Judge Tosses Suit Seeking to Stop Gov. Perry’s Sponsorship of Texas Prayer Rally
Good news for sure! Via Fox News: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to stop Gov. Rick Perry from sponsoring a national day of Christian prayer and fasting, ruling Thursday that the group of atheists and agnostics did not have legal standing to sue.
U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller said the Freedom From Religion Foundation argued against Perry’s involvement based merely on feelings of exclusion, but did not show sufficient harm to merit the injunction they sought.
” The Governor has done nothing more than invite others who are willing to do so to pray,” Miller said.
“I wonder if we had a Muslim governor what would happen if the whole state was called to a Muslim prayer,” said Kay Staley, one of five Texas residents named as plaintiffs in the suit. “I think the governor needs to keep his religion out of his official duties.” Staley said she would be at the prayer rally to protest. (FYI Kay – I doubt the state of Texas would ever elect a Muslim governor.)
A day earlier, Perry defended the event, comparing it to President Obama’s participation in the National Day of Prayer. “My prayer is that the courts will find that the first amendment is still applicable to the governor no matter what they might be doing and that what we’ve done in the state of Texas or what we’ve done in the governor’s office is appropriate,” he said. “It’s no different than what George Washington or Abraham Lincoln or President Truman or President Obama have done.”
The group, which unsuccessfully sued to stop Obama’s National Day of Prayer earlier this year, filed the case on behalf of 700 members in Texas and called on the court to stop Perry from participating in the meeting or using his office to promote or recognize it.
The foundation said it does not oppose politicians taking part in religious services, but that Perry crossed a line by initiating the event, using his position as governor to endorse and promote it and by using his official website to link to the organizer’s website. The plaintiffs also contend that Perry’s use of Texas’ official state seal to endorse the event and his plans to issue an official proclamation violate the Constitution.
An appellate court in April dismissed the group’s previous lawsuit against the Obama administration over the National Day of Prayer, on which people of all faiths were invited to take part. Like Miller, the three-judge panel in that case ruled that the group could not prove that they had suffered any harm when the president issued a proclamation observing the day.
Indeed, what harm does one face when other people are praying? Poor widdle liberals got their non-Christian feelings hurt is all. Score one for Texas!