For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Couch, 202-238-9088 ext 105, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Bulger, 202-238-9088 ext. 104, email@example.com
(Washington, DC, April 26th, 2018)—Today, United States Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) introduced House Resolution 852 in the US House of Representatives recognizing May 3, 2018, as the National Day of Reason. Co-sponsoring this resolution are Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), Zoe Lofrgen (D-CA), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC). The National Day of Reason is an initiative by the American Humanist Association to promote reason as a secular alternative to the National Day of Prayer, an annual observance during which the president issues a proclamation encouraging Americans to pray in thanks for America’s freedom and other values.
Unfortunately, the Day of Prayer excludes the quarter of Americans who are nonreligious and don’t pray, but who wish to celebrate the important values which are lauded during the observance. The National Day of Reason was therefore created as a viable inclusive companion to the Day of Prayer that is equally worthy of government recognition. The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans (both religious and nonreligious) can support—and to promote public policy that is based on reason and logic instead of politics and ideology.
Earlier this year, Rep. Huffman announced that he identifies as a humanist, as nonreligious, or as agnostic. Humanism, as defined by the American Humanist Association, is “a progressive lifestance that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity.”
Upon introduction of the resolution, Rep. Huffman said: “President Trump and his cabinet have launched an all-out war on science, reason, and logic, while attacking those of different faiths, beliefs, and backgrounds. Now more than ever before, it’s clear that we need to reaffirm our nation’s founding principle of the separation of church and state. A National Day of Reason offers an inclusive alternative for humanists, atheists, nonreligious, and freethinkers alike to celebrate reason in the public sphere and allow the secular community to inspire positive change.”
“All Americans can celebrate the value of reason, regardless of their religious beliefs. But prayer is different for different faiths, and of course, prayer isn’t practiced by the rapidly growing number of Americans who are nontheistic,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We encourage our elected leaders to use logic, empathy, and equality to protect the freedoms and civil rights of all Americans.”
Efforts are on-going to introduce National Day of Reason resolutions and proclamations at the state and local levels. Humanist groups across the country will observe the National Day of Reason with rallies, lectures, and other events. More information can be found at NationalDayofReason.org.