Perry Attacked for Prayer Breakfast

Sunday, 12 Jun 2011 05:35 PM

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AUSTIN, Tex. — Gov. Rick Perry is under fire for inviting fellow governors to “a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our troubled nation” that he had scheduled for August 6.

Though some have depicted it as a political move for a potential presidential bid – it’s scheduled the week before the Iowa straw poll -- others have criticized the governor for the explicit evangelical tone of the breakfast. Unlike the National Prayer Days, which include many faiths, the website for the event talks about clear evangelical themes like the infallibility of the New Testament, according to The New York Times.

The event is being paid for by the American Family Association, a conservative evangelical group based in Mississippi.

Only one governor -- Sam Brownback of Kansas, a conservative Roman Catholic – has said he will attend. Meanwhile, some Jewish groups have complained about the event’s tone.

“There are many houses of worship here in Texas, not just Christian churches,” said Kim Kamen, an executive with the American Jewish Committee based in Texas. “As the leader of our state, we hope that he will bear that in mind.”

But Perry rejected the accusations of exclusion. “It is Christian-centered, yes, but I have invited and welcome people of all faiths to attend,” he said in an e-mail to the Times on Friday.

David Lane, an evangelical political organizer from California who has gathered national support for the prayer day, told the Times that “Nobody’s imposing anything on people of other faiths.”

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