America

Texas Governor's Plan For Day Of Prayer Meets Resistance

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) last November.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) last November. Ben Sklar/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ben Sklar/Getty Images

Texas governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry announced yesterday that in response to America's crisis, he was calling on fellow Americans to join him in a day of prayer.

"I sincerely hope you'll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium with praying people asking God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees," he writes on the website for the event, which has been called The Response.

Time reports that Perry also invited his fellow governors to join him and that part of it has been met with resistance from groups like the Interfaith Alliance and the Secular Coalition for America.

Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy said in a statement today that the governor should "refrain from using his public office for sectarian purposes."

"Governor Perry's call for governors around the country to join him in prayer and fasting this August raises serious concerns about his commitment to the boundaries between religion and government," Gaddy said. "It has been my experience that when elected leaders invoke religion in this way, it almost always has more to do with furthering a political agenda than a religious one."

The Secular Coalition asked other governors to reject Perry's invitation because the day of prayer excludes anyone who is not a Christian.

CNN reports that Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has accepted the invitation and Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal "will try to make it work." Others like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will not be attending.

Update at 4:17 p.m. ET. An earlier version of this post said Gov. Jindal would attend the event. But Kyle Plotkin, the governor's press secretary, wrote to us to say "we're focused on legislative session right now, but Governor Perry is a friend and we will try to make it work."

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