Was looking at "Rick Perry Day Of Prayer Shadows 2012 Ambitions" and saw that of the 71,000 plus seats only 8,000 were going to be occupied.
I thought about the Gospel story of a man who prepared a great feast and invited all his friends. None of them showed up. So the man walks out and gathers everyone else he can find to attend his feast. He gets a full room and a lot of fun. Then the original invitees start complaining. The man essentially says, "Look -- you didn't want to come so I invited them -- they're having a good time and so am I. You have a problem with that?"
I started thinking about soccer (God knows why -- The Philadelphia Union is losing Carlos Ruiz so I guess they need some prayers). My mind turned to the European and MLS Soccer stadiums where each of the teams fans come out in their own colors to sing songs and cheer for their team.
Then I started to think: What if Atheists started showing up at this Rick Perry thing? They got nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon (or Sunday mornings for that matter). They could all show up wearing big Scarlet A Tee-Shirts.
Hey -- it's Ramadan Month - I could see a competing section of Muslims walking in with big green pom-poms.
Catholics start showing up in White and Yellow Miter caps.
Jews in blue yarmulkes.
Protestants show up in Alligator shirts and plaid golf pants.
Pagans and Druids show up with Pine Sprigs.
Charismatic Christians can cheer in tongues.
Mormons can work the crowds on the way in and the Jehovah Witnesses can work the crowds on the way out. (During halftime of the rally they can send teams out to try to convert each other with leaflets and magazines.)
I am not a big fan of Rick Perry. I think he's more than a little wacky -- a side effect of global warming is that a lot people's brains have roasted down in Texas.
But I am a big fan of God (sorry Atheists and Agnostics) and The United States Constitution (sorry Theocrats).
When I looked at the FAQ for this event I saw that it was an exclusive Evangelical Christian thing. The man set a feast and they ain't showing.
If Rick Perry wants to have a Day of Prayer -- invite everyone -- and allow everyone's faith (or non-faith) to speak to God and to speak to the gathered. It is a reflection of the America that this man is thinking that he wants to lead.
We'll see if the Evangelical Christian-only crowd can show some tolerance towards other folks. We will know they are Christians by their love.
Or do we have to build barbed-wire moats around each of our groups to stay safe?