Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue has decided to take action on the Southeaster drought: he will lead a mass prayer for rain. It is hoped, it appears, that with the governor out front on the issue, the Almighty will reconsider the weather patterns and send some water Georgia’s way. Putting aside the usefulness of this particular state initiative, one group is criticizing the event as a violation of the separation of church and state.
The Atlanta Freethought Society will protest the event. However, that may be all that it can do. Public officials are permitted to participate in prayer at public events. Restrictions on prayer have largely concerned school events involving young people. Legislatures often open with a prayer. Particularly when it is a non-sectarian prayer, courts are likely to rule that it is not a violation. However, it might be more useful for Georgians to pray for a less divinely and more practically focused government. For the full story, click here