The National Day of Reason Doesn’t Have A Prayer

The National Day of Reason Doesn’t Have A Prayer April 29, 2011

That’s the title of my latest column over at The Catholic Thing. It begins this way:

May 5, 2011, is the National Day of Prayer. It has been an annual American observance since Congress enacted it in 1952. The law simply states: “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.”

Since 2003, secular groups in the U.S. have called for a “National Day of Reason,” to be held on the same day as the National Day of Prayer, “to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship.” These secular groups also oppose the National Day of Prayer for several reasons, one of which is that: “it makes those who don’t pray feel like second-class citizens. Why set aside a national day that needlessly excludes?”

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