Dozens of religious groups yesterday signed an objection to the evangelical prayer event The Response, organized by the American Family Association hate group, a coalition of evangelical leaders, and Texas Governor Rick Perry, and scheduled to take place at Reliant Stadium this Saturday, the Houston Chronicle reports:
On Tuesday, more than 50 Houston-area religious and community leaders disseminated a signed statement drafted by the Anti-Defamation League expressing "deep concern" about a prayer rally "not open to all faiths," while the Houston GLBT Political Caucus and related organizations announced a Friday rally at Tranquility Park to protest the event. The groups that represent gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals accused the American Family Association and other sponsors of the prayer event of hatred toward the GLBT community.
Earlier in the week several other religious groups announced they would protest the event, including members of the UCC and the Houston Clergy Council, who will picket:
The faithful from at least one Fort Worth church will be outside.
"We don't believe that the AFA's message is what the Gospel tells us," said Carol Burnett, moderator of First Congregational Church, a local United Church of Christ. "We are all for prayer. We are not against the governor being there. But we would rather see a prayer rally that is welcoming to all Christians."
Along with some leaders from the Houston Clergy Council, First Congregational will protest the AFA's campaign against same-sex marriage.
The Chronicle adds that Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, the only governor (Perry invited all of them) to RSVP to the event, may now back out, and even though a lawsuit brought by atheists and agnostics aimed at stopping Perry from participating in his capacity as governor was thrown out by a federal judge, it's still unclear what role he'll have in the event.