Sunday, July 17, 2011

Does Rich Perry Have a Prayer?

Last week, beginning on Independence Day, Right Detour featured a series on the background and meaning of the Declaration of Independence. The core ideas of the philosophy behind the Declaration included equality, natural rights, and government by consent. In the future Right Detour will explore just what kind of government upon which the Founders finally agreed.

With the preliminary skirmishes of the presidential campaign of 2012 under way, however, let's take a break for some reflections on some the personalities and issues of that campaign.

An event that will be in the news for the next several weeks is the rally called “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis,” scheduled for August 6, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Response describes its purpose and lists the promoters. The person described at the initiator is Texas governor Rich Perry. This moved the Freedom from Religious Foundation to file a lawsuit to prevent his appearance and to force the removal of an announcement about the meeting from the official website of the Texas governor. As might be expected, the FFRF claims his appearance violates the “separation of church and state.” If the FFRF want freedom from religion, they can decline to attend.

Of course, religious proclamations from governors are nothing new. During the BP oil spill disaster, governors Bob Riley of Alabama, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and , yes, Rick Perry, all issued proclamations in June 2010 calling for prayers about the disaster. Because of a severe drought in Georgia, state Governor Sonny Perdue actually led prayers for rain on the steps of the state capital.

That does not seem to have bothered the FFRF. But then again, at that time none of them were considering a run for the White House.

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