I've had this debate several places, and the majority of answers were "of course its constitutional, you bigot! YOU don't have to pray!" *foams at mouth*

All while completely ignoring this:

 

Lemon v Kurtzman (1971):

In the absence of precisely stated constitutional prohibitions, we must draw lines with reference to the three main evils against which the Establishment Clause was intended to afford protection: "sponsorship, financial support, and active involvement of the sovereign in religious activity."

Every analysis in this area must begin with consideration of the cumulative criteria developed by the Court over many years. Three such tests may be gleaned from our cases. First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster "an excessive government entanglement with religion."

 

But of course, even our own government tends to be flaky when they decide on what exactly is a secular legislative purpose, as we obviously still have Christmas Day as a national holiday as well.

 

So what do my fellow atheists think?

Yay or nay?

Tags: constitutional, day, national, not, of, or, prayer

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The belief of the common man may be posited as: "It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you believe!"  Ergo, those who do not believe, don't count.  But, however you look at it, foisting any belief is not the province of our government according to the constitution.
The understanding I have about this one is that National day of Prayer isn't for any religion or against any religion it's just there to encourage those of some faith (Christian of all sort, Ba'hai, Muslim, Jewish, Pagan) to include the nation in their intentions.  I don't see that as bad!  I'm more Native American Pagan than true atheist though.  If you have no religious faction to direct your intention to you can always just think more positively about the direction you hope our country to go in much like most of those that are praying.  To deny people a day to give their intentions to the Country is kinda bigoted honestly.  It's not taking part in SPECIFIC religious worship beings that people of all faiths have been welcomed at these events and are encouraged to participate.

The president is not allowed to endorse any ONE faith over another based on the supreme court decisions however vague senses of faith in something the supreme court said was fine.

Vixen, I have to correct you there.

The government cannot endorse any or ALL religion.

 

From the Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute:

"The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion by the Congress or the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion."

Yes but you are applying it wrong in this case. From your own quote: ..."Prohibits the establishment of A national religion or preference of ONE religion over ANOTHER...... To encourage those that DO have a Deity or Many of them to Spend a day in intention for Our nation does not take away from YOUR LACK of a Diety. As this isn't a LAW where all citizens HAVE to pray it in no way establishes a religion. It just is a suggestion that most people don't even follow. Like Memorial day! I mean how many people do you know that "celebrate" memorial day by going to the Ball game or drinking a beer by the lake, ect..... How many people do you know out of the Many in our country that don't so much as Drive BY a cemetery or think of those that have written a check for up to and including their lives if need be for our country? The biggest difference here is that THAT is an actual holiday where people are given the day off to do just that. While the Congress of 1952 put words to it asking citizens to think upon their Chosen deity it doesn't show any one deity to pray for nor does this act (much like most holidays) force people to participate. I seriously think that if you make a big deal out of something that isn't even a holiday or a day when you have to do something. Is it suggested that those who pray do so? Sure! Does that exclude you. Nope! To say it does so is like complaining that There's a menorah next to a Christmas tree in the winter at the White House. Showing that you can't stand others being allowed the same freedoms as you!

... or the preference of one religion over another, non-religion over religion, or religion over non-religion."

It doesn't matter if I'm not required to pray or not; it's the government supporting all religions.

It's showing preference to religion over irreligion.

The government should remain neutral. By removing this day, it doesn't infringe on the rights of the religious; they still get to pray.

But by having this day, it treats atheists/nonbelievers as second class citizens.

It divides rather than unites.

This is not equal treatment. 

 

Showing that you can't stand others being allowed the same freedoms as you!

 

Excuse me??

Any kind of preference shown to any religion or non-religion is unconstitutional. Are you suggesting that our founding fathers were bigoted and 'not allowing the same freedoms as they had?"

You're attacking the victims here; atheists are the ones whose rights are being infringed. The believers are the ones that have had this go on for so long they think it is their RIGHT to force their views on everyone else.

 

You think this isn't a big deal; but if our government can say that all religions are correct, then what's to stop them from telling you WHICH gods to pray to?...

What's to stop them from saying that all atheists are either forced to pray or cannot express their disbelief?

What's to stop them from creating a theocracy?

The answer? Nothing, once we let them disregard our first amendment.

Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile.

 

I just don't want my government telling me that they recognize religion- they are a secular government, and has always been so, per our first amendment.

The fact that you mention Memorial day is irrelevant; it is not religious in nature.

That is not government endorsement of religion.

Just like having a black history month is not religious endorsement.

 

How am I attacking you?  How am I attacking anyone by saying HEY much like MEMORIAL DAY, VETERANS DAY, COLUMBUS DAY (FYI the Asians were here LONG before he showed up), even the 4th of July.  While it hasn't been formally set since the beginning the root of NTP is with George Washington and every President actively religious or not has respected those that are religious in the way that they say that there is an official day of observance.  Just as there is for most religious holidays of ANY type.  You can choose to observe or not observe ANY of these holidays but it makes them no less there.  This does not discriminate against the Non-Believer any more than forcing someone to work on the week leading up to  and including easter is Discriminating against the Christian.  I find your tone to show that you are no better as those hand full of obnoxious Fundamentalist Christians that ONLY want THEIR believe/non-belief to be represented. They aren't saying ANY religion is correct in the proclamation just offering something to those that do.  I'm not a Christian but I don't mind people celebrating easter, I'm not Jewish but I don't mind the menorah at the capital buildings I find them to be showing honor to those that believe.  I find people who would take others rights to worship IN public and be recognized as doing so to be WORSE than the obnoxious fundie christians who say ONLY they are right.  Frankly you are not being persecuted by having the possibility of walking past a court house and seeing Buddhists and Muslims and Ancestor worshipers, Christians, Wiccans et al Praying or meditating in their chosen way however THEY could very easily be discriminated against by taking away this opportunity.  You don't like it so don't PRAY it doesn't say you have to it doesn't say those that do are ANY better than those that don't.   I find you to be a sickening example of why I would be ashamed to be called Atheist JUST like I would be ashamed to be called Christian.  The attitude that ONLY your way is right and ONLY what is comfortable to YOU should be allowed is a show you do not love your freedom or your country.  HOW DARE YOU CLAIM THAT YOUR METHOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY OTHER.  I don't worship Islam but I don't mind that there are such proclamation 

 

As for Christmas, The pagan holiday Yule, et al you don't wanna celebrate AGAIN DON'T but I know MANY MANY Athiests that love their christmas trees and their season of giving love to others.  It's a secular holiday with bastardized roots in many religious traditions so that you don't wanna celebrate it and wanna take the joy from those that do shows you as less than loving human. I feel sorry for you because you must have a rather sad existance!

Oh brother.

Spare me the bullshit.

I've given you enough respect to deserve the same back.

I've given you legal reasons that date to the founding of this country, not some illogical reasoning that religious holidays are just like non-religious holidays and THAT is enough reason to disregard our first amendment.

You're just not grasping the concept that THIS VIOLATES OUR FREEDOM FROM RELIGION.

That is not something I or any other atheist is making up; it's something that all the religious HAVE BEEN IGNORING.

This dates all the way back to the founding fathers; so if you feel like this is bigoted in any way, why don't you go take it up with Thomas Jefferson.

 

You have given NO one respect. The courts have dismissed any challenges to this on the basis that it says FREEDOM OF religion and that sometimes that means there are holidays on the calender that YOU don't celebrate but someone else in this country does. That you refuse to show ANY respect for anyone that Isn't Atheist In this year's appeal it was found that being alienated or offended by any religious celebration that YOU do not participate in is not grounds for you to have been harmed by a less than holiday. AKA the current legal stance on this issue is you are making a mountain out of a mole hill because it's for all faiths to do their thing. Your "faith" is just that you do nothing. Shock that's an OPTION. The founding fathers had a national day of prayer it was just informal till the 50s so if you feel ignored it's because Washington set a precedent to ask the people who were of belief to pray.

It's not a day just set aside for prayer you don't even notice a difference in most cities. Hell in my liberal hippie town you may have people praying to each of various beliefs on each corner of the square and Atheist having a meetup and coffee and polite exchange of ideals just across the street. This happens when people of all faith and non-faith don't start finding reasons to get their hate on to every other group like you seem to do.

The courts have officially said they recognize your right TO not worship but they do not feel that you have the right of blocking many from worshiping in their own way on a randomly chosen day where all faiths are brought together. That you can't find a way to participate shows a weakness in you and not in the system. Most communities with an atheist community do have speakers or readings talking about the random and amazing thing that is all this happening around us through science. I feel sorry that you are such a miserable person that you think that you are the only important person in this country.

You have given NO one respect. The courts have dismissed any challenges to this on the basis that it says FREEDOM OF religion and that sometimes that means there are holidays on the calender that YOU don't celebrate but someone else in this country does.

 

They've also said that 'in god we trust' is constitutional, but that is a direct form of religious endorsement.

And I don't give a rats' ass who celebrates what, it's the fact that the government VALIDATES it/RECOGNIZES it that is unconcstitutional!

What part of that aren't you understanding?

People can STILL practice any holiday they wish WITHOUT the governments' approval, can they not?

I mean, who is in control here? Us or the government?

 

That you refuse to show ANY respect for anyone that Isn't Atheist In this year's appeal it was found that being alienated or offended by any religious celebration that YOU do not participate in is not grounds for you to have been harmed by a less than holiday.

 

Lol, I respect everyones' rights to their religion; what I don't respect is their need to have it validated by our secular government.

 

AKA the current legal stance on this issue is you are making a mountain out of a mole hill because it's for all faiths to do their thing.

 

'Everson v Board (1947):

The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another....'

 

Your argument is proven to be unconstitutional, just on the grounds that it lets all faiths 'do their thing.'


Your "faith" is just that you do nothing.

 

LOL, I haven't a faith. Atheism is not a religion, and no, I do not 'do nothing.'

 

The founding fathers had a national day of prayer it was just informal till the 50s so if you feel ignored it's because Washington set a precedent to ask the people who were of belief to pray.

 

And how does that change the fact that this STILL violates or first amendment?..

Take your time on this one, I'll wait.

 

It's not a day just set aside for prayer you don't even notice a difference in most cities.

 

IT DOESN'T MATTER. THE GOVERNMENT IS RECOGNIZING RELIGION.

 

This happens when people of all faith and non-faith don't start finding reasons to get their hate on to every other group like you seem to do.

 

See, that's precious and all, but in my conservative town, everyone is screaming about their 'right' to prayer being endorsed by our government. You hear it in every conversation and see it every block.

You hear it every ten seconds on the radio.

What you don't understand is that I'm an advocate of religious tolerance; the people who want this day of prayer AREN'T.

Trust me, I would want nothing more than everyone to just accept others.


The courts have officially said they recognize your right TO not worship but they do not feel that you have the right of blocking many from worshiping in their own way on a randomly chosen day where all faiths are brought together.

 

I think I'll keep up the repeating trend:

'Everson v Board (1947):

The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another....'

 

That you can't find a way to participate shows a weakness in you and not in the system.

 

Wha?... So it's my 'weakness' to have a belief in which I WON'T pray to magical sky faeries to solve my problems?

Wow. NOW whose being religiously intolerant?

You're directly discrimating simply because I don't believe in what you do. Again, you're placing the blame on the victim.

 

Most communities with an atheist community do have speakers or readings talking about the random and amazing thing that is all this happening around us through science.

 

Let me tell you a little something about my community; I put a Darwinfish on my truck a few months back. The sticker was torn off, the truck vandalized, my house was broken into and my cat was run over and left on my doorstep.

THAT is what is considered religious tolerance here.

You even mention that you aren't of the Christian belief, (let alone atheist) and they will literally run you out of town.

 

I feel sorry that you are such a miserable person that you think that you are the only important person in this country.

 

Right back at ya sweetie. All I want is my religious freedom back.

All you want is to crush my rights.


Since you brought up the founding fathers- for a basis of historical research http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Day_of_Prayer (but I would recommend reading primary documents as much as possible since there is a huge amount of Christian propaganda out there).

Regardless, the practices of the founding fathers and previous Presidents should not be a justification for any contemporary policy (the same logic would apply to slavery, suppression of womens' rights, etc.).

In school? No. Just having a day called National Prayer Day to me just seems like having a day called President's Day for many people.
Considering that you can't spin the concept of prayer to be secular without being disingenuous, I think it is inappropriate.

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