19 April 2010


When U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb (Wisconsin) ruled the Congressionally-mandated National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional, leaders of the Religious Right pulled their heads from the sand and let out a huge yelp.
They said things like:

"Since the days of our Founding Fathers, the government has protected and encouraged public prayer and other expressions of dependence on the Almighty..." (Shirley Dobson of Focus on the Family)


"It is unfortunate that this court failed to understand that a day set aside for prayer for the country represents a time-honored tradition..." (Jay Sekulow of Pat Robertson's Center for Law and Justice)

Actually, the court decision is not attacking our heritage, but is upholding it. Anyone who has read about our Founding Fathers, their views on religion, and their reasons for leaving god out of the Constitution should know better.
James Madison, who is considered to be the Father of the Constitution, thought presidential prayer proclamations nourished the idea of a national religion. Thomas Jefferson believed the decision to pray or not should be an individual choice.
And as for the National Day of Prayer being a time-honored tradition from the early days of our country, it was enacted by Congress less than 60 years ago.
Judge Crabb said that by enacting the National Day of Prayer statute, “the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience.... Recognizing the importance of prayer to many people does not mean that 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. In fact, it is because the nature of prayer is so personal and can have such a powerful effect on a community that the government may not use its authority to try to influence an individual’s decision whether and when to pray.”

(Source: The Wall of Separation blog, 4/16/10)


Snowbrush said...

I didn't even hear about this, but am surprised it's not being appealed.

C Woods said...

Apparently the ruling came down just a few days ago.

Of course it will be appealed, re-appealed, and then appealed again. I am guessing it will eventually get to the Supreme Court.

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