Governor Rick Perry Wants Politicians and the Public to Pray

Sorry for the alliteration overload.

Texas Governor Rick Perry knows our country has a problem.

Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters.

But instead of tackling any of those problems, Perry wants to waste time praying… and he wants all of you to join him.

As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.

Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.

I sincerely hope you’ll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.

There’s hope for America… and it’s not in America. We will find it by avoiding the problems as long as humanly possible.

Wait! There’s a video for this, too!

As reader Rick points out, don’t you love how one of the problems mentioned is “division” and the solution offered is for everyone to pray to Jesus…?

So that’s Rick Perry’s plan: Everyone pray on Saturday, August 6th from 10:00a – 5:00p. Then, everything will be all better.

Maybe they’ll end the event with a loud “AMEN” followed by, “Suck it, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, and atheists!”

In case you’re wondering who’s paying for all this, it’s the American Family Association, a Christian Right group. (Not taxpayers, if that’s what you were thinking, but still very disturbing.)

Perry also wants all the other 49 governors to join him.

There’s a problem with that, though…

Not all governors qualify. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell is Jewish, so he might not really fit under the aforementioned umbrella of “people of all ages, races, backgrounds and Christian denominations.”

And Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is of unknown, if any, religion.

“He has never declared a religion publicly,” Sue Allen, his communications director, told me Monday. “Let me ask around and find out. It’s not anything that’s ever been discussed.”

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder won’t be attending (even though he supports things like the National Day of Prayer) because, well, he has actual shit to do:

Geralyn Lasher tells The Detroit News that Snyder expects to be at work focusing on economic development and has plenty to keep him busy at home, despite the early completion of the Michigan state budget for the coming fiscal year.

Is your governor planning on attending?

The Secular Coalition for America is asking governors to reject the invitation (emphasis theirs) — you can send a letter to yours using the link on their site:

Ask your governor to stand up for all citizens regardless of religion or worldview and focus on finding substantive solutions to real-world problems, instead of taking part in an event that proclaims the only possible solution is Jesus Christ.

Perry’s prayer meeting does nothing to offer actual solutions to our country’s problems but rather urges other governors to take the same hands-off approach to governing and problem-solving. Perry states, “There is hope for America, and we will find it on our knees … [a]s a nation, we must come together, and call upon Jesus to guide us.” The Secular Coalition for America believes there is hope for America, but this hope is rooted in science, reason, and critical thinking. A government official should not be pushing any religion on his constituency or our elected leaders.

Damn right.

A handful of atheists are already planning to protest the event:

Currently, we are planning to set up our demonstration at the corner of Kirby Dr and McNee Rd, just north of the stadium. Anybody that values the separation of Church and State is welcome to join — non-theists, non-Christian, secular Christians. Please be aware this we are NOT trying to convert or mock anybody’s religion.

If you have other ideas, let’s hear ‘em!

Wouldn’t it be great if, while all the Christian politicians were busy for seven hours that day, the other politicians could pass meaningful legislation without any obstacles in their way? If only it were that easy…

***Update***: The Interfaith Alliance also opposes what Perry is doing:

Governor Perry has every right to pray or fast in private or with others. However, when he uses his public office in any way to promote a sectarian event, he has crossed a line that the framers of our Constitution did not want crossed for the good of both religion and government. I hope Governor Perry knows that religion is even better served when a government official like him responsibly addresses the pressing issues faced by the people of his state rather using his government office to call people to a prayer meeting. The sound that is needed is not a loud one that reverberates in heaven, as the governor suggests, but one that covers the earth as people in need sigh with relief when their burdens are lightened and their needs are met.


  • Militant Maggie

    Hemant, I would investigate the shit Snyder has to do. He’s basically not coming to the prayer meeting because he’s working on taking over Michigan counties with dictatorship. No joke.

    http://www.politicalruminations.com/2011/03/michigan-governor-rick-snyder-now-has-the-power-to-suspend-the-rights-of-the-people.html

  • http://pinkydead.com David McNerney

    But there are genuine problems in the world and the solutions are going to be diff…

    Oh look a gay squirrel!

  • Joolz

    So, if I’ve understood this correctly, a large group of americans are going to pray for help for themselves. They aren’t gathering to pray for the millions in the world suffering from famine or disease, but just for themselves.

    New York used to be in the top three of my places to visit in the world but as the US has become more and more of a theocracy it has gradually dropped down to become a place I will probably never see.

    Julie

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Kev Quondam, Kevque Futurum

    Undoubtedly my governor will be attending, because he’s a fundie creep-bag. (I’m from Virginia)

  • gski

    On 5 August I’m going to pray that on 6 August Texas is once again part of Mexico. By the way how’s that drought in Texas?

  • Marguerite

    Hey, this is a great idea! Because prayer has been proven to accomplish so much and to have so much power to change things… uh, hang on. Can I see a study on that, please? Or is asking for proof unAmerican?

    Seriously… on the up side, at least it’s not taxpayer funded. On the down side, UGH. How un-inclusive can you get? And I agree that officials trying to push their religion on the rest of us is nauseating.

    ETA: Oh, and I really like how he wants to pray to God about the “multitude of natural disasters.” If God didn’t want those to happen, and had the power to stop them, wouldn’t he have prevented them already? Or does God really require his subjects to beg and plead and grovel for mercy before he stops hurling disasters at them?

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    It’s good that we’re protesting this lunacy. We’ve all seen what happens when you allow religious loons a safe haven.

  • jim

    I’m not even going to bother with the petition. Our gov in GA had an inauguration that was practically a revival meeting.

  • Tom

    “There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.”

    I don’t know. I got on my knees and looked all over this plane. I don’t see anything that looks ‘solutiony’.

  • http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/ arensb

    This could be an opportunity for another boobquake-style experiment: gather statistics like the Dow Jones index, joblessness numbers, rainfall in Texas, etc. and see how they compare before and after the prayer meeting.

    Except that it would take more than one news cycle to collect the “after” statistics, by which time the media will have lost interest.

    But one can always point out what a jerk this makes God look like: “Sure, I could have solved your problems all along, but I wasn’t going to do so until fifty of you took time out of your busy schedule to suck my cock.”

  • jose

    I used to think the rulers would try to inculcate praying and fearing God upon the ruled, precisely because those things don’t work, thus maintaining them powerless while, at the same time, giving them the illusion of power, false hopes to prevent real action, even possible revolutions. Religion as a method of social control.

    Cases like this one, when it’s the rulers doing the prayer, throw my theory right into the trash can. I don’t understand why on earth would the governor do this thing. Does he really believe this rain dance thing will do anything? Really?

  • Craig

    I had to laugh at the comment from Gski: “By the way, How is that drought in Texas?”

    Checkout the following from the United States Drought Monitor for the Texas drought status.

    http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/DM_south.htm

    Ricky boy needs to pray harder.

  • Trace

    Gay squirrels…. I knew it!

    Joolz, New York is awesome. You MUST visit us! ;)

    Perry for president?

  • J

    I think Cartman Described it best in song – “…I want to get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus/ I want to feel his salvation all over my face…”

  • Matt H

    I’m actually sorta proud of Snyder. Despite his personal views, he’s actually planning to do “real” work, like what he was elected to do.

  • JB

    Why hasn’t anyone attributed the disasters to God’s disfavor and the behavior of the people who live where there is heartbreaking and widespread destruction and death from hurricanes, floods, fire, drought, tornadoes, and the like?
    Has anyone else noticed that the damage seems to be focused on the areas where social conservatives and Evangelicals are concentrated?

  • Lazarus Long

    I would like to take this opportunity to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry that my fellow Texans have thrice elected a dim theocrat as their governor.
    I’m sorry that he feels the need to embarrass those of his constituents who paid attention in grade school with nonsense like gathering a stadium full of people together to ask his imaginary friend to save America from himself.
    Mostly I’m sorry that Jeebus screwed up the economy to the point that I can’t afford to just pack up and move to a state that exists in the 21st century.

  • http://danialexis.wordpress.com Dani Alexis

    I’m in Michigan, so we know where my corporate overlord governor will be.

    I’d rather have Rick Snyder off praying somewhere than working on his plan to pilfer Michigan. He’d be doing a LOT less harm.

  • bible belt atheist

    the American Family Association, a christian right group

    And also a hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

  • todwith1d

    I’m going to pray to FSM for a non-intervention. The headline reads: “FSM more powerful that jesus”

  • T-Rex

    Well, I’d write Rick Scott but I doubt that would have any effect. That guy lives in his own little bubble and is currently in the process of bending Floridians over for some unprotected, non consentual anal sex.

  • Chris aka "Happy Cat"

    There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.

    I’ve often been in heaven while on my knees, but I don’t think hope was a part of the equation.

    Rick, you speak of being on your knees a lot. Maybe you need to examine that.

  • Shan

    Native and resident of Texas… *holding head in hands* How embarrassing. Imagining this large group, half hung over from the tailgate party outside the stadium the night before, assembling to pray all day, for a better economy, and slipping a few other prayers in, such as, their headache to go away, feverishly asking forgiveness for hitting their spouse, passing judgement on their neighbor, envying their friend’s new house, smoking a little weed, and promising to kill the B*****D that scratched his Harley. But hey, once you ask forgiveness, it’s all good. You don’t have to be accountable for your actions. At least, not in Texas. -eye roll-

  • Cortex

    Videos like this make me reluctantly realize how far we haven’t come.

    Sure, the solution to these problems (if you can even consider ‘perversion’ a problem) is not to understand them better, but to submit to the right god.

    And fasting? Yeah, that’ll help the economy. It’s not like a whole lot of jobs depend on selling food, or like people need to consume calories to be productive.

  • Adam

    I’m pretty sure my governor will do it just to piss the Left Wing off. I’m in South Dakota. We’re the famous anti-abortionists that want to make it mandatory to own a gun.

    But we’re not in the Bible Belt, so at least I have that going for me.

  • http://shadesthamatter.blogspot.com Amanda

    I am reluctantly glad that this event isn’t using public funds…but…still very squeamish about the whole thing.

    I would be so impressed if Christian organizations dispensed with the See You At The Pole theatrics and actually started some sort of initiatives to, oh, I don’t know, SOLVE the problems.

    For example, when an acquaintance at Miami University discovered shady doings with ALEC and slimy anti-collective bargaining SB-5, you know what she did? She got active. She’s organized street protests, teach-ins, and petitions. Pounding the pavement is so much more effective than wearing it down while “on your knees”.

  • HMB

    If someone already said this I’m sorry. I feel like atheist or anyone who sees this as absurd makes this day a day of help. Where we try to fix the problems head on. We go out in the community we live in and help with anything. Just to show actions speak louder then prayers.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverfrog

    Who voted for this guy? You’re to blame, you know.

  • Rich Wilson

    Although this is private funds, I’m disturbed by the trend. Just how many days of the year are our elected people going to ‘invite’ us to pray? If National Day of Prayer didn’t do it, and this doesn’t do it, will it become a monthly event? Weekly?

    Oh, and there’s that humility thing. We need to be on our knees. As a kinda-Canadian, I think the US would do well to take the “U S A, U S A” down a notch, but I don’t see that happening.

  • Benjamin

    I thought Jesus had something to say about public Prayer and Hypocrites.
    I guess I must be mistaken or those Christians obviously wouldn’t do things like that.
    But what do I know, the few Quotes about Prayer that I kinda remember are these:

    Prayer must never be answered: if it is, it ceases to be prayer and becomes correspondence. ~Oscar Wilde

    It is best to read the weather forecasts before we pray for rain. ~Mark Twain
    The hands that help are holier than the lips that pray ~Robert Ingersol

  • treedweller

    @hoverfrog I think it’s pretty safe to say the Venn diagram of Perry voters and FA readers has a very small overlap.

    I really don’t know the answer to your question, though. I live in the liberal bubble that is Austin, so there’s that, but I still don’t see the appeal of this aggie cheerleader. I hope his recent tendency to propose prayer as the solution to every problem will wake up the lockstep repubs and that they will move him on to his next pulpit podium. I am not holding my breath, though.

  • barker

    Wait a second. Dozens of our country’s most regressive political leaders will finally be gathered, interned, and deprived of food. Why the protest?

  • Susan

    This is flippin’ amazing. I’m going to use this as a teaching tool for my son on the many logic flaws of religion. They’re suppose to raise their voices so they’ll be heard in heaven? So it’s a volume thing, then? Sooooo….if god is kind of deaf, then regular prayers can’t work because they aren’t loud enough. Why not instead hep up all those folks & send them on a mission to feed homeless people? Right, right….because god will take care of that. And the sense of entitlement! They list all these woes. Try being a peasant in any society up to about 300 years ago. Today, you may find yourself poor & fretting about the economy, but you can still expect that no one will kill you as you walk down the street. Village life for any old culture meant the lord of the land could kill you for any offense, soldiers from some other group could blow thru town, eat your livestock, rape your women, one bad crop meant you packed everything on your back & hiked down the road; if you wanted soap, you raised an animal, killed it, rendered fat, & made soap. Multiply that times everything you use. Life was HARD & tenuous to a degree that today’s US citizens cannot begin to imagine. It is great that people have so much energy, it is depressing beyond belief that they will point it to using a bunch of gas to get to this stadium to…basically have a drug trip that won’t even show them their own minds.

  • Vanessa

    Great, Snyder won’t be attending because he’s too busy destroying Michigan. Kinda would rather have him praying for our problems then actually making them worse.

    Also, is this supposed to be National Day of Prayer, Part 2? Because we all know the first one accomplished so much.

  • BigEd

    NJ Gov. Chris Christie won’t be able to make it, since he can’t go more than two hours without a Wendy’s Triple cheeseburger, Biggie Fries and a jumbo “Frostie”.

  • Rich Wilson

    I don’t trust that SCA ‘Contact your Governor’ page. Yesterday it didn’t think my zip code existed, and now it thinks I live in HI (I’m in CA).

    It’s not hard to contact your governor though. ‘jerry brown contact’ in google gave me:
    http://www.gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

    I’m not too worried about him, but I feel better having spoken out.

  • andy nonomus

    He did it! He’s going to solve all our problems at once! During one single event he is going to get rid of the debt, terrorism, abortion, aids, domestic abuse, “perversion”, men with long hair, stoners, and everything. Because as we all know, Jesus is going to take care of everything. I can’t wait until August 7 when Jesus makes our lives better again. Why even bother trying to solve these problems ourselves right?

  • Rich Wilson

    You know, even Christians laughed and pointed at Camping over his May 21st prediction.

    But saying that Jesus is coming back on May 21st isn’t any different from saying Jesus is going to listen to a whole bunch of prayer on Aug 6.

  • Sheila

    Just like Horton Hears a Who….

  • Heidi

    I doubt my governor is going. Can’t blame him. Would you really want to be the one black guy in a room full of crazy white people in Texas? But I wrote him anyway.

  • Raiki

    Gack! It’s bad enough that my birthday is already the same day as the Hiroshima bombing, but really, now it needs this too?

    FML!

    ~R~

  • Tom

    It’s people like Perry who make me really ashamed to admit I live in Texas. But hey, if this prayer thing doesn’t work out, no problem, my birthday is Aug. 7 so I will take care of everything when I blow out the candles!

  • Courtney

    @Benjamin

    I believe the stance of the Big J on hypocrites and prayin’ in Matthew 6 was:

    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.6 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.7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

    But in the next chapter, he says:

    7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    As is so often the case, it’s almost like this book isn’t a consistent life manual! Or even an economic policy manual!

  • Colin

    I’m sure my governor (Jan Brewer of Arizona) will be there. Probably with a “God hates Mexicans” sign.

  • Shawn Nippard

    How in the world is gathering and praying to something that does not exsist gonna help America? What a load of crap! Here’s what needs to happen! Help the injured,morn the lives lost,donate your hard earned money to help everyone effected,accept the help from other caring countries! Band together as a human race and fix what needs to be fixed! And all this can be done without praying to an imaginary ghost in the sky! PEACE to the human race!

  • Baktru

    Note: I did not read previous comments.

    This is total lunacy… This reaction is entirely wrong. You do not reward bad behaviour with positive attention.

    God throws a disaster your way? Pray some more! I’m sure that will not encourage him to throw more disasters around to get more prayer and worship…

    B.

  • Ian

    As a reasonably intelligent non-American living in non-America I think they should go ahead. After all, when nothing happens, who else they gonna call, Ghostbusters?

    It’s just a possibility that a little reason might enter their sad little lives.

  • Baconsbud

    Ian, the problem is that when they are done praying anything that is done by people is seen in their eyes as being done by god. They will say if they hadn’t prayed those people wouldn’t have helped.

  • GentleGiant

    When absolutely diddlysquat happens after this, I wonder how many of them are going to either blame others (for their “sins”), blame themselves (for not being “worthy” enough) or trot out the old “God acts in mysterious ways.”
    How many of them are actually going to reason that prayer to a non-existant entity doesn’t work?
    My bet?
    None.

  • Rich Wilson

    If you REALLY want something depressing, go check out the hoards on Fox http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/06/07/perrys-planned-prayer-event-draws-condemnation/

  • bible belt atheist

    SCA reports that Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin will not attend.

    Yeah, and she’s from one of the reddest of the red states.

    And,one of the first to say no.

  • Kate Incognita

    “Is your governor planning on attending?”

    Rick Perry IS my f-ing governor. Agh! (facepalm) I didn’t vote for him of course, but my mother did. She thinks he’s awesome.

  • http://SkepticalParenting.com EvilMomLady

    Hey – thanks for putting up this highly instructive, entertaining, & kind of scary vid. I used it for the first entry on my blog (SkepticalParenting.com), & will be showing it to my son.

  • Wylie

    Quote of the day, “There is hope for America. It lies in heaven.” – or is that six feet under? lol

  • Peter Shepherd

    I applaud Rick Perry for calling us to pray. As the Scripture says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” but “sin is a reproach to any people, and “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

    It’s time to call upon God.

  • DeeCee1000

    I am so embarrassed and ashamed. . .please don’t think all Texans are like Perry. We’re not all religious fanatics and bigoted self-righteous Christian idiots.

  • Justin Miyundees

    I would send out for assistance but there’s someone on the signal wire
    And the corporation logo is flashing on and off in the sky
    They’re putting all your names in the forbidden book
    I know what they’re doing but I don’t want to look
    You think they’re so dumb, you think they’re so funny
    Wait until they’ve got you running to the night rally.

    - Declan McManus

  • Justin Miyundees

    Someone please set up a station where these “true believers” can post comments to Youtube.

    Put up a sign like “Response to Atheist Americans” (since the campaign is called “The Response” – my response is involuntary and gutteral by the way) and invite these people to show their real selves to the world.

    I predict some will demonstrate fear of retribution from their constructed mass hallucination, some will show hatred in reaction to that fear, and some will show pity and arrogance. It would be a really cool project if done clinically and transparently.

  • Tina in Houston

    Well, I hope by doing this Rev Perry will help deconvert many Texans from Christianity. One can hope!

  • Michele Yokum

    Reading the responses above speaks for itself to the “why” of Rick Perry’s invitation to Americans, and even more glaring, to the need.

  • Charles Black

    You know I kind of feel sorry for Texans to have this ignoramus for a leader, I wouldn’t have believed this to happen in a developed country none the less.
    Then again I realise that as a democracy you Texans brought this onto yourselves.

  • Charles Black

    You know I kind of feel sorry for Texans to have this ignoramus for a leader, I wouldn’t have believed this to happen in a developed country none the less.
    Then again I realise that as a democracy you Texans brought this onto yourselves.

  • Charles Black

    You know I kind of feel sorry for Texans to have this ignoramus for a leader, I wouldn’t have believed this to happen in a developed country none the less.
    Then again I realise that as a democracy you Texans brought this onto yourselves.

  • Charles Black

    You know I kind of feel sorry for Texans to have this ignoramus for a leader, I wouldn’t have believed this to happen in a developed country none the less.
    Then again I realise that as a democracy you Texans brought this onto yourselves.


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