This is so encouraging; I waited 8 years for George Bush to do the same. America's governors have been invited -- should be interesting to see who shows (Brownback?). I understand the governors of Maine and Alaska are declaring August 6 a statewide day of prayer. Leadership for the event met at Reliant Stadium and prayed that Jesus alone would be honored there on Saturday. The liberal (anti) Christians are upset because he's not including all faiths. Hopefully this courageous and Godly man makes the decision to run for president!Rick Perry writes on his website: "There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees."Daily Oklahoma newspaper column discussed Texas Gov. Rick Perry's involvement with a Christian prayer event called "The Response." The prayer gathering is Saturday at Houston's Reliant Stadium, and Perry asked other U.S. governors and Christian leaders to attend. Perry called on Texans to pray for rain in April. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin recently called on Oklahomans to pray for rain. I asked for reader input on two questions: Do you think Rick Perry's involvement with "The Response" gathering is appropriate for a governor? Do you think governors should call for prayer? Here are reader responses, along with their city, faith and denomination, if it was included. The two or three anonymous email responses I received are not included:
- Robert Driskell, Oklahoma City, Christian: "I think that our nation's current condition (morally, financially, socially, culturally, etc.) is a direct result of our neglect (a nice word for 'rejection') of God. We are, with the help of those such as Richard Dawkins and his colleagues, quickly becoming a nation who mocks and ridicules the things we should be considering sacred and essential. If it is required of Christians to put away their beliefs when they are in public office, shouldn't the same also be required of atheists and agnostics. However, you never hear that charge being. In short, I believe that actions such as Gov. Perry's and Gov. Fallin's are not only appropriate, but commendable. They realize, as fewer and fewer do today, that our hope is not in ourselves, but in the God who created us ... and His Son, Jesus Christ."
- Pat Nichols, Edmond, Christian: "The real problem is the great majority of Americans, including many who call themselves Christians, do not understand the truth that Jesus Christ brought to those who know Him and who, in turn, have received the Holy Spirit. Gov. Perry, as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, is called to share the good news of the gospel by the calling and guidance of the Holy Spirit. This calling has nothing to do with politics or being 'politically correct.' What atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. need to understand is that a follower of Jesus Christ serves the Christian God first."
- Jan Howard, Oklahoma City, Christian: A governor is elected to lead his state. When he/she is elected, their faith (regardless of what it is) is known and accepted. If those that do not agree with him so choose, they can move. But just as we Christians are expected to accept/respect other religions, should we not expect them to accept/respect ours? Governors ABSOLUTELY have the right to - the responsibility - to ask for prayer, just as other groups have the right (should they be elected) to ask their constituents to pray or whatever they do. 'The Response' gathering is just that, a gathering. Do those that are opposing it never have 'gatherings'? Would they not expect to be allowed to attend? What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Would they prefer to be the goose or the gander?
- Marlene Haworth, Bethany: "Yesssss, our elected officials DO need to call on prayer. Lord knows we have enough politicians who are afraid of their own shadows and bow to the concept that they must not express their own beliefs in God for fear they will be 'politically incorrect.'"
- Mrs. Thurman Norton, Sulphur, Christian: "Gov. Perry and Gov. Fallin are both American citizens and free to pray to Jesus and their God. As far as prayer to God and Jesus being an affront to our Founding Fathers, Mr. Dawkins should check on his history. All the Founding Fathers prayed to God. They had a church in the Capitol building. I think involvement with "The Response" gathering is appropriate for any Christian to exercise his faith in his God, including the governor. No one is trying to make Mr. Dawkins or any one of another faith (or lack of faith) pray to anyone. The Jews, Muslims, Hindus are free to pray to whomever - or not pray at all. But we Christians have the same right to pray to God and Jesus Christ."
- Staci Elder Hensley, Oklahoma City: "If people don't want a professed Christian in office, then they shouldn't elect a professed Christian to office. Denying him the right to speak out and organize Christian-focused events is denying him his rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. A note - presidents throughout our country's history have gone to whatever form of media they possessed at the time and asked our citizens to pray. Doesn't mean they have to - or that they have to say a Christian prayer."
- Nita Overby, Oklahoma City, Christian (Baptist): "You asked 'Do you think governors should call for prayer?' I should hope there would be no need - people would come to this
special time on their on. Our country is so blessed for each Christian governor who leads the people in prayer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
- Shelva Sleeper, Christian (Baptist): "This country was based on freedom of religion - that's why the English wanted to establish a new country. I feel our government has left out Jesus Christ. No one should be ashamed of their belief in Christ or afraid to pray. Of course, I like to hear of governors, or any other politician, praying. George Washington prayed for his men at the Delaware River. Why have we changed? These changes lead to rape, robbery, murder, any kind of crime. I admire Gov. Rick Perry. I wish I could meet him and tell him that I admire his courage. Also, Gov. Mary Fallin. Who else do we have - nobody on earth can solve a problem or lack of rain, but our Heavenly Father."
- Patsy Lou Lyles: "Yes, governors, senators, representatives, the president and every American should call on prayer for our country. Not just call, but pray every day for America. Thank you Gov. Perry."
- The Rev. Steve Kern, Oklahoma City, Christian (Southern Baptist): "I plan to attend 'The Response.' This isn't about politics. This is about the people of God getting together and praying."
- Mary Stoldt, Oklahoma City: "I hope that I am one of at least a thousand Christians who have answered your request for an opinion on this issue! Of course it is appropriate for Gov. Perry to call his state to pray for the nation. Our nation was founded on the Christian faith. The very idea that a British atheist shared his view of our founders is outrageous! Many of our founders were ministers of the gospel of Christ. ... I'm saddened that our nation is in the current state of unbelief. I am 75 and have seen the slide from what were days of firm belief to those of the current unbelief on the part of so many. But, maybe the church is partly to blame. Sad, but true. At any rate, good for the governor of Texas."
- Duane Tutor, Edmond: "What is it that people don't understand about America's freedom of speech, religion and opinions? I truly endorse any and all peoples that endorse their Christian faith. That would include the politicians that are supposed to be making monumental decisions on the public's behalf. So study the Bible and show me things that would be immoral or impractical of Jesus' teachings. As a Christian of Baptist faith, and an American, I am of the belief that all others have a right, no, the privilege of expressing their faith and beliefs. I personally, truly believe that if this nation had faith in prayer and Jesus, that things would be better off. In my opinion, what is wrong is if Gov. Perry (or the government) had the power, law or control to make people pray and/or worship as they (government) see fit. Remember he (Perry) is inviting governors and others to attend. After all that voters will judge if they think that is the right approach."
- Barbara Riggs, Oklahoma City, Christian: "Yes to your questions about elected leaders calling for prayer, not only for rain but help with our nation's other problems. Our nation was established on God's principles along with our constitution. Since we are a nation who grants religious freedom to all maybe we need to remember the word 'all'. It certainly wouldn't hurt us to remember that calling on the Lord for help also requires us to ask for forgiveness for not living according to His laws. We are not promised happiness, joy and peace alone, but heartache and hard times too."
- Mary Wheeler, Elk City, Christian (Assemblies of God): "This country was founded on faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that's why we were called a Christian nation. We have every right to pray so do our leaders. I am very proud of Mary Fallin and Gov. Rick Perry for calling for prayer for rain and repentance of the country. Our forefathers founded the country on prayer and faith in God. We are still free to express our faith regardless of what anyone outside our faith says."
- Joyce Waddell, Oklahoma City, Christian (Baptist): "I not only believe Gov. Perry's statement calling the nation (all of us) to call upon Jesus, but for all politicians in government all the way to President Barack Obama to call on the God our Founding Fathers called on in establishing our country in the beginning. All our former presidents had their spiritual mentors, including the most notable one Billy Graham. I believe in the Christian God of the Bible."
- Roma Rogers, Oklahoma City (Southern Baptist): "I truly believe our governors of Oklahoma and our neighboring state of Texas have the right to stand up and let their states know they believe in the one and only true God. Our nation of the United States was founded on our rights of religion, and this is what is wrong with the USA. Too many of our leaders have turned their back on God, and I believe our nation is being punished for this."