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TX Gov. Rick Perry Sued over Prayer Day

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 18, 2011 9:44 AM

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been sued over his prayer rally. Gov. Perry's prayer rally has met the ire of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which has filed a federal lawsuit trying to prevent Gov. Perry from taking part in the prayer day.

Freedom from Religion Foundation alleges that Perry's participation in the prayer rally would  violating the establishment clause, the constitutional ban that prevents governments from establishing a religion, reports KXAN-TV.

The prayer rally is set to take place on August 6, and is called "The Response." The event will be 7-hours long, and the event has been endorsed not only by Gov. Perry but also by many Texas-based pastors and religious groups.

And, many expect that the event will be relatively large, with 6,000 participants already registered. Perry even endorsed the event in an online video, saying that he was "calling on Americans to pray and to fast like Jesus did," reports KXAN-TV.

Gov. Perry had said that the day would be a "non-denominational apolitical Christian prayer meeting."

Freedom from Religion Foundation had previously filed a lawsuit against the National Day of Prayer, which was passed into law by Congress. In that lawsuit, Freedom from Religion unsuccessfully argued that the day of prayer was unconstitutional under the establishment clause.

The 7th Circuit, however, found that the plaintiffs in that case did not suffer any injury and thus had no standing to sue, since the president wasn't forcing citizens to participate in the National Day of Prayer. He was merely encouraging citizens. Whether or not the National Day of Prayer violated the establishment clause was not broached.

Will the lawsuit against Gov. Perry fall along the same lines? Gov. Perry isn't necessarily forcing citizens to head over to "The Response" to participate.

Even though Gov. Rick Perry has been sued, a spokesman has said Perry plans to go ahead with the prayer rally as planned, reports UPI. Gov. Perry's prayer rally has also included invitations to other politicians, governors and Christians across the nation, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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