LePage joins Texas governor in supporting 'day of prayer'

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage is supporting a call to make Aug. 6 a national day of prayer and fasting, a move hailed by Christian groups but assailed by organizations who believe the state shouldn't promote one religion over another.

The governor signed the proclamation in early June, joining Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is presiding over a national event that will be held at Reliant Stadium in Houston on the same day.

The day-of-prayer proclamation was signed by LePage June 6 following Perry's appeal in May to the nation's other governors to support the event.

In the proclamation, LePage writes that a day of prayer is an opportunity for Mainers to "turn to God in humility for wisdom, mercy and direction" during "times of trouble."

LePage is featured on the event's website, The Response (theresponseusa.com), which describes the gathering as a chance to heal the country's political, financial and moral wounds.

"According to the Bible, the answer to a nation in such crisis is to gather in humility and repentance and ask God to intervene," the site reads.

Perry's event has spawned a federal lawsuit from a group composed of atheists and agnostics. The group argues that Perry's day of prayer violates the constitutional ban on the government endorsing a specific religion.

Perry, an oft-rumored candidate for president, has also been criticized for using the event to garner political support from the evangelical Christian wing of the Republican Party.

Other critics object to the American Family Association's involvement. The AFA has made strong statements opposing homosexuality.

LePage in the proclamation cites quotes from former U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom at points of national crisis asked citizens to pray for America's protection.

Not everyone is happy that LePage is supporting Perry's event.

Alysia Melnick of the Maine Civil Liberties Union said religion flourishes in Maine and the nation because government doesn't get involved.

"The governor should have faith that the people of Maine can make their own decisions about prayer, without the state's approval or disapproval," Melnick said.

Susan Bernard of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Portland said the organization supported LePage's proclamation.

smistler@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

freedom

i support not just freedom of religion but freedom from religion. if you want to put your faith in all that male based invented mumbo jumbo so be it but don't try to govern my life by it. i'm going with george carlin and believing in the sun and putting my faith in joe pesce.
there may be some good ideas in the bible (may be) but if you take it for an interesting piece of fiction like shakespear or danielle steele, we'd all be better off. myself, i have a hard time reading a book that advocates and promotes such violent behavior in the name of a so-called supreme being who says he'll love you if you profess allegiance to him and who'll send you to a place you'll really suffer forever if you don't. fortunately it's only make-believe but unfortunately our current governor isn't. (and he fell for it hook, line and sinker)

AL PELLETIER's picture

think it

Bill, many people think the same way you do but few have the gonads to say it and Ron's comment about the boat is priceless! It was a real hoot when those TV preachers, preached about the virtues of being a good Christian then spent the rest of the week in a brothel cheating on their wives and how about those Catholic Priests? I think I'll keep bailing my boat.

RONALD RIML's picture

When in a sinking boat...

You may pray, but keep bailing.......

Bernice Fraser's picture

Mr.Albrecht

You should visit the library of Congress to learn the history of our country which was based on Christian beliefs, by people leaving Europe to get away from the oppression of their rights to religion.
I will not waste my time quoting all, for time and space are valuable to me. But. 29 of the 56 signers of the "Declaration of Independence" were trained minister with seminary degrees. The book they most relied on for the Declaration was "Two Teaties of Government" by John Locke. In which he sights the bible 1500 times, to show proper government.
11 years later at the Constitunional Convention they had difficult time coming to an agreement.Ben Franklin then spoke and made a call for prayer.George Washington recorded in his diary " They took 3 days off and went to church and prayed on those 3 days they listened to Reverend Rogers. After the 3 days they re con vine and al
though they did not right away come to a conclusion 11 weeks later we had a constitution, then it went out to the states to be ratified and in most states it was sent to the church.
Thomas Jefferson: The sum of good government are
1. acknowledge and adore God.
2.exercise frugality
3. restrain the infliction of injury
4. Encourage entrepreurship and free enterprise.
5. protect the property and earning of citizen.
all thought in the Bible Although many founding Fathers were very religious, but the least maybe Franklin and Jefferson, but they each promoted the church and God as a Divine Diety.
Written in stone on the Jefferson Memorial are the words;
" Can liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis?
It is a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God- that they are not to be violated but with his wrath.Indeed ,I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever."
Are these the words of a non believer?
To end, I wonder why we the God fearing people always have to defend our moral defenses. What is it in non believers of God that makes them so scared, to let us worship where and when we like, if it is not to your liking no one demands your participation, but should you want to God's arms are always open to embrace you.

The purpose of the 1st admenment was to keep government out of the church not the church out of government. For at that time each state had its own religion and Jefferson felt that having a Federal religion was not proper , as this was a state responsibility.

RONALD RIML's picture

I don't bash people for merely believing in prayer...

It's when they couple that with being complete Ass-hats.

How Pharisaical......

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Thank God

I'm happy to see the governor has decided to pray. Lord knows he sure seems to need a dose of it. As for me, I'm happy to pray when and where God leads me and that God is not called Governor Lepage.

RONALD RIML's picture

I hope the Guv uses the same prayers

That kept him of of Vietnam. Those sure worked for him then.....

 's picture

Day of prayer

How many have actually read the proclomation signed by Governor LePage? He goes back into history, right to our founding fathers, up through the civil war, right into today's circumstances. Where were you anti prayer people, when President Bush had a national day of prayer after 9/11. Didn't hear all these complaints then. And how about when the President signs the proclomation for a National Day of Prayer in May? It's about time we had a leader who recognizes where we are supposed to be in times of trouble. I agree with the previous poster who said if this isn't your thing, then don't participate. As a Bible believing Christian, I will be participating in this great day. I will be praying for this state and nation as I try to do everyday. May we never forget the words and wisdom of our founding fathers as they prayed and sought God's guidance in establishing this great country.

RONALD RIML's picture

President Bush had a National Day of Prayer after 9/11....

And he still attacked Iraq which didn't have a damn thing to do with it???

Musta got his 'Rubrics' confused with his Rubic's Cube.....

 's picture

They didn't

"May we never forget the words and wisdom of our founding fathers as they prayed and sought God's guidance in establishing this great country." Took me a moment to find the Proclamation. I don't normal visit extremist, radical, and terrorist websites so I missed it on the CWA site.
The founding fathers were wise in creating this country. Unfortunately that's not shared by Governor LePage. His proclamation states "....Benjamin Franklin implored the framers to pray for guidance..." implying that the framers then prayed for guidance. They didn't; the Constitutional Convention went on with the debate ignoring Franklin's plea. "...In 1775 the Continential Congress asked the colonies to join in pray..". They did, but they were not founders, there was no Constitution. There was no Bill of Rights or First Amendment. Our real founders learned a lot between 1775 and 1787. President Adams was a founder but his undefined statement was made many years later in a very different age. Lincoln and Roosevelt were not founders and again were from entirely different ages. They were important, but not perfect.
So not one statement here relates to the founding of our country or suggests that the founders believed in pray (a few did not many and those who did were not Christians).
But the worst of this so-called day of pray is it is lead by the Dobsons promoters of hate and by others with long and much lamented pasts of anti-American and anti-christian propaganda. If you are a Bible believing Christian you should be no where near any of these events.

 's picture

You weren't listen as you won't be now

"May we never forget the words and wisdom of our founding fathers as they prayed and sought God's guidance in establishing this great country." - they didn't.
While any "Bible believing Christian" is perfectly correct that they can and should participate in events that are consistent with their views.
Who is wrong here is Governor LePage & Perry for issuing their unconstitutional call for a day of prayer and fasting in violation of their oath of office.

 's picture

Prayer is between me and God

I like LePage, but I'm not with him on this one. I don't tell other people when to pray or what to pray about, and I don't expect anyone else to tell me these things. I pray when and as God leads me.

 's picture

Prayer or campaigning?

The stated reason from Texas Gov Perry for this day or prayer, to help the economy recover? Yea, good luck with that.
What think it's really all about? Helping his name recognition in his upcoming campaign for president. What better PR than to get almost every state's governor to sign on to an event he sponsors! Little does Perry know what a tool he got when he signed LePage up.
Either way, this day or prayer=fail.

Bernice Fraser's picture

day of prayer

When are we Americans going to learn the Constitution?
Admendment1.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR prohibiting the free exercise thereof:Or abridging the freedom of speech, or the pressor the right of the peoplepeacefully to assemble,and to petition the Government for a redress of griveances.
NO one in Congress has passed any law , saying that a religion must be observed. The separation of church and state was and is not ever in the constitution. That phrase from taken out of context from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a pastor in CT. assuring him that the Government would not meddle in the practice of this pastor's church.
For years the state house in Washington was used as a church on sundays and encouraged its members to attend Sunday services and many did, sometime attending services of different denomination which was being held in that building several times on Sundays. Also there is a chapel even now present in the state house for prayers should any of our fine politician wish to make use of it.
No law has been broken in asking for a day of prayer by any Governor , all they are asking is for a day where like minded people pray to God, Whatever religion you may be to help this country in these hard times.
There are books with hundreds of laws that if broken will get you in jail, but there are only 10 short one that if followed will keep you safe. This country was based on Bible and we should return to its teachings, if some are offended about the removalof a certain mural many others are offended of the removal of prayers in school and public places and the removal of the 10 commandments in public places. If you do not want to paticipate in the day of prayer, dont that is your God given right. But do not take away the rights of others who do.

 's picture

Bernice, you read it but your biblican bias does not permit you

to understand it. First, the country was not "based" on the bible. Even the most charitable reading of the Bible and Constitution shows no similarity. And we do know where the ideas that motivated the Founders to form a new country as they did came from. They told us. Not one mentioned the Bible. Not surprisingly. Few Americans were Christian. Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, Washington, Hamilton, etc did not believe in the divinity of Christ. Whole sects who are Christian now denied the divinity of Christ then.10% of Virginians attended Church once a year or more 90% did not.
People offended by the removal of prayer from public schools or the 10 commandments from public places are anti-American and enemies of the Constitution.
The "wall of separation of church and state" was not taken out of context meaning given a different meaning from what was intended. Jefferson and his cabinet went through many drafts of the letter debating various phrases to us and only after approval by the cabinet was this letter which is a state record get sent. If you care to read it all you will note that Jefferson wrote that government has not place taking actions that affect what people think which is the wall. Government has no role in religion and religion has no role in government.

David  Cote's picture

Double standard?

Given the responses here my opinion is you folks don't like this idea simply because LePage suggested it, not because of the separation of church and state argument. After all, your collective points could be made without the hatred contained within your own words. I'm not saying your core beliefs are wrong but it makes your comments look hypocritical when you combat your perceived views of how LePage spreads his "hatred" around by slinging your own brand of hatred. So, in effect, you're no better than he is. One other thing... Given your stance on the subject matter, shouldn't we also chastise President Obama anytime he asks us to "Pray for the victims" of natural disasters and such? And if not then how is that different from what LePage is asking?

 's picture

We should and nothing

Its the burden we pay for having a Christian as President.

AL PELLETIER's picture

humility

Giving your unqualified daughter a 41K a year government job, taking a vacation within the first few months in office, depriving Mainers of art in a state building, using "kiss my ass" as his by-line and "go to hell" as his theme song and so on. Yup, he needs to pray for a little humility and not just one day a year.

 's picture

can't have a mural in a

can't have a mural in a governing facility but you certainly can have day of prayer.

my personal view... day of prayer should be any and every day for those who are religious.

its not really going to matter hm praying we do for "an opportunity for Mainers to "turn to God in humility for wisdom, mercy and direction" during "times of trouble."" if we still continue to have half-baked, under-knowledgeable, under-qualified, unprofessional, hot-headed politicians running our government.

i agree-we do need a miracle-and it certainly is NOT lepage.

 's picture

separation of church and state

apparently our current 38% governor is emulating our recently past president by not reading much or he would have noticed the part in the US Constitution about separation of church and state. it seems he just can't stop coming up with bad ideas or blurting them out. i still support a recall. he's not a governor - he's a joke. what's next - the annual blessing of the legislature.

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