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Branstad received ‘day of prayer’ letter from Rick Perry but declined to take part
Contrary to earlier reports from other media outlets that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad had signed a letter urging Iowans to participate in a day of prayer and fasting at the behest of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Branstad’s office says the governor merely received a letter from Perry asking Branstad and the other 48 governors to “calling upon your constituents to join us in prayer for our nation on August 6″ in a May 23 proclamation.
Branstad declined to make such a proclamation.
Perry, who is considering a run for the White House, has invited the nation’s 49 other governors to Texas the same day to participate in “The Response,” a day of prayer and fasting at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
On “The Response” website, Perry characterizes the United States as a nation in crisis that may be assuaged by prayer.
“Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response,” Perry’s letter said. “Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.”
Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht confirmed Branstad received the letter urging Iowans to consider a day of prayer, but said no trip to Texas is planned at this time.
Don Wildmon is listed as a leader of “The Response” event. Wildmon is the founder and chair of the American Family Association, a Conservative advocacy group who bankrolled The Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats‘s push to oust three Iowa Supreme Court Justices from office last November during the election.
Vander Plaats support Perry’s “The Response” event, saying it “sets a good example” for others in public office.
“As a matter of fact, I thank Gov. Perry for doing this,” Vander Plaats said. “”I don’t see why anybody, even those with no faith, would be discouraged by people using prayer. Our country is in a lot of trouble right now and has a lot of problems.”
Founding fathers often used prayer and fasting during the years when the United States was first forming, and elected officials place their hands on Bibles when taking their oath during office swear-ins, Vander Plaats said.
“I see this as only being a good thing, and it’s good for our leaders to recognize it and bring more focus on God who blesses us,” he said.