Southern Religion

Unconstitutional National Day of Prayer

It was as inevitable as sunrise that a federal judge would declare the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional. Undeterred by theocratic pleas, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin applied clear logic [ the decision .pdf]. As Annysa Johnson of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

In her ruling, Crabb acknowledged the deep divide over the role of religion in America and the complex and often contradictory jurisprudence on the separation of church and state.

She said the federal statute ordering the president to make the annual proclamation serves no secular purpose, casts nonbelievers as outsiders and goes beyond the mere acknowledgment of religion to encouraging a practice best left to individual conscience.

Cobb said her ruling was not an attack on prayer but an effort to ensure religious liberty.

“The same law that prohibits the government from declaring a National Day of Prayer also prohibits it from declaring a National Day of Blasphemy,” she said in the decision.

Judge Crabb said:

Recognizing the importance of prayer to many people does not mean the government may enact a statute in support of it, any more than the government may encourage citizens to fast during the month of Ramadan, attend a synagogue, purify themselves in a sweat lodge, or practice rune magic.


The Baptist Joint Committee For Religious Liberty agrees.


April 16, 2010 - Posted by | Religion | , ,

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