LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A rallying cry for prayer or a political posturing?
it's a question many are debating after Governor Rick Perry's Day of Prayer on Saturday.
Angelina County Republican Party Chairman Bob Flournoy was one of the 30,000 attending.
"It really was as non-partisan as you could ever expect anything to be," Flournoy said. "Somebody says it's political, that's a question of do you think anything about government is a political event?"
"There is always, I would argue, an ulterior motive when politicians come out with statements or get themselves involved in certain activities," said Kwame Badu Antwi-Boasiako, a politics professor at SFA.
Antwi-Boasiako says the event could be a move to capture the Republican nomination.
"If he is going to run, then this could be considered as a strategic political move, using religion as a tool to capture the evangelical votes," Antwi-Boasiako said.
"He called on this a long time before he was really a serious contender for this," Flournoy said. "I don't think it would've been a very good political move."
Protestors showed up too. But the professor says in practice, separation of church and state is virtually impossible.
"Someone like me as a professor, I pray every single day before I go to class and before I come to work," Antwi-Boasiako said. "The same is true for politics. On Gov. Perry's, if a politician asks for divine intervention, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We all need that don't we? We all need that. However, it is the degree to which that is used."
Flournoy says history will tell the impact of the controversial day of prayer.
"There was an expectation or an anticipation by the people that were there that God was going to do something," Flournoy said.
Some say it's what Perry did not say that's important here.