National Day Of Prayer Ruled Unconstitutional
A federal judge has determined that it is unconstitutional for the government to call for a “National Day of Prayer.”
In a 66-page opinion issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said the holiday violates the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment, which creates a separation of church and state.
“I understand that many may disagree with that conclusion and some may even view it as a criticism of prayer or those who pray,” Crabb said in her opinion. “That is unfortunate. A determination that the government may not endorse a religious message is not a determination that the message itself is harmful, unimportant or undeserving of dissemination.”
The opinion comes in a case filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of self-described “atheists” and “agnostics.”
Crabb said her ruling is based on “relevant case law,” and it does not prevent religious groups from organizing prayer services or prevent the President from discussing his views on prayer.
“The only issue decided in this case is that the federal government may not endorse prayer in a statute,” Crabb said.
Judge Crabb likened the government enacting a prayer day to encouraging other activities outside the scope of government.
…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.”Click here for reuse options!
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