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Black Ministers Urge Perry To Denounce Divisive Rhetoric At Prayer Event

By Marie Diamond, TP, Aug. 5, 2011

“Tomorrow in Houston, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) will hold his much-anticipated prayer event known as “The Response.” The event has been mired in controversey for weeks as Perry has faced criticism over its exclusion of non-Christians, the hateful rhetoric and beliefs of pastors who are participating, and questions about whether he is violating the separation of church and state.

Now, a group of African-American ministers is urging Perry to publicly denounce the divisive rhetoric of the event’s sponsor, the American Family Association (AFA). The AFA has a long history of “making derogatory remarks about gays and lesbians, progressives, Native Americans, African Americans and non-Christians.”

Leslie Watson Malachi, director of African American Ministers in Action, a nationwide network of African American clergy, expressed his disappointment that Perry “has chosen to ally himself not with voices of unity and hope but with forces of division and intolerance.” His group is asking Perry to use the rally to unite communities with prayer and “pray for a better future for all Americans.”

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