Today President Obama will issue a proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer, a day that promotes the benefits of prayer and calls on Americans to pray.
Many Americans, especially the 20% who are nonreligious, oppose the President asking for nationwide prayer not only because it is a violation of church-state separation, but because it excludes humanist, atheist, and nontheist Americans from a civic holiday.
This exclusionary practice is one of the reasons humanist communities across the country will instead celebrate the National Day of Reason today. Established to celebrate reason as the guiding principle of our secular democracy, the National Day of Reason is about including humanist, atheist, and nontheist Americans that feel left out on National Day of Prayer through community events like charity blood drives, outdoor picnics and movie screenings.
This year, thanks to the AHA’s lobbying efforts and supporters like you, Representative Mike Honda (CA), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), and other elected officials on the state and local levels issued a statement or proclamation recognizing the National Day of Reason.
“The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity,” Rep. Michael Honda 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 said in a statement.
If Rep. Honda is your representative in Congress, thank him for his efforts to include the non-religious community, protect the separation of church and state, and continue to fight against exclusion on the basis of religious belief.
Humanist, atheist, and nontheist Americans need reasonable public officials like Rep. Honda and Del. Norton if we want to stop the Religious Right from making their religious beliefs into law. Stand up for church-state separation and thank Rep. Honda for his support of the National Day of Reason.