Dan Barker on FOX News Defends Ruling Against National Day of Prayer

And he nails the case beautifully, replying to the question whether prayer might not benefit some people:

And those people can’t pray unless the government holds their hand?  Those people are not free to pray unless the President gets up and proclaims a day of prayer?  This is a country of freedom. The country is a secular nation, we have a godless constitution that protects the freedom of those Evangelical Christians and other believers to pray as much as they want.  The judge’s decision was not against their freedom to pray or go to church or worship or stand on their head and pray to Mother Goose if they want.  The judge’s decision was against our secular government orchestrating a private religious ritual.  She said that is what crosses the line.

Read the first amendment, it reads that the government shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion and the Courts have consistently upheld that the government should back off and be neutral.  It is these evangelicals who are confusing neutrality with hostility.  They think if the government is not blowing their trumpet, somehow that is offending their freedom to believe.

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Freedom From Religion Foundation


Barker’s a real tonic after the Sarah Palin video from earlier.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.