Thursday, May 06, 2010

National Prayer Day

It won’t surprise you to read that I am happy a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. Judge Barbara Crabb said: “It goes beyond mere ‘acknowledgment’ of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function.”

My favorite charity, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and other atheists and agnostics brought a lawsuit that led to the ruling. Not surprisingly the religion lobby, led by Barack Obama, is going to appeal the decision.

I wish I were confident that Judge Crabb’s decision will not be overturned. It’s even possible that this thing will end up in the Supreme Court, which will give the conservative majority on the court a chance to reverse a 1971 decision that declared unconstitutional any government endorsement of religion. That would be really bad news.

While there are indicators that more and more Americans are moving into the anti- or non-religious minority, a majority feels otherwise. And recent rulings that keep “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and “In God We Trust” on coins and currency are not hopeful harbingers of what’s to come from our enlightened judiciary.

So the prayer day victory may be short lived. Do you think I should say a prayer and ask for help?


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