Washington, DC, May 05, 2010
In advance of the National Day of Prayer–an annual event in which the president urges citizens to pray–the American Humanist Association today encouraged people to instead celebrate an event that is inclusive and recognizes a universal American value: the National Day of Reason. The National Day of Reason, which is held to coincide with and as a counter to the National Day of Prayer, will be held on May 6 this year.
In addition to celebrating reason, its primary purpose, it aims to raise public awareness about the threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship. It will be marked by events and demonstrations held across the country, and National Day of Reason events this year will elevate the visibility of secular contributions to the community. Activities will include volunteer work, charity events and open-forum discussions. “Through such activities we hope to make it self-evident that you don’t have to believe in God to be a good person,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
Speckhardt expressed disappointment that President Obama indicated he plans to observe the National Day of Prayer this year–despite the fact that the event was ruled unconstitutional by a US District Court judge in Wisconsin. “The District Court justly ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional,” Speckhardt continued. “Not only does it violate the separation of church and state, but it disregards the diversity of views held in the United States. I invite President Obama to celebrate the National Day of Reason instead. The foundation of democracy is reason, and unlike prayer, reason is inclusive of all. This is a value appropriate for government recognition and celebration.”
More information can be found at http://www.nationaldayofreason.org/, hosted by The American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists. The site includes listings of National Day of Reason events, facts and statistics, church and state separation essays, and an array of related resources.
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 the idea that you can be good without a belief in a god.