Judge Gray Miller threw out a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The organization, which sued Perry, cited that his participation in the upcoming August 6 day of prayer is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.
Billed as “The Response,” the day is designed to be a time of fasting and prayer in order to seek God’s help in the realm of political life.
While Judge Miller’s ruling states that Gov. Perry’s involvement in the event is constitutional, there are a few gray areas that deserve a closer look. Consider the following.
If Gov. Perry hosted a day of prayer event that was organized with the help of interfaith religious leaders, he would stand a greater chance of making the claim that the event is truly open to everyone who wants to participate. Yet, when the name of Jesus Christ is introduced as the sole name of the one you and others will be praying to, it becomes in fact an exclusionary event. Add to that fact you have a sitting governor endorsing the event and you have a state-endorsed religious ceremony.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation or any other organization has a right to call into question whether or not an elected official is putting a bias towards one religion — be it Christianity or any other religion. In this case, The Freedom From Religion Foundation was right to take legal action against Gov. Perry on this issue.
In the final analysis, I think both Gov. Perry got off lucky on this one.