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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

(Photo: Video Capture)
(Photo: Video Capture)

‘Faith, Family & Freedom’ planned as alternative to Perry’s ‘Response’

By Mary Tuma | 07.28.11 | 9:00 am

Billed as an “alternative” to Gov. Rick Perry’s prayer and fast event “The Response,” the ACLU of Texas and Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced today they will be hosting a gathering of their own the evening before Perry’s, to promote the diversity they say is missing from the Christian-based prayer event.

“Gov. Perry’s decision to sponsor a ‘Christians-only’ prayer rally is bad enough. That he turned to an array of intolerant religious extremists to put it on for him is even worse,” Americans United for Separation of Church and State director Barry Lynn said in a statement. “This event unites us in our conviction that government should have no favorite theology and that it must always strive to ensure that all citizens — Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and others — are full and equal partners in the public square.”

Called “Faith, Family and Freedom,” the Aug. 5 event is scheduled to feature religious and non-religious leaders from the Houston community and is intended to celebrate “diversity, inclusion, and unity” — qualities the civil liberties and watchdog groups say are lacking from the prayer rally.

“Government promotion of an exclusive Christian event implies that our government views certain types of people as more caring about the well-being of our country than others, and also implies that our government views Christianity as the only way to approach the challenges that our society faces,” said Terri Burke ACLU of Texas’ executive director. “We don’t see it that way, and thought somebody ought to host an event that welcomes all faiths and traditions.”

The ACLU recently filed an open records request to ensure no taxpayer funds have gone toward the Perry-sponsored event, The Independent reported. That information is expected to be released by Aug. 3.

A growing coalition of LGBT-rights and faith-based groups have also planned a counter protest just north of Reliant Stadium, the site of the all-day prayer event, on the day of the rally.

Groups including GetEQUAL, a Texas-wide, direct-action LGBT civil rights organization, the Texas chapter of The Secular Coalition of America, the American Atheists and the Houston Clergy Council plan to conduct a peaceful demonstration opposing the event’s possible church/state separation violations, religious exclusivity and its affiliation with the American Family Association, a designated anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and one of a handful of out-of-state groups that bankrolled Bob Vander Plaats’ successful effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices in 2010. More than 800 people have signed up to attend on the event’s Facebook page, up from 300 in mid-June.

Perry spokesperson Lucy Nashed has countered accusations of religious exclusivity, saying the event is Christian-based, but that the governor has invited, “all faiths to pray however they see fit.”


  • Wayne

    I am a full American Citizen whose father died defending this country in VietNam. I am not a Christian but belong to the world’s largest religion. I am very tired of these Christian groups and Perry trying to cram your Jesus down our throats and trying to turn our Constitution into a Christian Document! In the Federalist Papers, James Madison warned of people like you!!!

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