AHA News |  

“Colorado Day of Prayer” Opposed in American Humanist Association Amicus Brief Filing

Appignani Humanist Legal Center Argues Against Church-State Entanglement

For Immediate Release

Contact: Maggie Ardiente, mardiente@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 x116
Monica Miller, mmiller@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 x 120

(Washington, DC, Nov. 7, 2013) — The American Humanist Association has filed an amicus brief with the Colorado Supreme Court in support of a lower court ruling that declared unconstitutional the governor's "Colorado Day of Prayer" proclamations. The court has accepted an appeal by Gov. John Hickenlooper of the Colorado Court of Appeals unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel earlier this year.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is supporting the Freedom From Religion Foundation in this case, arguing that the state is marginalizing citizens who don’t pray and that “AHA members are also forced to witness their own government preferring religion over non-religion, which sends a symbolic message to AHA’s members that God-belief is favored and that humanism is disapproved.”

“These proclamations are a clear attempt by the government to promote a singular religious point of view,” said Monica Miller, an attorney and legal consultant with the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “There is no secular justification for the practice and it should be stopped.”

“Not only do the prayers advance religion over non-religion,” the brief concludes, “but they also affiliate the government with Christianity specifically, through its close alliance with the National Day of Prayer Task Force, the purpose of which is to spread the Christian message through such prayer proclamations.“

The National Day of Prayer Task Force states that their mission “is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.” The National Day of Reason, a project co-created by the American Humanist Association, is a growing national alternative to the National Day of Prayer.

“This religious motivation is one that should remain a private matter free from government involvement,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “For a governor to use the office to officially endorse this kind of sentiment is not only unconstitutional, but an attack on religious freedoms.”

A copy of the amicus brief can be found here.

###

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 175 local chapters and affiliates across the United States. Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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

American Humanist Association

Today is Openly Secular Day! Show others in your community that they know a huma...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Victory! A public school in Colorado will no longer be allowed to partner with O...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Here is how some of our chapters are celebrat...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

The latest issue of the Humanist magazine features SMART Recovery USA, a secular...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

“A freshman student was required to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, despite...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Who was Leo P. Thornton?

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

National Day of Reason is two weeks away! If you think reason, not prayer, shoul...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

For more information about The Humanist Institute, please visit: http://humanist...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

The AHA is excited to present The Onion with the 2015 Humanist Media Award. This...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Only 5 more days until ReAsonCon 2015. Get your tickets today! Visit the link be...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Seculars have been quiet and invisible as a demographic for too long, but Openly...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss the upcoming annual BSIC panel discussion entitled “Imagining the Fut...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

We’re featuring new comics this week by Polyp Cartoonist! For more great comics...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

What would Molly Ringwald say about privacy? Should a student attending a privat...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

Luis Granados explains why Ayaan Hirsi is wrong about Islamic reform in his revi...

9 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA legal director David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming Am...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week, AHA staff member Jessica Xiao interviewed Lynn Rothschild, senior sci...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is Ask an Atheist Day! Have a question about atheism, humanism, or non-bel...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Could we see an open Humanist in Congress in 2016? It seems Maryland Senator Jam...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

This week on The Humanist Hour #146: A Conversation with Lisa Montoya, Seminary...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Mother's Day is right around the corner! If you are shopping for that special la...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

The world's most and least religious countries.

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Shortly after we ensure that teachers won't pass out Bibles to their students at...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

Robert Ray, President of Humanists of North Puget Sound, delivered a humanist in...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

Don't miss Kelly Carlin, daughter of atheist comedian George Carlin, at AHA's 74...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

What should the humanist response to terrorism be? Clay Farris Naff has some pro...

12 days ago