It was bad enough that a hate group (the American Family Association) and a host of controversial figures (here and here) were behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s prayer extravaganza next month in Houston’s Reliant Stadium. But those names only scratch the surface of extremism linked to the August 6 event. The Dallas Morning News is reporting about some of the other sponsors:

C. Peter Wagner, a Colorado evangelist, has advocated burning the statues of Catholic saints and other non-Protestant religious objects, including those of Mormons and American Indians. He also supports putting business, government and the media under Christian control.

San Antonio megapastor John Hagee, who is scheduled to speak, has said Hitler was part of God’s plan to create a Jewish state and describes the Catholic Church as the “Whore of Babylon.” He preaches an end-times theology that advocates bombing Iran.

Another pastor on the event’s website, Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., has claimed that Oprah Winfrey will be a “pastor” of a “Harlot Babylon preparing the nations to receive the Antichrist.”

A spokesman for Gov. Perry told the Dallas Morning News… Read More

Many of the hateful, sometimes highly political comments some of the people connected to The Response — the Gov. Rick Perry-hosted and supposedly nonpolitical prayer rally in Houston later this summer — are anti-LGBTQ, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Home Depot, anti-Barney the Dinosaur, anti-you name it. And also pro-violence? The event's info packet lists  Pastor Stephen Broden as one of the endorsers of The Response. Broden, of Dallas, ran for Congress as a Republican in 2010 but was defeated in the general election. A few weeks before the election, a Dallas TV reporter confronted Broden about comments he has made from the pulpit, including that the violent overthrow of the government was "on the table" if elections did not produce the results he wanted. Vote for me, or else? From Broden: We have a constitutional remedy. And the Framers say if that don't work, revolution.…… Read More

Gov. Rick Perry and his spokespeople have for a couple of weeks continued to claim that The Response, a Christian prayer and fasting event organized by the hate group the American Family Association and the governor, is not a political rally. Gov. Perry can continue to make that claim, but the people he's partnered with have no reservations about mixing religion and politics. Read More

In just four days, nearly 1,600 people have already signed our open letter calling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry to stop associating with a vicious hate group and to make his August prayer event a truly uniting occasion rather than another “culture war” tool for dividing Americans.

Gov. Perry has asked the American Family Association to organize the August 6 event for conservative evangelical Christians at Reliant Stadium in Houston. But the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the AFA as a hate group on par with the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. In fact, one of the organization’s leading spokesmen is notorious for his incendiary verbal assaults on Muslims and other non-Christians, on gay people and on Native Americans. He also shamelessly uses racially charged rhetoric and has even questioned the Christian faith of President Obama. (See more about the American Family Association here, here and here.)

Join with a growing chorus of voices that are sending a clear message to Gov. Perry: stop associating with hate groups and using faith as a political weapon to divide Americans.

Sign the letter here.Read More

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's decision to host a Christians-only prayer event with a vicious hate group is beyond appalling. The governor and his staff claim that the August 6 event in Houston is meant to bring the nation together in prayer. But how is that remotely possible when the event is designed to promote a conservative evangelical Christianity (a perspective certainly not shared by all Christians) and the governor has asked the American Family Association to organize it? In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified the AFA as a hate group on par with Fred "God Hates Fags" Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church, the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations. Instead of uniting people of faith in prayer for our nation, this event will actually sharpen divisions among Americans along religious and political lines. So it's time for Texans, regardless of faith and political perspective, to stand up for decency, respect and tolerance. Sign on to an open letter that calls on Gov. Perry "to make this gathering open to speakers and attendees of all faiths and welcoming of people of good will who are not affiliated with a faith tradition." Moreover, the…… Read More