Patrick Boycotts Prayer, Praises Religious Freedom

April 5, 2007


Source: Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN --Republican Sen. Dan Patrick on Wednesday boycotted the first prayer delivered in the Texas Senate by a Muslim cleric, and then praised religious tolerance and freedom of speech in an address at the end of the day's session.

"I think that it's important that we are tolerant as a people of all faiths, but that doesn't mean we have to endorse all faiths, and that was my decision," he said later.

"I surely believe that everyone should have the right to speak, but I didn't want my attendance on the floor to appear that I was endorsing that."

Patrick, a conservative radio talk show host from Houston and self-professed Christian, said he wasn't the only senator to miss the invocation -- in English and song -- by the Imam Yusuf Kavakci of the Dallas Central Mosque.