If you are an atheist in Texas, you can never be bored. There is always something interesting going on. Our Governor, Rick Perry, has declared that August 6 will be a day of “prayer and fasting” with a big prayer meeting at the Houston Reliant Center. Now, from what I see on TV, several days of fasting might be good for some of the governor’s “bigger” supporters. The prayer stuff though is a bit more dubious. The prayer meeting will be paid for by something called the American Family Association, an organization deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its hysterical anti-gay rhetoric. One representative of the AFA said that Nazism was a gay movement and that most of the top Nazis were gay. Gee, all I ever knew about the intimate details of those guys was from the old Spike Jones song: “Hitler has only got one ball. Goering has two, but very small. Himmler is somewhat similar….” Anyway, the prayer meeting will definitely be exclusively for Christians (ix-nay on the Uslim-may or Ewish-jay stuff), and, one surmises, only for Christians of a certain type.
A violation of church and state separation? Not so, say his supporters. The first amendment to the Constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” and Rick Perry is not Congress nor does his day of prayer establish a religion. Further, they assert, the governor, as a private citizen and not acting in his official capacity as governor, has as much right to organize a religious service as any other citizen. Hmmm. Imagine, if you will, that Barack Obama, acting as a private citizen and not in his official capacity as president, organized a Muslim day of prayer, sponsored by a controversial Saudi religious organization. The magnitude of the hyperventilating hyssie fit that the right would pitch could be measured only on the Richter Scale. Glenn Beck would launch into orbit without a rocket. Fox News would be one all-day shriek. Of course, the whole thing is a political stunt to excite his fundamentalist base. Perry may be running for president, odd considering that just a year or so ago he was recorded making conciliatory remarks to secessionists.