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:
Is your governor planning on attending?
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.
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.
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.