Atheist Group Sues to Block Texas Governor Rick Perry From Prayer Rally

Rick's GunMike Tolson writes in the Houston Chronicle:

A group that has already criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry for his involvement with a Christian prayer rally scheduled for Reliant Stadium next month went a step further Wednesday and filed a federal lawsuit in Houston to stop him from promoting it.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims Perry’s association with the “The Response: A Call to Prayer for a National in Crisis” breaches the separation of church and state.

The complaint, filed in the Southern District on behalf of five named individuals who live in Houston, notes the plaintiffs are “nonbelievers who support the free exercise of religion, but strongly oppose the governmental establishment and endorsement of religion ….”

The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring Perry’s official involvement. A Perry spokesman said he won’t back away from the event.

Read More: Houston Chronicle

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  • http://twitter.com/slashgoddess slashgoddess

    LOL ricky perry, what a clownish fucking joke. I’d love to see how this will turn out.

  • http://twitter.com/slashgoddess slashgoddess

    LOL ricky perry, what a clownish fucking joke. I’d love to see how this will turn out.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5CP7ED2OJWP2WRKAIRKKWFU6EQ Choice

    obviously Rick Perry never reads the bible, but knows how to manipulate the christian masses… “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.”  Jeremiah 4:22

    • DeepCough

      Let’s not forgot this timeless gem.

      “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they
      love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that
      they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received
      their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and
      pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in
      secret will reward you.” ~ Matthew 6:5-6

    • DeepCough

      Let’s not forgot this timeless gem.

      “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they
      love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that
      they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received
      their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and
      pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in
      secret will reward you.” ~ Matthew 6:5-6

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5CP7ED2OJWP2WRKAIRKKWFU6EQ Choice

    obviously Rick Perry never reads the bible, but knows how to manipulate the christian masses… “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.”  Jeremiah 4:22

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Good…sue the pants off the bastard. Hosting a state led and approved Evangelical Christian only event is a fucking crime…which is what it should be. Hosting an ecumenical event for all faiths and non faiths…okay…big gray area and I’m not totally opposed…but hosting a Jesus fest as governor and inviting only leaders from the worst fringe of the extreme right wing of fundamentalist evangelical freakiness…no…I don’t accept that as legal, ethical or even sane. He’s not just an idiot…he’s actually a full on crook…and firing his ass can’t come soon enough.

    • Haystack

      It’s tricky, because the lawsuit gives him a platform to preach about how Christians are being persecuted “in their own country,” etc, etc. I feel like these conservative Christians are never going to appreciate the value of the separation of church and state until they experience what it’s like to be on the opposite side of the issue–like if atheist Boy Scout-type organization was getting public funding, recruiting from schools, etc. 

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        We’d never be so fortunate for an atheist movement to non-violently ‘persecute’ them. What all separation of church and state prevents is the usual inter-faith squabbles where who ever is the big fish at the moment amongst the sects immediately starts passing laws that favor its branch of the faith…and the usual zealots crazed with violence that erupt out of those squabbles. Pretty much Europe for all 1700+ years of Christianity. Accepting the limits of separation of church and state makes sense in the context of people who had left behind a continent that had been in religious wars off and on for fifteen centuries, with heretics being determined by which cult was in power at the moment. Rick Perry and his ilk imagine that they would fare better under the old system because they have numbers at the moment…but so did Catholics in England…and that didn’t go so hot. To have freedom of religion…you must have freedom from religion…it just can’t work any other way. If they upset that balance, the real fight won’t be between atheists and faithful…it’ll come when they’ve silenced the atheists and turn on each other…and Christian sect and Christian sect vie for control and state approval. Then comes the real bloodshed and mania and persecution.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Good…sue the pants off the bastard. Hosting a state led and approved Evangelical Christian only event is a fucking crime…which is what it should be. Hosting an ecumenical event for all faiths and non faiths…okay…big gray area and I’m not totally opposed…but hosting a Jesus fest as governor and inviting only leaders from the worst fringe of the extreme right wing of fundamentalist evangelical freakiness…no…I don’t accept that as legal, ethical or even sane. He’s not just an idiot…he’s actually a full on crook…and firing his ass can’t come soon enough.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Good…sue the pants off the bastard. Hosting a state led and approved Evangelical Christian only event is a fucking crime…which is what it should be. Hosting an ecumenical event for all faiths and non faiths…okay…big gray area and I’m not totally opposed…but hosting a Jesus fest as governor and inviting only leaders from the worst fringe of the extreme right wing of fundamentalist evangelical freakiness…no…I don’t accept that as legal, ethical or even sane. He’s not just an idiot…he’s actually a full on crook…and firing his ass can’t come soon enough.

  • Phinsxiii

    Let’s take a closer look at the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”. Is this Jackwagon making a law in respect to establishing a religion? No. Is he prohibiting the free exercise of religion by his constituents? No. Atheists can disagree all they want, but this is not a 1st Amendment issue. In fact, the real issue in the article is the blatant atheism that the FFRF is displaying in their attempt to further weaken the 1st Amendment in this fool hardy attempt to shut up this conservative.

    • Haystack

      And a public schoolteacher who takes it upon himself to tell his students that God doesn’t exist, and that religion is the opium of the masses, isn’t a congressman passing a law, either–so I assume you’d be okay with this? Or perhaps a governor who holds a Muslim prayer rally from the steps of his capitol building? 

      If we go with the strict-constructionist interpretation, then the rational thing to do is for non-Christians to mobilize and get public officials to endorse their particular religions (or lack thereof), and to reject others. Maybe someday we can get the dollar bill to read “There is no God,” and make it a spiritual dilemma for Christians to spend money. 

      Or, you can just respect the fact that we live in a diverse society.

      • bobbiethejean

        You’re being silly. The point of strict separation isn’t about favoring one side or the other, it’s about neutrality. A teacher should not be bringing up the existence or nonexistence of god unless it is a philosophical debate class or something like that in which case, the subject is fair game. 

    • DeepCough

      Look: if Gov. Perry were a goobernatorial candidate, and he hosted a prayer rally for his campaign to help him get votes, no, there would be no proper grounds for a lawsuit, because that would be violating the Free Exercise Clause. Unfortunately, Rick Perry is a governor, and he is establishing a respect to religion, particularly Christianity (it’s Texas, and that’s the only God-con in town) through his own office, so what he’s doing is technically NOT legal. I don’t care if Texas is an ultrareligious, paeloconservative state, I could give even less of a fuck if Perry cited the 10th Amendment ad infinitum: to organize a state prayer like that smacks of theocracy, and Perry ain’t the only craven theocratic despot to come outta Texas (Miss George W. Bush Yet?).

      • Tuna Ghost

        Did he organize it, though?  I read he’s only attending it, not organizing it, and as such he’s well within his rights to do so.

        • DeepCough

          No, he’s not organizing it, but his endorsement of it don’t help his case.

          • Tuna Ghost

            But if he didn’t organize it, there is no legal case.  He is allowed to attend prayer meetings.  Being an elected official doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to follow the faith of your choosing.  I don’t like that he sees prayer as a viable solution, but he’s within his legal rights to attend a prayer meeting.

          • Butter Knife

            And just as importantly, he’s within his rights to endorse said prayer meeting.

            So long as the event is not funded or (directly) supported by the state, Perry is quite within his rights to take part in this event as he sees fit.

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          Technically, he ‘called for it’…the handed off the planning stages to a select group of fundies that know him well…then took time out to drum up support for it, publicly and with the influence of his office to back him. Ad far as I’m concerned, given that he’s thrown all that support to an extreme right wing clique of evangelicals with no invites to any other religions…he’s fair game for actual penalties.

    • DeepCough

      Look: if Gov. Perry were a goobernatorial candidate, and he hosted a prayer rally for his campaign to help him get votes, no, there would be no proper grounds for a lawsuit, because that would be violating the Free Exercise Clause. Unfortunately, Rick Perry is a governor, and he is establishing a respect to religion, particularly Christianity (it’s Texas, and that’s the only God-con in town) through his own office, so what he’s doing is technically NOT legal. I don’t care if Texas is an ultrareligious, paeloconservative state, I could give even less of a fuck if Perry cited the 10th Amendment ad infinitum: to organize a state prayer like that smacks of theocracy, and Perry ain’t the only craven theocratic despot to come outta Texas (Miss George W. Bush Yet?).

  • Phinsxiii

    Let’s take a closer look at the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …”. Is this Jackwagon making a law in respect to establishing a religion? No. Is he prohibiting the free exercise of religion by his constituents? No. Atheists can disagree all they want, but this is not a 1st Amendment issue. In fact, the real issue in the article is the blatant atheism that the FFRF is displaying in their attempt to further weaken the 1st Amendment in this fool hardy attempt to shut up this conservative.

  • 5by5

    You know what is hilarious/pathetic about that picture of Gov. Rick “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” Perry? 

    That the picture is basically objective proof of what a moron he is by firing a gun into the air in the middle of a crowd. I know he probably doesn’t believe in evolution, but last time I checked the rightwing still “believed” in gravity. Bullets that go up, must come down, Governor. Maybe onto people’s heads.To me this is also proof that the rightwing and the muslim extremists are flip sides to the same coin. You see those goobers in the middle east firing AK’s into the air at rallies there too, and invariably some other poor schmuck dies or is injured when the bullet comes down.

    • Rowdy13

      Was waiting for the out of context photo to be commented upon…this was a photo op for the NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway (trophy is visible behind him) and clearly a blank was shot, not a real bullet.  The photo choice really hurts the credibility of the article as it shows an obvious bias.

    • Rowdy13

      Was waiting for the out of context photo to be commented upon…this was a photo op for the NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway (trophy is visible behind him) and clearly a blank was shot, not a real bullet.  The photo choice really hurts the credibility of the article as it shows an obvious bias.

    • Tuna Ghost

      I wanted to mock him for firing a gun into the air with such a look of enjoyment, but truth be told it does look kinda fun

  • 5by5

    You know what is hilarious/pathetic about that picture of Gov. Rick “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” Perry? 

    That the picture is basically objective proof of what a moron he is by firing a gun into the air in the middle of a crowd. I know he probably doesn’t believe in evolution, but last time I checked the rightwing still “believed” in gravity. Bullets that go up, must come down, Governor. Maybe onto people’s heads.To me this is also proof that the rightwing and the muslim extremists are flip sides to the same coin. You see those goobers in the middle east firing AK’s into the air at rallies there too, and invariably some other poor schmuck dies or is injured when the bullet comes down.

  • Haystack

    And a public schoolteacher who takes it upon himself to tell his students that God doesn’t exist, and that religion is the opium of the masses, isn’t a congressman passing a law, either–so I assume you’d be okay with this? Or perhaps a governor who holds a Muslim prayer rally from the steps of his capitol building? 

    If we go with the strict-constructionist interpretation, then the rational thing to do is for non-Christians to mobilize and get public officials to endorse their particular religions (or lack thereof), and to reject others. Maybe someday we can get the dollar bill to read “There is no God,” and make it a spiritual dilemma for Christians to spend money. 

    Or, you can just respect the fact that we live in a diverse society.

  • Haystack

    It’s tricky, because the lawsuit gives him a platform to preach about how Christians are being persecuted “in their own country,” etc, etc. I feel like these conservative Christians are never going to appreciate the value of the separation of church and state until they experience what it’s like to be on the opposite side of the issue–like if atheist Boy Scout-type organization was getting public funding, recruiting from schools, etc. 

  • bobbiethejean

    My first thought was that this is a mistake. If he’s doing it ON HIS OWN TIME then he’s not violating the constitution. HOWEVER, it just now occurs to me that he is shirking his responsibilities, failing miserably at his job, not heeding the advice of his advisers, and being reckless then trying to pawn the responsibility of fixing the colossal shitmess he made onto his imaginary friend. THAT is NOT ok.

    Sue him, remove him, point and laugh. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobbie-Jean-Pentecost/100000391760333 Bobbie Jean Pentecost

    My first thought was that this is a mistake. If he’s doing it ON HIS OWN TIME then he’s not violating the constitution. HOWEVER, it just now occurs to me that he is shirking his responsibilities, failing miserably at his job, not heeding the advice of his advisers, and being reckless then trying to pawn the responsibility of fixing the colossal shitmess he made onto his imaginary friend. THAT is NOT ok.

    Sue him, remove him, point and laugh. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobbie-Jean-Pentecost/100000391760333 Bobbie Jean Pentecost

    You’re being silly. The point of strict separation isn’t about favoring one side or the other, it’s about neutrality. A teacher should not be bringing up the existence or nonexistence of god unless it is a philosophical debate class or something like that in which case, the subject is fair game. 

  • jasonpaulhayes

    The concept of prayer is and should be insulting to anyone in a thinking society. Perry taking time to call for a prayer for Rain is a misuse of the state finds that pay his salary and complete Bullshit.

    Corporate Avenger – The Bible is Bullshit
    http://pl.st/s/380524049

    • Tuna Ghost

      The concept of prayer is and should be insulting to anyone in a thinking society.

      Well, that depends.  If you think prayer’s primary (if not only) function is to ask a dude with a long white beard who lives in the sky for favors, then yeah.  But prayer is supposed to have a much less…eh…economical meaning behind it, something many forget these days.  ”These days” including several centuries previous to this one.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    The concept of prayer is and should be insulting to anyone in a thinking society. Perry taking time to call for a prayer for Rain is a misuse of the state finds that pay his salary and complete Bullshit.

    Corporate Avenger – The Bible is Bullshit
    http://pl.st/s/380524049

  • Tuna Ghost

    I hate the idea of an elected leader thinking prayer is a viable path toward accomplishing his goals, but I’m not really seeing a real legal issue here.  He’s not using state funds and he’s not “on the clock”.  He’s not doing this in his capacity as the governor, technically.  He didn’t start the event, as far as I know.  He’s just attending, which he has a right to do even as a state official.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    I hate the idea of an elected leader thinking prayer is a viable path toward accomplishing his goals, but I’m not really seeing a real legal issue here.  He’s not using state funds and he’s not “on the clock”.  He’s not doing this in his capacity as the governor, technically.  He didn’t start the event, as far as I know.  He’s just attending, which he has a right to do even as a state official.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E2YKNJBKUJEL7IN6HROUXSNCAY david

    I’m supportive of Gov. Perry doing this.  As a nation, we need prayer.  http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E2YKNJBKUJEL7IN6HROUXSNCAY david

    I’m supportive of Gov. Perry doing this.  As a nation, we need prayer.  http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

  • Queer

    Hey faggot boy…wanna suck my cock!

  • Faggot Murderer

    You want that gun in you asshole don’t ya you queer bitch manwhore!

  • Boner4Homophobes

    Hey there, sweet thing…you shur gotta purty mouth! I lov it when you talk all sexy like ya want it deep an mean!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Woot!!! AWESOME!!! I finally made the big time :-) They say you haven’t made it on the internet until you’ve had your very own stalker…and finally, after years of hard work…I finally got my big break.

    I’d like to thank all the little people who made it possible. You like me…you really like me! 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Woot!!! AWESOME!!! I finally made the big time :-) They say you haven’t made it on the internet until you’ve had your very own stalker…and finally, after years of hard work…I finally got my big break.

    I’d like to thank all the little people who made it possible. You like me…you really like me! 

    • Tuna Ghost

      Congratulations!  We knew it’d only be a matter of time before someone was stalking you online, you’re just that special

      • The_Baffler

        Special is one of the words to describe him. He’s got a great sarcastic sense of humor though, very dry. Dry humor is smart humor.

    • Butter Knife

      So, you won’t be freaked out if i show you my collection of hair dolls and discarded toilet paper? Well then I guess I’ll show them to you!

      I’ll be there later tonight, I’ll just let myself in with the key I copied.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    We’d never be so fortunate for an atheist movement to non-violently ‘persecute’ them. What all separation of church and state prevents is the usual inter-faith squabbles where who ever is the big fish at the moment amongst the sects immediately starts passing laws that favor its branch of the faith…and the usual zealots crazed with violence that erupt out of those squabbles. Pretty much Europe for all 1700+ years of Christianity. Accepting the limits of separation of church and state makes sense in the context of people who had left behind a continent that had been in religious wars off and on for fifteen centuries, with heretics being determined by which cult was in power at the moment. Rick Perry and his ilk imagine that they would fare better under the old system because they have numbers at the moment…but so did Catholics in England…and that didn’t go so hot. To have freedom of religion…you must have freedom from religion…it just can’t work any other way. If they upset that balance, the real fight won’t be between atheists and faithful…it’ll come when they’ve silenced the atheists and turn on each other…and Christian sect and Christian sect vie for control and state approval. Then comes the real bloodshed and mania and persecution.

  • Rowdy13

    Was waiting for the out of context photo to be commented upon…this was a photo op for the NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway (trophy is visible behind him) and clearly a blank was shot, not a real bullet.  The photo choice really hurts the credibility of the article as it shows an obvious bias.

  • Rowdy13

    Was waiting for the out of context photo to be commented upon…this was a photo op for the NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway (trophy is visible behind him) and clearly a blank was shot, not a real bullet.  The photo choice really hurts the credibility of the article as it shows an obvious bias.

  • Anonymous

    Just let the hicks have their little rally.

  • The_Baffler

    Just let the hicks have their little rally.

  • The_Baffler

    Just let the hicks have their little rally.

  • DeepCough

    Look: if Gov. Perry were a goobernatorial candidate, and he hosted a prayer rally for his campaign to help him get votes, no, there would be no proper grounds for a lawsuit, because that would be violating the Free Exercise Clause. Unfortunately, Rick Perry is a governor, and he is establishing a respect to religion, particularly Christianity (it’s Texas, and that’s the only God-con in town) through his own office, so what he’s doing is technically NOT legal. I don’t care if Texas is an ultrareligious, paeloconservative state, I could give even less of a fuck if Perry cited the 10th Amendment ad infinitum: to organize a state prayer like that smacks of theocracy, and Perry ain’t the only craven theocratic despot to come outta Texas (Miss George W. Bush Yet?).

  • DeepCough

    Let’s not forgot this timeless gem.

    “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they
    love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that
    they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received
    their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and
    pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in
    secret will reward you.” ~ Matthew 6:5-6

  • http://www.facebook.com/JAlvizo Joseph Mendoza

    I’m a Atheist i think he is doing this on personal time. So i think he has the right to endorse what he wan’t to endorse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JAlvizo Joseph Mendoza

    I’m a Atheist i think he is doing this on personal time. So i think he has the right to endorse what he wan’t to endorse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JAlvizo Joseph Mendoza

    I’m a Atheist i think he is doing this on personal time. So i think he has the right to endorse what he wan’t to endorse.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Congratulations!  We knew it’d only be a matter of time before someone was stalking you online, you’re just that special

  • Tuna Ghost

    Did he organize it, though?  I read he’s only attending it, not organizing it, and as such he’s well within his rights to do so.

  • DeepCough

    No, he’s not organizing it, but his endorsement of it don’t help his case.

  • Anonymous

    Special is one of the words to describe him. He’s got a great sarcastic sense of humor though, very dry. Dry humor is smart humor.

  • Tuna Ghost

    But if he didn’t organize it, there is no legal case.  He is allowed to attend prayer meetings.  Being an elected official doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to follow the faith of your choosing.  I don’t like that he sees prayer as a viable solution, but he’s within his legal rights to attend a prayer meeting.

  • The_Baffler

    As far as I’m concerned the “Christians” are deluded. They follow Satan. Or so they did the moment Jesus was turned into a reason to make war. Congrats fuckwits, the antichrist hijacked your Religion 1000 years ago.

  • Anonymous

    As far as I’m concerned the “Christians” are deluded. They follow Satan. Or so they did the moment Jesus was turned into a reason to make war. Congrats fuckwits, the antichrist hijacked your Religion 1000 years ago.

  • E.B. Wolf

    Who could have guessed that some group of idiots would take Perry’s bait and help set him up as a hero to christians everywhere by pushing back against the “godless big government socialists?”

    Brilliant move, morons.

  • E.B. Wolf

    Who could have guessed that some group of idiots would take Perry’s bait and help set him up as a hero to christians everywhere by pushing back against the “godless big government socialists?”

    Brilliant move, morons.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Technically, he ‘called for it’…the handed off the planning stages to a select group of fundies that know him well…then took time out to drum up support for it, publicly and with the influence of his office to back him. Ad far as I’m concerned, given that he’s thrown all that support to an extreme right wing clique of evangelicals with no invites to any other religions…he’s fair game for actual penalties.

  • Tuna Ghost

    The concept of prayer is and should be insulting to anyone in a thinking society.

    Well, that depends.  If you think prayer’s primary (if not only) function is to ask a dude with a long white beard who lives in the sky for favors, then yeah.  But prayer is supposed to have a much less…eh…economical meaning behind it, something many forget these days.  ”These days” including several centuries previous to this one.

  • Tuna Ghost

    I wanted to mock him for firing a gun into the air with such a look of enjoyment, but truth be told it does look kinda fun

  • Butter Knife

    So, you won’t be freaked out if i show you my collection of hair dolls and discarded toilet paper? Well then I guess I’ll show them to you!

    I’ll be there later tonight, I’ll just let myself in with the key I copied.

  • Butter Knife

    And just as importantly, he’s within his rights to endorse said prayer meeting.

    So long as the event is not funded or (directly) supported by the state, Perry is quite within his rights to take part in this event as he sees fit.