Perry, AFA respond to federal suit questioning constitutionality of ‘The Response’
In response to a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday questioning the constitutionality of Gov. Rick Perry’s upcoming prayer event, the governor is calling the people behind the suit “intolerant,” the Dallas Morning News reports.
On an American Family Association radio spot today, Perry said, “Maybe people would want to lock me up. I think about those who talk about Christian faith as being intolerant. Isn’t it just the height of intolerance to say you can’t gather together in public and pray to our God?”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told Perry during the broadcast that opponents are trying to prevent the rally from taking place because they “fear that God hears Christian prayers.”
“You don’t hear much about the Muslims. You don’t hear much when it’s the Buddhists or whatever. I think the reason is there are those who are very concerned that the prayers will be heard and that things will happen. And that’s what happens with Christians come together and pray,” said Perkins.
The Texas Independent reported yesterday that the suit from the atheist/agnostic group Freedom From Religion Foundation centers on the Aug. 6 event’s possible breach of separation of church and state, as well as Perry’s partnership with the controversial conservative Christian nonprofit AFA.
Meanwhile, Bryan Fischer of the AFA sounded off on his personal Twitter account and on a blog post targeting FFRF’s grammar.
In commentary titled “Freedom From Religion Foundation Needs Grammar Lesson,” Fischer debunks the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, thanks FFRF for the exposure and says the group is, “desperately afraid that someone, somewhere, is enjoying the free exercise of religion.”
You will look in vain for the phrase “separation of church and state” anywhere in the document created by the Founders. You could have found it in the constitution of the old Soviet Union, which ought to tell you something, but it’s just not in our founding document at all.
The folks at FFRF would be well-advised to take some remedial coursework in basic English grammar. This is for the simple reason that the Constitution nowhere guarantees to anyone anywhere the right to be free FROM religion. What it guarantees is freedom OF religion.
Quite simply, the Constitution prohibits the state from interfering with the church, but does not prohibit the church from influencing the state.
Fischer devoted a string of six Tweets to the FFRF lawsuit, calling FFRF an “enemy of both freedom and the Constitution,” and “positively un-American and unpatriotic to boot.”
As a religious nonprofit, the AFA must tread carefully along political boundaries during the prayer event as to not overstep their tax-exempt status, as the Texas Independent previously reported.