Yesterday the President of the United States issued a proclamation calling upon all Americans "to turn to God in prayer", including 13 million American atheists and agnostics; a sub-set of the 33 million Americans who have no religious affiliation.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has sued to stop the National Day of Prayer as an unconstitutional endorsement of religion over irreligion by the federal government. A federal district court in Wisconsin agreed and ruled in their favor in 2010. Then in 2011, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the case, ruling the Freedom from Religion Foundation lacked the legal right to bring the suit.
In other words, a federal appeals court full of religious men saw they were going to lose the game, so they disqualified the other team: us. So it goes.
There is one small thing I find encouraging. President Obama has issued the first proclamation of this type that is not overtly Christian in nature. He seems to be annoying all the right people.
It's in your face. It's unconstitutional. But it's staying. Happy National Day of Prayer everybody.
36 U.S.C. § 119 : US Code - Section 119: National Day of Prayer
The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals. (Enacted in 1952)
Presidential Proclamation -- National Day of Prayer, 2013
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Americans have long turned to prayer both in times of joy and times of sorrow. On their voyage to the New World, the earliest settlers prayed that they would "rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work." From that day forward, Americans have prayed as a means of uniting, guiding, and healing. In times of hardship and tragedy, and in periods of peace and prosperity, prayer has provided reassurance, sustenance, and affirmation of common purpose.
Prayer brings communities together and can be a wellspring of strength and support. In the aftermath of senseless acts of violence, the prayers of countless Americans signal to grieving families and a suffering community that they are not alone. Their pain is a shared pain, and their hope a shared hope. Regardless of religion or creed, Americans reflect on the sacredness of life and express their sympathy for the wounded, offering comfort and holding up a light in an hour of darkness.
All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses of worship, at community gatherings, in our homes, and in neighborhoods all across our country. Let us give thanks for the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, whether individually or in fellowship.
On this day, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers all those affected by recent events, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, and the explosion in West, Texas. Let us pray for the police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who put themselves in harm's way to protect their fellow Americans. Let us also pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform and their families who serve and sacrifice for our country. Let us come together to pray for peace and goodwill today and in the days ahead as we work to meet the great challenges of our time.
The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a "National Day of Prayer."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2013, as a National Day of Prayer. I join the citizens of our Nation in giving thanks, in accordance with our own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and in asking for God's continued guidance, mercy, and protection.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
What would be the ramifications of a "Boston marathon massacre" occurring on the National Day of Prayer?
The futility of prayer would be rightfully exposed for the sham it is.....
I wonder if any group will be ever able to find standing before the U.S. Supreme Court on this? That statute is clearly a violation of the 1st Amendment. :(
From the Secular Coalition for America:
"Today is the National Day of Reason-- a more inclusive alternative to the congressionally endorsed National Day of Prayer, which is also today. Yesterday, the SCA issued a press release, applauding the support of the National Day of Reason by lawmakers at the federal and local levels and urges all Americans to support the constitutional principal of church-state separation by recognizing the annual observance. Rep. Michael Honda (CA) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) declared their support for the Day of Reason within the last several days. Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, President Obama's nominee for transportation secretary, issued a proclamation, naming Thursday A Day of Reason in the city. The Dunedin City Council in Florida also issued a Day of Reason proclamation."
Then clearly, and before it's too late, the thing to do is to throw reason out the window and join the theists in the cuckoo's nest: "Give us this day our daily meds, and deliver us from reason --"
Poets priests and politicians
Have words to thank for their positions
Words that scream for your submission
And no-one's jamming their transmission
'Cos when their eloquence escapes you
Their logic ties you up and rapes you
De do do do de da da da
Is all I want to say to you