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2006 National Day of Prayer Counter-Rally, May 4, 2006
To protest the yearly assault on church-state separation, we picketed the National Day of Prayer event at the Texas State capitol. We do these protests to raise awareness of assaults to the Constitution. The ACA cares a lot about the first amendment.

The 2006 National Day of Prayer picket went very well. We didn't get quite the turnout that we got last year, but those who did show up had a great time.

We had nine people, which is down from last year's roughly 18. Now the up side of that is that, apparently we outnumbered the Christians! A couple of passers by said that there was a small group inside the Capitol building praying and making some music, but when we sent our own Chuck Clark in to recon the situation, he emerged saying that he couldn't find any NDOP anything! He asked around inside, and someone pointed at the third floor, but when Chuck went up there, once again he couldn't find any NDOP event. It seems that they either wrapped up their prayer event early (most likely), or had it away from the Capitol. Either way, it actually felt good to picket a non-event, this time.

We passed out all of our fliers, and several pamphlets, and got several thumbs-up and positive honking of horns in support of our cause. One notable passer-by was a jogger who voiced her support loudly. We realized right away that she did the same thing at last year's NDOP picket. Talk about having a good memory, and talk about a popular location for free speech.

We only had a few negative reactions, as is usual. One lady walked by with her family and had several negative things to say to us, but had laryngitis, and couldn't really be heard, even just a few feet away. We just figured that her god was on his lunch break too, otherwise he would've helped her get her message across.

One jogger was quite annoyed with us. He first asked if we were aware that the rest of America was unconcerned about the event, implying that we were stupid to be there. We said the Constitution was on our side, so we weren't concerned about that. The conversation slowly got a little more testy and he ended up giving us some threats of hell and all that. He asked if we had faith. We said "no". Before he ran off, he was trying to make the point that Easter exists, therefore it's important to pray or something like that. (He was trying to make a point about Jesus dying for our sins and all that crap, but he was trying to be subtle about it.)

Later, a woman talked to one of us as she entered the gate of the Captiol. She said several times "You're wrong". We asked if the Constitution was wrong. She replied that the Constitution doesn't mention any separation between church and state. We replied that the NDP event was an establishment of religion. She repeated "you're wrong" and walked off.

We had a young couple come by who were probably visiting the Capitol for other reasons. They came out asking why nobody was suing the government for such obvious violation of the constituion. Exactly!!! They hung around and chatted for a while and toyed with joining our protest, but ultimately they didn't.

Near the end of the hour, Thomas Van Orden wandered by and chatted with Chuck. He thanked us for our help with his 10C case. He's a definite hero to the cause of church state separation.

This year's event was organized by Joe Zamecki and Chuck Clark. Photos by Don Baker.

Our small scale protest for church-state separation.

Long view including the capitol dome.

The picket line. (We've got great banners.)

Joe and Marla.

Joe leading us on.

Joe regaled the crowds and passed out fliers.

The prayers waiting to go inside to pray.

Lots of student groups were involved in the prayer event.

Joe loves pickets!

That's our hero Thomas Van Orden talking with Chuck Clark.

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