This may not technically be unconstitutional, since it’s a state government that’s endorsing a particular religion not Congress or the federal government, but it’s certainly totally antithetical to the spirit of religious freedom, and to the Founders’ intent and determination to keep government out of religious practice and prescription. This is an explicitly Christian religious event — that is sponsored, organized, and promoted by the Governor of the state of Texas. And despite its supporters’ claims to the contrary, no one who is not Christian — indeed, no one who is not a fervent, devout evangelical fundamentalist Christian — would feel comfortable at this event. And no one who does not want or intend to convert to Christianity would be welcome at this event. “It is Christian-centered, yes, but I have invited and welcome people of all faiths to attend,” Rick Perry declares. But what is Rick Perry doing sponsoring, organizing, and promoting a Christian-centered event in the first place? And a former Perry staffer who is also associated with “The Response” (as this event is called) made it clear that anyone who attended the rally would be evangelized — after assuring reporters that the rally is “not being exclusive of other faiths.”
Here you go (emphasis is mine):
Eric Bearse, a spokesman for the event who formerly worked as Perry’s communications director, told American Family Radio, which is run by the AFA, that the event would be evangelistic in tone.
“A lot of people want to criticize what we’re doing, as if we’re somehow being exclusive of other faiths,” Bearse said. “But anyone who comes to this solemn assembly, regardless of their faith tradition or background, will feel the love, grace, and warmth of Jesus Christ in that assembly hall, in that arena. And that’s what we want to convey, that there’s acceptance and that there’s love and that there’s hope if people will seek out the living Christ.”
Allan E. Parker Jr., one of the event’s organizers, writes on its website, “This is an explicitly Christian event because we are going to be praying to the one true God through His son, Jesus Christ. It would be idolatry of the worst sort for Christians to gather and invite false gods like Allah and Buddha and their false prophets to be with us at that time. Because we have religious liberty in this country, they are free to have events and pray to Buddha and Allah on their own.But this is time of prayer to the One True God through His son, Jesus Christ, who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.”
That’s fine, but what is Texas Governor Rick Perry doing organizing, endorsing, and participating in an “explicitly Christian event” to which so-called “false gods like Allah and Buddha and their false prophets” are not “invited” and not welcome, IN THE FIRST PLACE?