Gov. Rick Perry is promoting a prayer assembly on Aug. 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. How commendable! And pious! Just tell Static where to kneel! After all, Perry asked everybody to pray for rain during this summer’s wildfires and, well, you’re not on fire, are you?

But wouldn’t you know it? Every time that coyote-shootin’, air-pollutin’, ethically bankrupt governor of ours tries to do something good, here comes a bunch of zealots with their proverbs in a wad. The persnickety do-gooders at Fort Worth’s First Congregational Church-United Church of Christ are offended by the governor’s big day. Seems they dislike the prayer assembly’s sponsor, the nonprofit American Family Association.



As it turns out, the Fort Worth church doesn’t object to America, families, or associations, but they do object to the AFA’s penchant for hating on people who don’t fit its cookie-cutter mold of conservative Christian behavior and family values. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based civil rights group, has designated the AFA as a hate group for “hate speech disguised as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, causing pain and suffering to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as well as people of faith traditions outside of Christianity.”

The AFA’s director of analysis for government and policy, Bryan Fischer, is a batshit crazy bigot when it comes to homosexuals, whom he has compared to Nazis and child molesters. And don’t get him started on Muslims, immigrants, or Native Americans either.

The Fort Worth church’s congregation of about 75 people voted unanimously last Sunday to protest the event. Many are planning to travel to Houston and hold up signs outside the gates of Reliant Stadium to let visitors know that prayer is good, but doing it under the sponsorship of a gay-bashing hate group isn’t cool.

“We’re going to be completely peaceful,” said the Rev. Katherine Godby. “All we are protesting is the hate speech the American Family Association uses. There are going to be a lot of other groups there protesting the crossing of the boundary between church and state, but we’re not going to focus on that.”