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Attorney: Atheist lawsuit same as declaring Texas governor can’t attend church

An atheist organization is suing Texas Governor Rick Perry, a possible presidential candidate, for initiating a private prayer event scheduled for August 6 in Houston.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is suing in federal court over Perry’s upcoming prayer event that is sponsored and promoted by the American Family Association (AFA). The press release states that the pro-family group “promotes a rabid evangelical Christian agenda that is hostile to nonbelievers, non-Christians and other protected groups, such as gays and lesbians.”

“It’s amazing to me that they’ve never sued President Obama for ending any speeches with ‘God bless you’ or doing other things of a religious nature,” notes Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute. “It’s as if these separationists don’t understand that even our elected officials are still citizens of this country and enjoy the vast freedoms that are provided by the Constitution.”


The August 6 rally is a private event, and Sasser argues that the governor’s decision is his personal business.

“This is tantamount to a lawsuit declaring Governor Perry is unable to attend church on Sundays,” he decides. “It’s the most outrageous thing I’ve ever seen.”

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John Doubek

    Atheist here and I have to agree. I don’t think the lawsuit has any basis. Many atheists (according to various forums and blogs) think likewise. Unless it can be shown that the Governor used government resources to promote the event. As far as I know, that has not been shown.

    I think there is plenty of basis though to civilly protest the event, especially if one looks at the statements made by speakers at the event. I imagine (well, I hope) that many Christians would find the positions that these folks espouse to be ridiculous and repulsive. For example, saying that the Statue of Liberty is demonic or that the economy crashed because of “sex with demons”. I wish I was making this stuff up.

    I think reasonable people can “believe”. I’m just hoping that reasonable people cannot be led into “bat-sh*t crazy”.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joe Schmoe

    He has every right to attend (or even lead) a private prayer event. That is if it’s really private, of course!

    If he’s using it to make a public spectacle, then yes, it is an abuse of power!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    Where is this ever a thing that is American, politicians have forever preyed in this country. The founders prayed on their knees for long periods of time right in Congress, in the White House for goodness sake.

  • Rev. Wubby

    There should be a hat. When a publicly elected official is acting in a official capacity he or she should wear the hat. When they want to act as a private citizen, they take off the hat. This would clear up the confusion of a government representative trying to use his tax-payed office to promote his personal agenda. Do people really want the same people who can’t balance a trillion dollar budget to choose which prayers and which dogma we should be required to follow. Because that is what governments do, they create laws about what should be done. How many Protestants would be comfortable with Catholics legislating on the proper school prayers?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Allan

    When Kennedy was running for president, there were certain Protestant groups (remembering Smithfield) who wanted him to promise not to go to confession during his term in office. As a Roman Catholic he could not make this promise, but he was elected anyway. This strikes me as the same type of demand, this time on the part of the Atheists. I hope the courts ignore it.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    The Atheists are probably only trying to draw attention to Rick Perrys doings. He said recently that he wants to be President so God will lead, or something of this nature. I think they just don’t want him to change the “Whitehouse” into a “Whitechurch of America. Maddow had videos of his preacher friends and what they believe and it was very far-out, off-the-wall, radical, he said the Statue of Liberty was given to us by The Masons in France and they don’t know God and so it is satanic. Poor Masons who do so many good things for people all over the world, and poor old Statue of Liberty who guided my ancestors ships from Sweden into her harbor for a new and better life. Imagine that Satanic! If for some ungodly way he were to become President will he and his Preacher friends blow up our “Lady”?:)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    freedom is freedom and it is for all, America is the opposite of atheist dictators; did we not learn anything from communism?

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