November 09, 2007
For Immediate Release
(Washington, D.C.) Humanists see Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s call for a rain prayer to be a divisive distraction from the work of government. While leaders of some Georgia religious groups will pray together on Tuesday outside the Georgia state capitol, the American Humanist Association will continue to advance scientific solutions to such environmental problems–solutions that humanists see as of value to all.
American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt explained, “Our elected officials aren’t being true to their oath of office when they promote divisive political props like government organized prayer. Our elected leaders have no business calling on people to express their beliefs in one way over another, nor should public pronouncements of a governor give his personal faith a privileged place over other worldviews.”
Millions of Americans, including many Georgia citizens, don’t see prayer as an answer to any question, especially after the American Heart Journal last year published the results of the most scientifically rigorous study of the efficacy of prayer to date. That study concluded that prayer doesn’t work.
“The governor should be doing the business of government instead of publicly engaging in his personal religious practice,” Speckhardt added.
Millions of Americans who retain faith in prayer see it as a private matter and are offended by politicians’ attempts to hijack their deeply held religious beliefs to boost political poll numbers. In this regard, American Humanist Association President Mel Lipman declared: “Not only does Gov. Perdue’s rain prayer event inappropriately endorse religious belief over nonbelief, it inappropriately sets a standard for how religious people should behave.”
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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 100 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.