU continually come down on the wrong side of History? In violation of their original charter, they have become the vehicle for the Extermination of our civil Liberties. Get this through your head, bitches- We as Americans have the constitutionally protected Right to Prey to and Worship the God of our choice, Wherever we choose, with Whomever we choose. Any attempt to legislate the Free Exercise There-of, is a Direct Violation of the intent and the letter, that creates a Constitutional Crisis. period......They Know there is no public money being used.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

This will bum out the high priced male hookers that have been booked for months.    

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Rick Perry won't need to speak, they're going to put a mulberry bush up on stage, set it on fire and conference call God in directly.

Buckeye
Buckeye

Whoa. Hold on.  No one said anything about fasting.  I'm out.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

are there moderate people in Florida?  They've been on the "whacked out" side of history almost as often as the French.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

One of the many revolving-door Sec of State appointees. The good governor and his missus returned from a Caribbean vacation with her sporting a brand new huge diamond ring coincidentally.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Yeah, batshit crazy evangelical hatespeech doesn't poll too well with the moderates.

david L Grant
david L Grant

Hey guitar man--u may have just answered my question--You myth believing morons intend to "prey" on the less educated.  Or... did you mean pray ? LOL Freudian slip ?

ribbie149
ribbie149

Uh, Barry, if you want the right to prey, I suggest you move to the Sudan or Colombia.  How do you know no public money was used.  Did God tell you?

cp
cp

"Prey and Worship"? Please tell me that was a Freudian slip....

GodHatesBarry
GodHatesBarry

Barry, you should be happy with the ACLU since they backed Fred Phelps's right to free speech.

MattL1
MattL1

WHOA there, easy on the capitalization.  Nobody is trying to legislate this.  The ACLU isn't a legislative body, and they have every right to make sure that tax dollars are being used.  They don't know.  That's why they're asking.  Nobody's saying that an organization can't have a prayer deal/thing.  Some are just making sure that the government isn't sponsoring it.  

Also, it's "pray," not "prey," unless your understanding of religion is VERY different from my own.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Less time talking means more time rockin'

scottindallas
scottindallas

...of Tuscany.  How does someone dis the French when their name hints of Italy?  I'm no fan of Sarkosy, but Burlesconi rates far higher on the "whacked out" scale than the French--though I might put Henri-Levy in there.

Coleman
Coleman

well, there are people who only moderately use meth in florida, if that's what you're talking about...

Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk

Of course, to win in places like Iowa and South Carolina, you have to go far right. Mike Huckabee dissed Perry for supporting Giuliani in 2008, and he used to be a Democrat. That won't attract the Herman Cain crowd. Will be fun to watch Perry flip flop from center to right if he does get in the race.

Barryguitar
Barryguitar

I am encouraged by the fact that every response to my post has been an attack on my typo not on the substance of my point, further illuminating the fact that obfuscation is the only argumentative technique that the Left has. " We are concerned that Gov. Perry is using public office to endorse a sectarian religious event and to advance specific Christian beliefs." He gets to do Just that! His first amendment rights didn't get suspended when he was elected to the Governorship. I didn't use the word Legislate loosely either. That is exactly what the Progressive movement is doing. They are using the Judicial bench to Change the meaning of Laws, circumventing the legislative process in spite of the majority. Where the State, County, Local public funds are spent is already a matter of public record. Fred Phelps and his lot may be assholes but they live under the same protection of free speech you do. The SCOTUS decision is based on good precedence not ACLU endorsement.  Perhaps my typo was freudian, but the same question still looms before you.

Do Americans have the right to pray in the public square to the god of their choosing?Careful how you answer.

Cowtown
Cowtown

As far as my view of most religions, I would say that "prey" is the correct term. As in "preying on ignorant people". I have faith, not religion.

matilda of tuscany
matilda of tuscany

Scott, actually, that is a little bit tongue in cheek, as I give JimS a little grief about always throwing the French under the bus in his articles/blogs.  And I was referring to less modern French history like the Vichy, Indo-China, and the Suez Crisis.

Davi L Grant
Davi L Grant

We have recorded historical history on our side. Not mythological banter that was originally "recorded" by word of mouth and then went from Hebrew/Aramaic, Greek , Latin, german then English. Think their might be just a few transliterations ???

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

You caught it.  I noticed my bad spelling before I posted but kinda liked it so I left it in.  Funny.

G_David
G_David

Not knowing how to spell and capitalize is not a "typo".  Besides, that's a much easier target than your non-existent "substance".

Figgy
Figgy

Your assumption that praying to Jesus or any other god offends me is a misguided assumption and you are only half right that separation of church and state is intended to keep Government out of the affairs of the church.  Separation of church and state goes BOTH WAYS.  It's TRUE intention is to keep church out of state and state out of church. I know you prefer to interpret the first amendment to only support YOUR views as many people use the words from the bible in the same fashion, but our founding fathers created this amendment with wording intended not to confuse those wishing to misinterpret.  The amendment does not say "keep government out of the church".  It is very plane and simple.  Separation of church and state.  Church and State are NOT to be intermingled.  Period.  If you refuse to understand that, there is nothing anyone can say to get you to understand the truth.

For the record...
For the record...

Barry, you incorrectly said that "Where the State, County, Local public funds are spent is already a matter of public record." Not so - the Texas Supreme Court ruled just a few weeks ago that the governor's security personnel expenses are NOT subject to the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. That means the gov can gallivant to the Caribbean or wherever else he chooses, without we the people knowing how much it cost.

That also means we don't know how much - IF ANY - public money is being used to put on this uni-denominational event. (Surely you won't retort that the governor, or any politician, wouldn't try to hide other expenses under the court-protected umbrella of "security.") The ACLU wants to know on behalf of all of us.

Montemalone
Montemalone

self-riotous, whether intentional or not, is correct.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Facts are just like waving a brightly colored cape in front of a stuck bull.You're just gonna piss'em off.

Montemalone
Montemalone

You're just batshit crazy, aren't you?

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Nothing is being restricted.  The event is perfectly legitimate and legal. Any private citizen who wants to attend can.

Perry IS NOT A PRIVATE CITIZEN.  That is the deciding factor here.  This has nothing to do with his affiliation with a church.  It has to do with his promoting this event, headlining the speakers, leading prayers, and possibly using public funds to do so.  That is where the questions come in. 

He made a declaration, specifically acting as Governor, to encourage participation in this. (http://blogs.dallasobserver.co....  He took time from his position as Governor to advocate for this specific religious event.  That fact alone violates the First Amendment:  he is promoting a specific religious view over all others.

Darryl
Darryl

But if you lived in Utah and the Mormon church sponsored the event, used your tax dollars to organize it, you'd say, "wait a minute, I don't support that church." Just because backwoods Texas is a haven for one particular religion doesn't make it right to endorse that religion. And please with the stuff about Obama not saying where he went to church. Especially since both Bush Jr. and Gov. Goodhair only use church as a cover for conservative voters. Adios Mofo? Cocaine cowboy in the 80's? What would Jesus do indeed.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Barry -- the Constitution prohibits the government from establishing a religion or promoting a specific religion to the exclusion of another.  This event was formed and promoted by Governor Goodhair as a evangelical Christian event mixed with lots of self-riotous republican politics.  In other words, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddists, Sikhs, Druids, Deists, Baha'is, (you get the point) need apply.  And a question of fact exists as to whether he has used or continues to use his office to promote this event.  So, put that cute little miniature version of the Constitution back in your pocket and chill.  And the lawsuit has been filed, and a court has "picked it up" (whatever that means).

Barryguitar
Barryguitar

True. Prayer can not be Required, but it also can not be restricted! By your strict interpolation, no political candidate would be allowed to answer the question " where do you go to church?". Absurd!  the sitting POTUS is the only president in our history who has failed to answer that question. A governors religious affiliation with any particular church can in no way be considered an endorsement of that religion by the government. By speaking at this event he is doing nothing but expressing his own religious belief, and I assure you that the well armed majority of the population will fight to the death to protect that right......... Just as every generation of Americans has done who have come before them.

Barryguitar
Barryguitar

If the Gov. called for a day of prayer to Muhammad and the sacrifice of a goat that would be fine but his career would be over. Just because You are offended that it is their intent to pray to Jesus bears no weight at all. Separation is intended to keep Government out of the affairs of the church, not to keep worship out of the public square.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

And therefore, Governor Perry is able to practice whatever religion that he likes.  He is not allowed to publicly endorse one or the other, for the same reason that prayer cannot be required in schools:  a public official is by definition a representative of the government, and the government is not allowed to endorse one.  By speaking at this event, and by endorsing its goals, he is doing so.

The other, more disturbing question, is whether state funds have been spent on this.  If so, it raises legal and ethical questions.

MattL1
MattL1

He can pray however the hell he wants.  I'm just not sure whether or not he's gone too far and used his office, and arm of the government, to give preference to one group over all others.  It could well be a violation of the Establishment Clause.  I don't know.  

Your response, by the way, has absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote.

Barryguitar
Barryguitar

Wrong again. The Constitution strictly forbids the government to create ANY law restricting the free exercise of religion.

Barryguitar
Barryguitar

You understand that he is a governor not a Government, right? The court has already decided despite the liberal attempt to flog a dead horse. There wont be a lawsuit because no court will pick it up. Do I understand your position to be that Judges can tell a citizen when and how they can pray? If it is your position that public prayer was intended to be limited by the first amendment, then I think this book needs to be Mandatory reading for schoolchildren.http://www.google.com/products/catalo...

Figgy
Figgy

If governor Perry was calling for a "day of prayer to Muhammad and the public sacrifice of a goat" you wouldn't be questioning what the ACLU is doing.  Just because the "day of prayer" is in line with your own religious beliefs does not undo the fact that "separation of church and state" means that in order to protect your right to religious freedom, the government must not promote any specific religion through the government.  Have your day of prayer and the governor has every right to attend, but if he and his office are the ones organizing the event, he is putting everyones religious freedom at risk by endorsing specific beliefs with his government title and possibly tax payer money.  The ACLU is doing EXACTLY what it is there to do.  Religion and politics are getting far to cozy on the right and thank GOD for the ACLU to make sure that things stay in line with the intention of the first amendment so people like you have the freedom in the future to worship what ever God you choose.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Barry, Governor Perry has the right to pray as he so chooses.  At church, or at home, or wherever he likes.

What he doesn't have the right to do is to use his public office to tacitly endorse a specific religion.  He also doesn't have the right to endorse an event that is (tacitly or otherwise) deliberately exclusionary to a large portion of the population. 

MattL1
MattL1

We may pray as we choose.  We also have the right to not have our government give preference to one religion over another.  Rick Perry can pray however he wants.  I'm not sure whether or not he's allowed to use the power of his office to advance a particular religion's agenda.  That's for the court to decide.  Hence the lawsuit.  That's what courts are for.  There are two principles at odds with each other.  The court will hear evidence and weigh one argument against the other, informed by precedent, and render a decision.  It's how our system is supposed to work.

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