More information about Kentucky HB 40

HB 40 would require the Governor of Kentucky to declare a “Day of Prayer for Kentucky’s Students,” styled after the National Day of Prayer, a sectarian event that originated with the Rev. Billy Graham during his evangelical crusade in Washington, D.C., in 1952.

Graham expressed an openly Christian purpose, seeking such an annual proclamation by the president because he wanted “the Lord Jesus Christ” to be recognized across the land. Subsequently, the National Day of Prayer Task Force 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.” Chair Shirley Dobson or her designate issues annual National Day of Prayer proclamations and submits them to elected leaders, choosing a theme with supporting scripture from the bible. The task force’s stated goal is to pressure as many mayors and other elected officials as possible to also issue National Day of Prayer proclamations.

As FFRF often says, nothing fails like prayer. Offering Kentucky students prayers not only accomplishes nothing, but it also gives lawmakers the illusion of having accomplished something, all while tacitly emboldening public school teachers and administrators to encourage their students to pray, thus exposing public schools to legal liability for no reason.

Freedom From Religion Foundation