Thursday, July 14, 2011

TEXAS: Atheist Group Sues Gov. Rick Perry Over Christianist Prayer Rally

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed suit against Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his planned role in the upcoming prayer rally being staged by the American Family Association.
The complaint alleges Perry violated the First Amendment's establishment clause by organizing, promoting and participating in the event. "The answers for America's problems won't be found on our knees or in heaven, but by using our brains, our reason and in compassionate action," said Dan Barker, a co-director of the foundation. "Gov. Perry's distasteful use of his civil office to plan and dictate a religious course of action to 'all citizens' is deeply offensive to many citizens, as well as to our secular form of government." The group, which unsuccessfully sued to stop a national day of prayer earlier this year, filed the case on behalf of 700 members in Texas and called on the court to stop Perry from participating in the meeting or using his office to promote or recognize it.
Backers of the event are furious: "This is tantamount to a lawsuit declaring Governor Perry is unable to attend church on Sundays. It's the most outrageous thing I've ever seen." The FFRF fires back that that AFA "promotes a rabid evangelical Christian agenda that is hostile to nonbelievers, non-Christians and other protected groups, such as gays and lesbians."