Action Alert

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We need a National Day of Reason

A California congressman is trying to make our country see reason, and we need to fully support him.

Rep. Mike Honda of California (along with co-sponsor Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia) recently introduced a resolution to observe May 5 this year as the National Day of Reason. It aims to encourage "all citizens, residents, and visitors to join in observing this day and focusing upon the employment of reason, critical thought, the scientific method, and free inquiry to the resolution of human problems and for the welfare of humankind."

The date is cleverly the same as for the National Day of Prayer—clearly an attempt to counter the unconstitutional sanction given to Christian religiosity on that day.

The National Day of Prayer is blatantly unconstitutional. It originated in 1952 with the Rev. Billy Graham, who wanted "the Lord Jesus Christ" to be recognized across the land. Congress enacted a law requiring the president to proclaim an annual National Day of Prayer, exhorting citizens "to turn to God in prayer, at churches." In the 1980s, the National Day of Prayer Task Force associated with the Focus on the Family was created to "communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership."

FFRF brought a federal challenge to the National Day of Prayer in 2008, winning a historic 2010 ruling by Judge Barbara Crabb that found the law unconstitutional. (The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals later held that FFRF did not have standing to sue.) In her ruling, Crabb wrote: "The same law that prohibits the government from declaring a National Day of Prayer also prohibits it from declaring a National Day of Blasphemy." She added that the National Day of Prayer "serves no purpose but to encourage a religious exercise, making it difficult for a reasonable observer to see the statute as anything other than a religious endorsement."

A resolution initiated by Honda last year similar to one he just introduced died without going to the floor, and so he needs all the support he can get.

TAKE ACTION

The resolution is currently before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Contact committee members now!

Contact your representative today and urge them to support the resolution!

TALKING POINTS

Personalize your statement, or copy and paste in the wording below:

As a taxpayer, constituent and atheist/agnostic/unbeliever, I urge you to support House Resolution 670, which would designate May 5 as the National Day of Reason. This alternative to the National Day of Prayer is inclusive of all Americans, as both the religious and the nonreligious can benefit from "focusing upon the employment of reason, critical thought, the scientific method, and free inquiry to the resolution of human problems and for the welfare of humankind." Please back this inclusive measure.

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