Texas is currently experiencing a historic drought, which is fueling devastating wildfires. Today, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) came up with an innovative solution — prayer. Perry issued an official proclamation drawing on his constitutional authority designating three days as Days of Prayer for Rain:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal and robust way of life.
“State-sanctioned prayer for rain is not unprecedented,” as the Texas Tribune notes. In 2007, then-Georgia Gov. Sunny Purdue (R) “led a solemn crowd of several hundred people in a prayer for rain on his drought-stricken state.” And before him, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (R) issued a similar proclamation to Perry’s. Officials in other parts of Texas have done the same. Previous efforts like Perry’s have sparked opposition from atheists and those concerned about the separation of church and state. However, President Obama and plenty of politicans from both parties have participated in National Days of Prayer and other similar events.