Prayer and use of God questioned

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Why throw God references out of the presidential inauguration? That's the question a federal judge will consider when he hears arguments from an atheist group wanting to stop prayers and the word God in the presidential inauguration.

In response, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today he's joining a bipartisan coalition of 49 attorney generals in a lawsuit. They represent every state in the nation and the Virgin Islands. The suit defends President Elect Obama's right to say the words 'so help me God' in the presidential oath. Obama plans to say those words as he places his hand on Abraham Lincoln's bible. Every president since George Washington has uttered the words ' so help me God'.

East Texas Response

God and prayer are taken pretty seriously in East Texas. Whether it be on the day of prayer or at a presidential inauguration there are folks around here who say God has a role. "I think the attorney generals are doing the right thing because this is God's country," said Deacon Gary Giese as he sat under Sacred Heart Catholic Church's large  American flag and Texas state flag. A true representation of the belief that God and government are united.

Others question why pick the inauguration of the first African American president to pull god from the ceremony. It makes NAACP leader John Morrison mad. "It certainly does and I'm very concerned about that. And I hope this doesn't happen," said Morrison. He's invited to attend the historic event. "It would take something away from the ceremony if Obama couldn't say those words," said Morrison.

Vision America, is a conservative, far right group working to keep God in government. Founder Dr Rick Scarborough said via cell phone, "The day we get to the insanity of banning God and prayer from inauguration is the day we finally commit suicide which we seem to be bent on doing."

Christian believers way of thinking is fairly predictable, but what about a Deborah Bush. She's not an atheist, but practices a neo-pagan, nature-based religion. "God at the inauguration is more than spiritual. It's historical. It's like Obama choosing to use Abraham Lincoln's Bible that he was sworn in. I thought that was great," expressed Bush.

That historical perspective may be the best argument yet to keep things as they are .