Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Monday, August 29, 2011

Did Rick Perry Err in Holding a Day of Prayer?

In reference to Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) calling for a day of prayer in an attempt to reverse America's decline, it seems that some people have a problem with it, as if it violates some sacred, yet non-existant "seperation of church and state" ideal here in America. For instance, Justin Vacula recently chimed in...

"Recently, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has called Perry's actions unconstitutional and has filed a lawsuit in Houston. The FFRF notes that the website for the prayer event is linked directly from the governor's website, the event gives “official [governmental] recognition to a devotional event,” “has no secular rationale” and gives “the appearance that the government prefers evangelical Christian religious beliefs over other religious beliefs and non-beliefs.” The FFRF also says that they were denied advertising space on billboards in the Houston area because of their criticism of the prayer event. Dan Barker, co-organizer of the FFRF, says, “Gov. Perry's distasteful use of his civil office to plan and dictate a religious course of action to 'all citizens' is deeply offensive to many citizens, as well as to our secular form of government.”

Jerry Newcombe, whose website that I link to over on the right and who authored the book The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed our Nation (review here) recently sat down to the keyboard and offered up his thoughts on the contraversy...

"A law professor—-Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California at Irvine School of Law—-said the governor was violating the establishment clause: “The governor of the state of Texas should not be using his state email or his office to advance [the prayer event] because that’s advancing religion.”

Chemerinsky went on to highlight the idea that the event was not inclusive: “This is not only about prayer and involving God, but it’s Christian. So, for those of us who are not Christian, we are truly made to feel as outsiders relative to our own government, which is exactly what the establishment clause was meant to prevent.”

It was?

No, in the establishment clause, the founders intended to avoid creating a state church at the federal level. The Anglican Church, for example, was not to be the national church “by law established.” Nor the Presbyterian, nor the Quaker, and so on.

Meanwhile, several states had state churches, at the time of the adoption of the first amendment. These were never declared unconstitutional. They eventually withered away of their own accord—-the last to go being the Congregational Church, which was the established church of Massachusetts until 1833.

Declaring a day of prayer or thanksgiving (to God) has never been viewed—-until recently—-as constituting an “establishment of religion.”

During the American War for Independence, on at least fifteen separate occasions, Congress called for national days of prayer, humiliation, and fasting.

Furthermore, observe what an expert’s expert notes about this. David Barton, a walking encyclopedia on the spiritual heritage of America once told me, “Between 1633 and 1812, there were over 1700 prayer proclamations issued in the colonies, where the governor would call the state to an annual day of prayer and fasting, annual day of prayer of and thanksgiving.”

When the country first began under the Constitution, the Congress (many of the same men who would soon adopt the first amendment) called on President Washington to declare a day of Thanksgiving (to God—-these days, you have to clarify these things) for the ability to peaceably meet and fashion our own government.

So, on October 3, 1789, President Washington made a Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he declared: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

It would seem to me that according to the law professor, the father of our country—-the very man who presided over the Constitutional convention—-was making an assault of the establishment clause."

It's understandable that one would not know any of these things because in our nation's public schools, these types of things are not being taught at all. We have a generation of largely ignorant people who simply accept revisionist history as gospel truth because they really don't know any better.

Critical thinking would seem to have gone to the wayside as Rick Perry is a state office holder and not elected to national office and that he couldn't establish a national religion if he even wanted to. Additionally, what kind religion was Perry trying to establish? Pentacostalism? Anabaptist? Church of Reason?

What Rick Perry did was entirely consistant with governors before him and in no way violated the Establishment Clause of the constitution.


Thersites said...

I suppose they'll next argue that the "Free Exercise Clause" violates the "Establishment Clause".

JD Curtis said...

The same thing crossed my mind.

Ross said...

I wasn't familiar with all that history, so thanks for sharing all that. In any case, I can't see what the problem is. Surely your country has bigger problems to deal with right now than this.

JD Curtis said...

Surely your country has bigger problems to deal with right now than this

Reminded me of a comment I read earlier from another blogger Ross.

"It is instructional to see how secularist Americans are attempting to construct the very walls they once condemned. Whereas they still complain that there was a time when belief in God was an essential societal requirement, now they are simply substituting a different religious dogma to serve as a litmus test. Their concerns can't possibly be about science, as there probably aren't more than one or two Senators who could pass a college level physics test or more than ten who could pass an economics one. I'd be surprised if any of the candidates other than Ron Paul or Mitt Romney could even tell you what something as simple as marginal utility or a reserve requirement is.

I don't like Rick Perry either, nor would I vote for him, but his opinion on the age of the planet and the origin of the species is probably somewhere around number 345,732 on my list of concerns about the man." Link

Pvblivs said...

     Here's an observation. People who agree with the with the religion being established are likely to turn a blind eye to the fact that it is an establishment of their preferred religion. So, yes, Washington was, in fact, in violation of the establishment clause because he was establishing christianity as a national religion. No one called him on it at the time because they all agreed with the sentiment.

JD Curtis said...


How did Washington establish a particular religion?

MyWildIrishProse said...

David Barton explicitly endorses the take over the U.S. government by evangelical Christians, accompanied by the imposition of the Christian equivalent of Sharia law. He is a walking encyclopedia of something, but it isn't history.

JD Curtis said...


As a general rule, I don't let people comment here using profiles that were created that day due to free speech bigotry perpetrated here in the past. Bigotry by sissies that couldn't argue their way out of a wet paper bag and thus resort to the Argument by Sock Puppet Metod..

Feel free to substantiate the utter and complete lie that you posted at 6:30 through a link on the brand new profile you just created though, and I'll check it out.