Praying is Not Against the Law

by Diane Dimond on August 14, 2011

Rick Perry

It's Not Illegal For An American To Pray

Today let’s talk about what’s not a crime.

In a country that was founded on freedom of religion, it is not a crime to pray.

It’s not a crime to publicly pray to the deity of your choice. It’s not a crime for someone who holds public office to pray. It’s not a crime to be a politician and also host a public prayer meeting.

But after a recent spate of indignant media coverage I wouldn’t blame you if you thought there was something wrong with Texas Governor Rick Perry’s participation in what was called “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis” held in Houston.

Independent voter

Voting for the PERSON not the PARTY

This column is not about politics or religion. It is about common sense and the right of every citizen in America to pray when and where they want without criticism. Yep, even politicians.

Rick Perry Flyer

People of All Faiths Were Invited

Governor Perry is a lifelong Christian. He’s never made a secret of that and in fact he’s long worn his religion on his sleeve for all to see. For example, back in April, he issued a gubernatorial proclamation calling for three days of prayer to end the drought that’s plagued Texas. He often gives a hearty “Amen” to the prayers of others while at public events.

There is absolutely nothing in the law that says he must keep his beliefs to himself.

The recent Houston prayer meeting Perry co-sponsored was not an exclusive event where Muslims, Hindus, Jews or Wiccans were unwelcome. Governor Perry had openly invited people of every faith to join him and thousands others in praying for our country during this time of economic and governmental turmoil.

To Pray - Or Not - Is Every Citizen's Right

“Father, our hearts break for America,” he said during his 13 minutes at the podium. “We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government,” and he asked for divine forgiveness and guidance for the country. He prayed for President Obama and the men and women who serve in our military.

What’s wrong with that?

National media organizations first jumped on the rally controversy after a group called The Freedom From Religion Foundation – a self-proclaimed church-and-state watchdog organization – filed suit last month to try to stop the Governor from participating in the event. Their argument was that Perry’s involvement in a prayer rally would have been unconstitutional because it suggests the government prefers Christianity above all other religions. The lawsuit was dismissed.

Church and state

The Doctrine Does Not Strip The Right To Pray

The media then focused on other opposed to Perry’s plan to publicly pray. The Texas Republican was branded as politician using his status to ram his religion down the throats of others. Opponents cried that Perry used an official looking website and letterhead to invite people to the event. A letter with 10,000 signatures accusing Perry of using the religious rally to gain support for a presidential made headlines. And, Perry’s judgment was called into question when it was reported that the American Family Association was a co-sponsor. The organization has been called a hate group after an AFA official made derogatory statements about homosexuals and Muslims.

None of that, in my opinion, should strip any American of their right to pray when and where they choose. Now, if Perry had demanded all state employees attend the rally or drum up attendance for him I’d have a real problem with that. But that does not appear to be the case.

Governor Perry could become the Republican nominee for President and if his association with undesirable people or his public call to prayer causes some voters not to vote for him – well, that is a consequence he will have to live with. But let’s not swallow the idea that a man – by virtue of the occupation he holds – has somehow lost his constitutional right to pray in public because someone standing next to him said something ugly about a fellow citizen.

His Stance On Prayer Could Cost Him

And one more thing: Don’t buy the argument that the real problem was a Separation of Church and State violation as many major media reports hammered.

First, the truth is that the Church and State Doctrine (as first written about by Thomas Jefferson) refers to Americans wanting their legislature to “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” And second, the U.S. Constitution says right there in the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Which Is Above The Other? State or Church?

I don’t know about you but I don’t want a homogenized and pasteurized politician who aims to please everyone with politically correct dogma and doesn’t have a sense of awe about our place in the universe. I don’t want an office holder who doesn’t publicly express his/her most deeply held beliefs because I want to know the character of the person I might vote for.

If you ask me more politicians should pray for divine guidance to help straighten out the nation’s problems. Not much else seems to be working.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

ABQ Journal Reader Roland Kamps writes:

” Hi, Your article on Perry was well written and to the point. We all need prayer and are thankful that God’s Spirit makes prayers for us. See Romans 8. We serve an awesome God.”

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

ABQ Journal Reader Chris AJ writes:

“First of all: Who is this guy that he has to validate this statement? Is he supposed to be God?

Yes, you guessed it. Whether I’m religious or not (I’m not, at all), the above questions would apply.

Prayer is a waste of time. If there is something important these people are praying about, they need to get off their chairs and go out there and lend a hand. Get involved. Help themselves or those who need it.

That pretty much says it.

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:25 am

ABQ Journal Reader Mike Palaima writes:

“Interesting article. I certainly agree that all Americans, of any race, color, or religious preference, have the right to publicly display their religiousness or not, as they choose. Although a Muslim kneeling on a prayer rug on a street corner in Mr Perry’s home town, praising allah, could quite probably cause more than a stir, to the point that our religious tolerance for fellow countrymen in that location might be called into question?

Proselytising faith from the pulpit is one thing, but using that pulpit as a political instrument is another, at least in my mind, and I believe also in federal statutes that pertain to a churches tax status? Not that Mr Perry is a church pastor, or that he even politicized verbally for one minute during his “Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis” event. He pretty much, cunningly stayed away from crossing that line in this event. Everyone knows though, that Mr Perry is making a presidential run, and this Houston event was a clarion call to his base, that at some very soon time in the near future, he would be announcing his candidacy. Genuine religious fervor for himself and his countrymen notwithstanding, Mr Perry was making a political statement, and no matter what he said, or did not say, that was his underlying purpose. He used an ostensible, “religious” event to do this. I have a real concern about this sort of behaviour. As you stated though, it is his right, even though it plays fast and loose with what Jesus said regarding rendering unto Caesar what is Caesars, etc.

I know about me, and I do want a politician that homogonizes religion in politics, or more to the point, ignores it. What his/her spiritual journey is, how it manifests itself, is really not my business, and vice versa. What is my business, and that politicians business, is the peoples work, be it the mayors office, the state house, the congress, or the white house. If that politician “girds their loins” daily through prayer, good for him/her. Please though, keep this a private thing, while you are conducting the business for which I put you into office.

If one looks at human history, wherever religion and political power became melded, no matter the religion, no matter the politics, there was, in the name of that religious belief, excesses done in that name to humanity that were not only abominations to those living at the time, but to the word, as stated in the old testament, the new testament, the koran and so on and so forth. Mr Perry’s use of his constitutional right to publicly proselytise his religious beliefs comes real close to intrinsically stating that his way is the right way, because “god” ordained it. Whose “god”? Also begs the question, why would “god” become involved in Mr Perry’s success, say over Ron Pauls, or Barack Obamas, or yours, or mine? “

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

ABQ Journal Reader Tim Otero writes:

“Diane, great article you wrote. Need more folks to tell it like it is. Hope all is well with you and yours and keep up the GOOD work.”

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:27 am

Reader Milton Strauss writes:

“You are correct that praying is a right for all Americans. However, praying as a public official for the intercession of a specific diety — not worshiped by many Americans — in a public space in one’s status of Governor (one cannot shed the office for an hour or two) is not acceptable to many of us. It tacitly privileges one religion over another, which many judicial opinions would find improper. Let’s keep religion where it belongs — in houses of worship and the privacy of one’s home

And. may I ask, what does this column have to do with crime and justice.”

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

Many people have whispered or said outloud that Mr. Perry is breaking the law when he invokes religion into his duties for the state.
I don’t agree.
Now, whether he’d make a good president? I don’t have any plans at this moment to vote for him should he become a candidate. ~ DD

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

ABQ Journal Reader Steve Bliss writes:

“Respectfully,

Do you think people are against Rick Perry’s praying? I don’t agree. He can pray to little green mold spores, or Rush Limbaugh’s big toe. That is not my business. In fact he assembled a group of radical types that have said openly racist and downright crazy things. Do some research on these people. The Spanish say, “Tell me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are.” That makes Rick Perry unpalatable.”

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

Creators Syndicate web reader Reinhard Brock writes;

“”If you ask me, more politicians should pray for divine guidance to help straighten out the nation’s problems. Not much else seems to be working.”

Dear Diane, if you seriously arrived at that opinion I just can pity you. Jesus, have we lost all reason by now, if so, then good night America.
Kind regards
R.Brock, PhD.

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

you are obviously much more highly educated than me, Mr. Brock (phD) But I hope you understand its okay that we disagree. ~DD

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Reinhard Brock August 15, 2011 at 11:23 am

Sure,

but you have to admit that eventually macroeconomics don’t follow the laws of God.

Reason, please.

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

Neither does the Snooki phenomona, Dr. Brock. Reason THAT for me. There are many things in the universe that don’t make any logical sense at all. ~ DD

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

ABQ Journal Reader Sonia H. Maulsby writes:

“I read your article regarding the congregation Rick Perry called to pray. I do agree that each of us has that right. As long as not a dime of State or Federal

Money is used, then I do not think that the . ”Separation of Church and State , was violated..” A premise in which I am in total agreement. I do think however, that this meeting had a political agenda. I have read other things by Governor Perry, and I consider him to be a very right wing Christian. He has indicated that he wants to make religion a part of government, so that we can all live by the dictates of “his” conscience.

I believe that religious beliefs are totally personal and do not need to be shouted from the rooftops as I do not consider the deity that created the universe to be one with external ears. Perhaps you are not aware of the biblical warning on prayer, In which the gist is, to go into your closet, and not make a public spectacle of yourself.

I would not care to know the religious beliefs of candidates for office, I think it is a completely personal matter. Your article seemed to indicate that you would consider someone

Who did not profess these beliefs to be without character. I can assure you madam that professing religious beliefs and having character are two entirely separate matters.

You know we are supposedly fighting the Taliban in Afganistan, though I am not sure why, so I don’t want to start fighting religious control of the government over here.

I know many people with excellent character, who are ambivalent about religion. As a deist, I think that I have good character, though, I do not believe as Christians believe.

I do not know the answers to our creation or that of the universe, but also, I did not make up a story about it.!

Is is my personal observation that you show the leanings of a biased Christian.”

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

Sonia:
Your assumptions about me are incorrect.
I am only biased toward keeping our U.S. Constitution the document we rule our country by.
I am not a particularly ardent Christian….lapsed may be a better description. But so what if I was? It is allowed under the Constitution, which was the point of this column. Nothing more nothing less.

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:36 am

ABQ Journal Reader Daniel Sachs writes:

“Dear Diane Dimond,
I have read your articles many times in the OP-ED section of our local paper. Sometimes I read them with a scan and go on and other times I read every word. Your piece today on the subject line above was really great.
You are clear and honest. Please keep up the good work. You are a good writer.
Salud!

Daniel Sachs
Belen New Mexico
Maker of La Cana Encantada.

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

ABQ Journal Reader Janis Cline writes:

” Ms. Dimond, Thank you for your editorial. It was very well written & I agree thoroughly. Janis Cline”

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:38 am

ABQ Journal Reader Jose Vasquez writes:

“Thank you so much for your article “Praying Is a Right for All Americans.”

Our media has continually assaulted any effort so assimilate our rich religious tradition into the public arena.

Your article makes clear pray is a right and that our public figures should call on the divine for guidance.

Thank you.

Jose Vasquez
New Mexico Watchman

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Diane August 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

ABQ Journal Reader Donal Baucom writes:

“Thanks for your wonderful piece on the right of Americans, including our political leaders, to pray. I’m sending a letter to the editor (see below) in response to your commentary and am sending it to you in case it should not be published.

Best regards,

Don Baucom

Kudos to Diane Dimond for her column on the right of all Americans to pray (Journal, Aug 13). It was refreshing to see a journalist who both understands religious freedom and has the courage to defend that right against mean-spirited fanatics, in and out of journalism, who would deprive us of our constitutional right to freedom of religion.

Regarding the nature of those who oppose public prayer, the organizational name, “The Freedom from Religion Foundation,” suggests militant fanaticism, for there is no constitutional right to “freedom FROM religion.” Nor is there a Constitutional wall between religion and government, that expression coming from a letter written in 1802 by Thomas Jefferson.

Those who espouse freedom from religion, such as American Atheists, Inc., would remove descansos from the sides of our highways. These same atheists would also remove crosses from military cemeteries, regardless the religious preferences of the men who died defending our freedoms, including the freedom to be an atheist.

Could the belligerent attitude of the more fanatical American atheists be shaped by a lack of confidence in their atheistic beliefs? Confident atheists would not be threatened by public prayer. Confident, tolerant atheists would not object to the religious views and practices of others. Confident, mature atheists would realize that the same constitution that guarantees their right to scoff at the religious practices of others also defends the right of the others to hold religious views other than atheism.”

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William Drummond August 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Congratulations on an intelligently written column, but I don’t think you engage the main point. Prayer is fine, but the issue that divides us is to whom (or Whom?) the prayer is addressed. If to Allah, it’s obnoxious to some. To the Virgin Mary? That has caused bloodshed in the past. The God of the Children of Israel? Six million dead on that adventure. “In Jesus name”? Some say this is the only way, and all else is heresy and damnable. Bring on Torquemada and the Inquision. One more thing, if one prays, but addresses it to the wrong deity, does the prayer go to some cosmic dead letter box in the heavens?

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See August 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Do you ever publish any negative comments?

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

Yes! Send me a thoughtfully written one and I’ll post it. If its mean and ugly I probably won’t.
Spend some time looking around this site – at the end- of every column – and you’ll see lots of comments from folks who don’t like what I write at all! ~ DD

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

Facebook Friend Mike Clemens writes:
” Perry has the freedom to pray where ever, when ever he wants. Do you want your pastor or rabbi telling you how to vote from the altar? The media is doing its job informing us this is a part of Perry’s approach. I frankly want political leaders to stick to solutions for the state and religous leaders to stick to solutions for the soul. It’s what makes us different than say…the Taliban. Or Al Queda. Read “Where The Right Went Wrong” by conservative Pat Buchanan.”

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:34 am

Facebook Friend Renee Ellen Dale writes:

” The media is doing there job telling us about Perry but they didnt tell us about Obama and his ties to Rev Wright! My answer is no! I would rather a President of faith then one like Obama and not really know what his faith is!
I am not a victim but when Mr Obama ran only Hannity discussed Obamas faith!So if President Obama wants to open the religion box he will have to answer questions! Maddow went into Perry’s religion hard the other night funny thing she never not once went into Obamas!”

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:35 am

Facebook Friend David Teesdale writes:

“The first national day of prayer was established by our first and greatest president, George Washington. Too bad there is so much anti-religious bigotry today that Rick Perry catches such flak for being openly religious. Shame on those who denigrate and criticize him for having a life outside of politics and choosing God.”

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

Facebook Friend Kate Coe writes:

“And I reserve my right to just sit there, unbowed, not mumbling, when public prayer is announced.”

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

Kate: I completely respect your right to decide to do so. ~ DD

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

Facebook (and longtime) Friend Mary Pastoor Mccowin writes:

“Matthew 6:6 says go into a closet and pray to your Father in secret.”

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

Facebook Friend Valerie Kuhn writes:

” I think that church and state should remain separate. If someone like Perry/Bachman/Palin is elected it won’t be. “Church” is already interfering with reproductive rights and marriage/gay rights. Enough already. The one thing I have seen in all this is that these “Fundamentalists” are just as big of hyoicrites as the unchurched. Look at the B Street thing in DC, for instance. They want/insist that the only “true” religion is what they believe in and if they had their way, they’d make everyone else believe that way, too. IMHO.”

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 11:17 am

Linked In Friend Trevor Meyer writes:

“And that is fine that it is not against the law, but, it should never be forced upon anyone either.”

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Diane August 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm

LinkedIn Friend David Handler writes:

“It’s a sad commentary when the media criticizes those who pray and lifts up those who may not/ For those who haven’t read the First Amendment- It prohibits the establishment of a religion-AND freedom OF religion-NOT freedom FROM religion.
No where in the Constitution does it have the words “separation of church and state” When those hostile to religion actually read the document, maybe they will understand why so many of us love to pray.”

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Robert DeMint August 19, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Why is it a sad day that those who do not prey are finally heard above the din of dogma. We are good people too.

Perhaps when those who love to prey actually read the federalist papers and other commentary on what the founding fathers meant by what they wrote in our country’s founding documents maybe they will understand why we are “hostile” to religion.

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CLS August 18, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Diane, I don’t have an issue with a christian wanting to pray, in public. It is his constitutional right. But how would that same person react if a muslim wanted to express his religious freedom by throwing down a prayer rug? Or a zen buddhist sitting in the middle of the room to meditate? I grew up in the christian chuch. Taking over America and making it a christian theocracy was preached from the pulpit. Hence, I become nervous when I hear about the right to pray in public, especially when it is then turned into a demand to have school (christian) prayer. Where does it stop?

I take the 1st Amendment very seriously. But I want people who have religious beliefs to understand the 1st Amendment applies to ALL religious beliefs, not just a religion one holds dear. If Governor Perry wants to pray to his deity in public, then I think he should also encourage other people to demonstrate their faiths through prayer or ritual, while he is in the same room.

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Glenn Bourque August 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Diane, you’re minimizing/understating the Texas governor’s involvement in the praying event. He did not merely attend/participate in the Response, he organized it. I’m very uncomfortable with politicians wearing religion on their sleeves, and we all have good reason to be wary of that. Such individuals are ideologically motivated and as a result make atrocious policy decisions. They have no objective clarity of thought. Just look at the Adminsitration of George W Bush for a frightening example of what praying has done for America.

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Huffington Post Reader Writer58 writes:

“Thank you so much, Diane, for restoring in me a modicum of confidence that there are journalist­s out there who can actually report informatio­n in a way that is reasonable­, fact-based­, and objective. The fact that you don’t automatica­lly buy into “political correctnes­s,” which is a scourge on our society, is highly commendabl­e. This article is a work of art. I’ve shared it on my Facebook page, which is the only way I know to give you my biggest thumbs-up. You absolutely made my day. I’m wondering if it’s the subject matter that makes me a fan or if you’re someone to watch. I’ll read more of your work and find out. But in any case, count me as a fan. Go you!”

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Writer58 – You made MY day! Thank you for reading and taking the column in the spirit in which it was written. I’m not a political columnist, nor do I consider myself to be overtly religious – but – well, I just thought SOMEONE should write about our collective right to pray.
Thank you for taking the time to write me. I sincerely appreciate it! ~ DD

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Huffinton Post Reader JKontheWeb writes:
Here’s one way you can simply and easily understand how wrong you are. Did anyone ever object to a politician going to church on Sunday, which is on their own time? Nope. And if Perry was simply exercising his rights engage in religious acitvity on his own time, as he presumably does on Sundays, you would never hear a protest about that. But that is VERY different from using his office and resources, paid for by the taxpayer, to promote religion. Which is what he did. That’s illegal.

Here’s another way you can see how you are wrong. Imagine Perry was a Muslim and created a Muslim call to prayer, advertised it on the state’s website and used staff, paid by taxpapers, to organize and promote it? Would you be okay with that? I doubt it.

Lastly, you are misleading readers by telling half-truth­s. When you say the lawsuit was dismissed, you are only telling part of the story. It was not dismissed on the merits. In fact, the court did not rule on the merits. It was dismissed for lack of standing, which say nothing about the legitimacy of the claims, only about the right for the plaintiff to file the case in the court it was filed in.

Get real, get smart, or get out.”

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Huffington Post Reader wiseadvice writes:
“Ms. Dimond’s first four paragraphs are true until the sentence, “It’s not a crime to be a politician and also host a public prayer meeting.” This sentence is false. It IS unconstitu­tional for a government official to use his position, his position’s website, and tax dollars to promote a sectarian event. This is what Governor Perry did and it was unconstitu­tional.

If Perry had participat­ed at the prayer fest as citizen Perry, he would have been exercising his right to freedom of religion. But he participat­ed as Governor Perry, who promoted the fest, emailed citizens in his position as governor, and used the governor’s website to promote this sectarian event. All these acts by a governor acting as a governor violate the Establishm­ent Clause of the First Amendment.

Dimond is correct to say that he doesn’t have to keep his religion to himself. Americans do have the right to freedom of religion. But Perry acting in his official capacity of governor must not violate the Establishm­ent Clause. Dimond needs to study the difference between the Freedom of Religion clause and the Establishm­ent Clause of the First Amendment.”

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Edward Killian writes;

“Perry should not sponsor prayer rallies in his OFFICIAL capacity as governor.
His rally was so “inclusive­” that many Houston clergymen opposed it.
This is a Constituti­onal issue, not “political correctnes­s”.
His robocalls into homes urged us to “come to Jesus.”
The “mission-f­rom-God”ca­ndidates are the worst and most dangerous out there.”

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Huffington Post Reader PatoisJam writes:

“If Perry has the right to pray anywhere he wants, then it is also a given that if someone does not want to pray publicly, call a prayer meeting and say Amen to everyone’s prayers that also is the person’s right.

Just because someone has a platform to shout their prayers and beliefs do not mean that the person is any more sincere that the one that does not shout out prayers. Besides, it seems contradict­ory for Perry to say “Amen” to everyone’s prayer and still somehow think that he has “deeply held beliefs.” After all, saying Amen everyone’s prayers means you agree to what everyone says in a prayer.

Religion is more trouble that it is supposedly worth because those who say they are religious twist the truth to make it fit their own agendas so that it appears credible to and engenders acceptance by the masses.

The Pharisees were a good example of making a show of prayers and yet Jesus Christ called them out for what they were – hypocrites­.”

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Huffington Post reader JelleNL writes;

“Don’t make a show of it. — “When you pray go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father” (Mt 6:5)”

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Huffington Post Reader RisingStar writes:

“Politics and religion are two completely different occupation­s and should not sleep in the same bed together! I certainly hope that people are wising up to facades politician­s use in order to make themselves more appealing to the voters they are trying to entice!

Take for example the Judas Iscariot sanctuary cities law he tried to get passed in Texas, after telling Hispanics that the Arizona law would not be right for Texas! Or the cuts to heath care programs which help poverty level children, the disabled, elderly, and the mentally ill. Any Christian knows that turning your back on the poor is against God’s will. Unfortunat­ely, some religious politician­s tend to tell little white lies and instead look out for the interests of the very rich instead of practicing what they preach!

Want to dine with Governor Perry? It’ll cost ya
Posted on 08/17/2011 by Mike Howell

“Donors who give $1,000 can come to the main reception to see Gov. Perry. For $2,500, your name will grace the event’s signage.”- mysananton­io.com

“Want more? Put up $10,000 and you and a guest get to attend a VIP reception with Perry.”- mysananton­io.com

“But for the evening’s ultimate experience­, you and your special guest can spend $25,000 for the privilege of breaking bread with the Republican presidenti­al contender.­”- mysananton­io.com

http://blo­g.mysanant­onio.com/n­ewswatch/2­011/08/wan­t-to-have-­dinner-wit­h-gov-perr­y-bundle-2­5k/

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Diane August 20, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Huffington Post Reader Whirlpool writes:

“He has a right to pray and I have a right to think that his policies are the epitome of evil and a false and hypocritic­al representa­tion of “Christian­ity.”

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Diane Dimond September 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm

From DD Web Site Reader (formerly of NBC News) Don Blair:

“My point…or peeve: Any public figure waving his religious beliefs at us. There are billions of us who would gladly welcome removal of the word God in our pledge of allegiance. What’s God got to do with it? The same with the God reference on our currency. No place for it. It becomes governmental advocacy of a belief and snubs its nose at those of us who feel otherwise.
One of my bumper stickers say plainly and truthfully…..Man Created God – get it right. I get many approving nods from other drivers. Why is this deity a He? Has any human ever heard or seen HIM….or will anyone ever see or hear HIM? Absolutely not. He does not exist. That’s my complaint with this Perry thing. Governor, keep your personal beliefs to yourself and your church. It has absolutely no place in politics or any facet of public life.”
Don Blair

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g.h.g. mitte (glyn) October 10, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Thanks Diane for standing up for Freedom of Speech as applies to anyone’s expression of his/her personal belief system or religion. The tyranny of forcing militant dogma, even if such is the prevailing status quo, comes from all quarters, including radical partisanship expressed in oppressive public policy. This is the psychodynamic of cult mentality, whether it comes from a religion, an ideological or political group. All Americans should be alert to the warning signs of subtle mind control, “thought reform”. Many peoples throughout history have caught on too late, and lived to regret it. G.H.G. Mitte

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