Perry backs constitutional change for school prayer
December 11th, 2011
11:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Perry backs constitutional change for school prayer

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Sunday for a constitutional amendment to allow prayer in public schools.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," the Republican presidential hopeful went a step further than his previous calls for the Supreme Court to reverse its 1962 decision that banned organized prayer in public schools.

Perry said he would support "a constitutional amendment that would allow our children to pray in school any time that they would like."

Such a proposal would easily pass if put to a nationwide vote, Perry said. The step is necessary because of what Perry called "activist judges" appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court like Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Both justices were named to the court by President Barack Obama.

The issue of prayer in school should a local decision, rather than an issue foisted on the public by the Supreme Court, Perry said.

Asked about his recent gaffe in which he could not remember Sotomayor's name, Perry said that Americans were "looking for someone who is going to make the right decisions, not someone who can either read a teleprompter perfectly or spit out by memory a list of names."

Filed under: 2012 • Rick Perry
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Ron

    Ooops! He's making a fool of himself, again. Done as a presidential candidate and probably done as Tx gov.

    December 11, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Martha in CF

    I guess any child could pray in school anytime they want. But do they have to make it know to fellow school mates???????? Silence is golden....

    December 11, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. EdSantaFe

    Pray your head off. I don't care. But keep prayers out of school!

    December 11, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. EdSantaFe

    This was settled by the SCOTUS in 1962 and has NOTHING to do with Kagan and Sotomayor.


    December 11, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Rick in AZ

    Holy cow! Another Amendment. These Republicans profess a deep love for our Constitution then constantly try to change it. Perry is just a dumb hillbilly in a suit with no grasp of the real world. "Activist" Judge= any decision that goes against what you want.

    December 11, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. SteveK77536

    If you don't understand the facts or the law, you can't bang on them. So you bang on the table.

    December 11, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Jilli

    Kids can pray in school anytime they want, so what's your beef. Mr. Perry, if you want the teachers and school administration are you going to allow all forms of prayer – or are you going to pre-select the religion? I'd love to see the kids in Des Moines on their prayer mats praying to Allah right after their baptist/catholic/evangelical prayers.

    Thank god this clown doesn't have a chance to get into the white house. He wants to undo the last 4 centuries.

    December 11, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. RINO Bil

    Ever since I realized that Rick Perry resembles an older "Otter" from Animal House, I haven't been able to take him seriously ... "Rick Perry, class social secretary, damn glad to meet you." Class social secretary was Perry's highest honor in college, apparently he could not even handle rush chairman.

    His constant harping on nonexistant issues like Obama's "War on Christmas" and school prayer (would his consitutional ammendment permit Muslim children be allowed to pray five times a day and face Mecca?) only re-inforce the fact that this guy is a clown.

    December 11, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Logic in LA

    This guy won't ever have to worry about it. He will not be the nominee and probably showed his failings so that he couldn't be governor again

    December 11, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. a michael

    I have a good idea for the wording for a constitutional amendment that would allow children to pray in school whenever they wanted: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech."

    What do you think? Too radical?

    December 11, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Perry Hater!

    The guys a freaking whacko and of NO consequence! Just another TEXAS IDIOT, of which there are MANY!!!!

    December 11, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Just a thought

    What a complete shame this Perry guy and the entire GOP / Tea Cabal is !

    First off, I am a christian. And I would suggest to all christian parents "PRAY WITH YOUR CHILD EVERY MORNING BEFORE THE HEAD OUT TO SCHOOL"

    ....Problem solved! Geez...What is wrong with this Dubya wanna be Perry? This entire GOP party has become a group of single issue voters. Very little thought driven considerations but a total dismissal of pragmatism, and/or reality.

    In other words, to be a member of the GOP/Tea party; leave common sense at the door....and come on in and get stupid with the rest of them

    December 11, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    If God wanted prayer in public schools, wouldn't he just appear each morning in classes to lead the ceremony? I don't understand why an all powerful deity couldn't do that.

    December 11, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Which big oil company gave this idiot $17 million to act like an idiot?

    December 11, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. SMM

    If Governor Perry thinks there's no prayer in schools, he should visit a classroom in Florida on FCAT day!

    December 11, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Indy

    Pastor Rick must think he is running for position in a Church as his campaign is completely non Presidential and a disaster. Perry has completely failed with his ads and this so called campaign to run the worlds largest economy, and is running on religion and that just wont work. This is one of the worst campaigns ever, he will soon be with Fred Thompson,911 Rudy on the top ten list of worst efforts to gain the Whitehouse

    December 11, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. Lee

    Fellow Texans, for all these years, we've been warning you about Perry, but enough of you are stupid enough or lazy enough to let him stay in office. The rest of you actually voted for him.

    December 11, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. GI Joe

    How has he fooled so many Texans for so long?

    December 11, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why does God need so much money?

    December 11, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Larry L

    Perry held a "prayer day" to pray for the end of the drought. Unfortunately, they started "speaking in tongues" and I suspect they sent God the wrong message. The interpretation must have been more like "start fires and burn the Hell out of Texas and flood all of those folks on the East Coast". Next time they should skip the "tongues" stuff and maybe sacrifice a virgin. Or a goat. Or a virgin goat. Whatever – just no tongues...

    December 11, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Dixie AZ

    I'm tired . . . of hearing how "faithful" Perry and some of the other gop candidates think themselves to be. One more holy than the other, and not one of these with any ideas for curing the country' ills. If I wanted my child to pray all day instead of learning, I would shut up and send them to a parochial school. It's oh so obvious that Perry should have done less praying and a lot more studying.

    December 11, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. HOJO

    Rick Perry is an idiot. He thought there were only 8 SC justices. His supporters ( Fox News) have tried to claim that the 1962 SC decision banning forced prayer in schools was an 8-1 decision and that he was referring to the 8 that voted against it. Hold the fort there Perry supporters... you are wrong. The decision was 6-1 since only 7 justices rendered a decision. Justice Franfurterter was incapticitated due to a stroke and Justice White did not participate in the decision. So try again to defend Perry all you want to but you cannot defend his stupidity and basic lack of knowledge.

    December 11, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Fayse

    When Perry first got into the race his polls were skyrocketing. Many of us here in Texas were trying to tell all of you that Perry is as dumb as a box of rocks. It looks like he has proved our case. I only hope that in the next election for Governor, my fellow Texans remember this. Perry is an embarrassment to Texas.

    December 11, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. Anonoymous1952

    "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." – Jesus, Matthew 6:6

    December 11, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. Clwyd

    Good God we don't need teachers having prayer in school now too. Which religious prayer would Perry suggest? Muslim , Jewish, Catholic , Later Day Saints, Christian????? Stupid!

    December 11, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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