(Washington, D.C., May 4, 2011) “The continued government sponsorship of the National Day of Prayer threatens the foundation of church and state separation that this country thrives on,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, “the President of the United States has no business recommending prayer to a diverse nation, many of whom do not rely on prayer.”
President Obama has issued a proclamation recognizing May 5, 2011 as the National Day of Prayer–observed on the first Thursday of May each year. As an inclusive and constitutional alternative, the American Humanist Association is promoting National Day of Reason on May 5, 2011, for humanists, atheists and other nonbelievers who value the importance of reason.
“The National Day of Reason has truly taken off,” Speckhardt continued. “Through National Day of Reason activities such as volunteer work, charity events and open-forum discussions, it’s self-evident that you don’t have to believe in God to be a good person, and you don’t have to adhere to a divisive tradition such as the National Day of Prayer.”
In addition to its primary purpose of celebrating reason, the National Day of Reason aims to raise public awareness about the threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship. With events and demonstrations across the country, the National Day of Reason will elevate the visibility of secular contributions to the community.
In April, a federal appeals court overturned last year’s ruling which declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.
More information can be found at http://www.nationaldayofreason.org/. 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 God.