The “Response” to Gov Perry’s Response Prayer Rally

The Greater Houston Area Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the ACLU of Texas sponsored an alternative to Gov. Perry’s exclusionary Christian prayer rally.  Community leaders representing a wide variety of religious groups and nonbelievers spoke about the importance of diversity and religious inclusiveness and of church-state separation at the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church in Houston on August 5th.

See the links below for more information.


Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of AU, and Rev. William A. Lawson, founding pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, were featured speakers.  Imam Qasim Khan, Mini Timmaraju, Rev. Ellen Cooper-Davis of Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, Dr. Ariel Thomann, and Rabbi Steven Morgen of Congregation Beth Yeshurun (in a written statement) also gave remarks.  Dr. Michael Rutledge, pastor of Mt. Ararat, gave welcoming remarks and opening and closing prayers.  You can see a clip of the speakers here:

You can see the text of the speakers here:    ‎

You can see Rev. Lynn’s speech here:

This message of church-state separation was sent out all across the nation through the news media and online resources. Lynn appeared on MSNBC’s “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell and “Hardball with Chris Mathews,” CNN’s “The Situation Room,” CBN News, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS and NPR’s “Weekend Edition.”

He also had comments in The Washington Post (Twice! Here and here.), the Associated Press, Bloomberg News , Reuters, the Dallas Morning News, the Los Angeles Times, the Austin-American Statesman, the Houston Chronicle, the American Independent, and others.

Earlier that day, a press conference to promote the event featured Rev. Lynn, Terri Burke of ACLU of Texas, Randy Czarlinsky of American Jewish Committee, Mustafaa Carroll of CAIR, and Professor William Martin, Senior Fellow for Religion and Public Policy at Rice University.

See the pictures:

From the evening event:

For the Press Conference:

August 5 Press Conference

For more information see these links:

to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State