Please. At the most basic level, we need prayer. If you don’t believe in that, let those who do exercise their rights. What have you got to lose?

This becomes an issue yet again in Texas Governor Rick Perry’s promotion of a day’s prayer event for the nation. Really. As if it poses some kind of threat…

A Wisconsin-based religious freedom group is suing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible Republican presidential contender, in an effort to block his promotion of and participation in an all-day Christian prayer event to be held Aug. 6, arguing that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

To set the record straight, it’s not exactly a “religious freedom group.”

The Freedom From Religious Foundation, which claims more than 16,000 members, including 700 in Texas, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday in Houston, contending that Perry’s actions violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause by “giving the appearance that the government prefers evangelical Christian religious beliefs over other religious beliefs and non-beliefs.”

If only they realized how marginal they’re making themselves appear.

“We always say, beware prayer by pious politicians,” said Annie Laurie Gaylor, who co-directs the group with her husband, Dan Barker, a former evangelical Christian minister who is now an atheist.

“Nothing fails like prayer,” she said. “It’s the ultimate political cop-out.”

The lawsuit, which comes as Perry flirts with joining the field of GOP presidential contenders, notes that the plaintiffs are “nonbelievers who support the free exercise of religion, but strongly oppose the government establishment and endorsement of religion, including prayer and fasting, which are not only an ineffectual use of time and government resources, but which can be harmful or counterproductive as a substitute for reasoned action.”

Whoa. Re-read that statement. So…freely exercise you religion. but if you believe in communal prayer and fasting, don’t…by God…utter your beliefs publicly. Because that can be harmful and counterproducive, as an actual subsitute for reasoned action!

Perry’s office shrugged off news of the lawsuit.

“Governor Perry has been looking forward to the Aug. 6 prayer event, which continues to move forward as planned,” Perry’s office said in a written statement. “He believes it will serve as an important opportunity for Americans to gather together and pray to God, seeking his wisdom and guidance as our nation navigates the challenges before it. The pending litigation will not affect plans for the prayer event.”

Thank God.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....