Eideard

National Prayer Day ruled unconstitutional

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A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional Thursday, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic.

“In fact, it is because the nature of prayer is so personal and can have such a powerful effect on a community that the government may not use its authority to try to influence an individual’s decision whether and when to pray,” Crabb wrote.

Congress established the day in 1952 and in 1988 set the first Thursday in May as the day for presidents to issue proclamations asking Americans to pray. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison-based group of atheists and agnostics, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2008 arguing the day violated the separation of church and state…

Crabb wrote that her ruling was not a judgment on the value of prayer. She noted government involvement in prayer may be constitutional if the conduct serves a “significant secular purpose” and doesn’t amount to a call for religious action. But the National Day of Prayer crosses that line, she wrote.

“It goes beyond mere ‘acknowledgment’ of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context,” she wrote. “In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience.”

Prayer serves no function especially different from other exercises in onanism. Probably less harmful than consuming alcohol – and not as much fun as masturbation.

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Written by Ed Campbell

April 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm

One Response

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  1. YAY!!! Let’s hope this ruling sticks!

    “It is unfortunate that this court failed to understand that a day set aside for prayer for the country represents a time-honored tradition that embraces the First Amendment, not violates it,” ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said in a statement.

    The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based group of Christian lawyers, issued a statement saying Crabb’s ruling undermines American tradition dating back to the nation’s birth.

    What are these two smoking?

    Exactly how does establishment of prayer not violate the establishment clause?

    When the ADF say “dating back to the nation’s birth”, how do they not see that this tradition started during McCarthyism (like “under god” in the pledge and “In God We Trust”)? All of these things are a celebration of McCarthyism, literally. Why on earth would we celebrate one of the ugliest times in our history?

    Misanthropic Scott

    April 16, 2010 at 8:43 pm


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