Group Sues to Prevent Rick Perry's Prayer Day

Governor Rick Perry's controversial August 6 gathering in Houston for a "day of prayer" has come under attack from plenty of people since it was announced in June. But, for the first time, one group has decided to take its complaints to court.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit in Houston today seeking to block Perry's involvement with "The Response," to be held August 6 in Reliant Stadium.

The group's Web site says, "The Foundation works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church."

The Foundation sums up its motivation for the lawsuit in its official news release:

Perry's actions as governor give "official recognition" to a devotional event, endorse religion, have no secular rationale, and seek to encourage citizens to pray and nonChristians to convert to Christianity.

These actions violate the Establishment Clause by "giving the appearance that the government prefers evangelical Christian religious beliefs over other religious beliefs and non-beliefs, including by aligning and partnering with the American Family Association, a virulent, discriminatory and evangelical Christian organization known for its intolerance."

Such actions send an impermissible "message that believers in religion are political insiders -- and nonbelievers are political outsiders."

A judge will be appointed within two days and then, let the games begin.

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