AHA News |  

Congressional Support for National Day of Reason, Alternative to National Day of Prayer

Update: Charlotte, NC Mayor Anthony Foxx issues Day of Reason Proclamation.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088 ex 105, bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, April 30, 2013)—Two members of Congress are offering encouragement to those taking part in National Day of Reason events on May 2, an observance that promoters see as a more inclusive alternative to the religiously focused, government-sponsored National Day of Prayer.

“The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity,” Rep. Michael Honda (CA) declared in the Congressional record. “It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the Constitutional separation of religion and government.”

“I encourage all citizens 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 for the welfare of humanity," Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) entered into the Congressional Record

This support takes on a new meaning this year in light of the recent controversy over the refusal to include secular representation at the official memorial service honoring the victims of the recent Boston bombings. The National Day of Prayer Task Force openly admits that its purpose is to represent “a Judeo Christian expression of the national observance.” Supporters of the National Day of Reason find this practice exclusionary.

“Our elected officials dishonor their office and their constituents when they promote and attend divisive events that tell a growing minority of Americans that they aren’t worthy of full citizenship,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “Our secular government has no business endorsing expression of some beliefs while excluding others.”

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by an act of Congress to be held each year on the first Thursday of May. In response to what it regards as an ongoing violation of the First Amendment, the American Humanist Association, together with the Washington Area Secular Humanists, created the National Day of Reason “to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship.”

Support by elected officials for the National Day of Reason is nothing new. Former Rep. Pete Stark (CA) issued National Day of Reason proclamations while in office, as have several local and state government officials.

Local groups all over the country hold events on the National Day of Reason in a variety of ways, but all are geared toward raising the visibility of the secular community and to setting an example for how one might effect positive change. Local events in past years have included a day of volunteer work, a charity activity, or lectures and discussions designed to foster rational thought. The National Day of Reason website at NationalDayOfReason.org indicates directions that local groups around the country can or are taking this year.

###

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 160 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

American Humanist Association

The Humanevangelist: Skyfall, Humanist Style by Clay Farris Naff. http://thehu...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you, or someone you know, be a good fit for the American Humanist Associat...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is an interesting letter to the editor of The Press Enterprise. http://www...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy 271st Birthday Thomas Jefferson! Read Jefferson's wall of separation lett...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good so there are options... Happy Friday Everyone!! http://obscureinternet....

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Bible According to Thomas Jefferson. http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are getting ready! Are you? Register today! http://conference.americanhumani...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Inheriting the Wind by Daniel Thomas Moran! http://thehumanist.com/arts_enterta...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! What did the July/August, 1981 issue of the Humanist magazi...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good! Now we can all relax... Science is here! Four Blood Moons: Total Lunar...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out this info-graph from the Public Religion Research Institute. http://...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Rules Are for Schmucks: House Rules. By Luis Granados http://thehumanist.com/ne...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another installment of Carl Coon's A Short History of Evolution. This week's top...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Matthew Bulger reports from On The Hill. http://thehumanist.com/news/nati...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out the latest Humanist Hour Podcast with Guy P. Harrison on Skepticism an...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out Roy Speckhardt's new Huffpost Article "Why Population Dynamics Matter"...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Atheists Who Adopt: We're Raising Our Seven Kids, Four Through Adoption, to be F...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

With the National Day of Reason fast approaching we need your help in getting me...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out this cool comic strip! Thanks Ayhan Bardakchiev for sharing. To view...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Matthew Bulger, AHA Legislative Associate, gives us his take on Noah. http://t...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Ethical Dilemma: I Loved Annie Hall. Should I Hate Woody Allen? http://theh...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

NEWS: Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Bills To Allow Atheist Wedding Officiants....

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Woo Hoo! Thank you to everyone who donated to the InStove campaign through Hum...

9 days ago