CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
National Day of Prayer ruled unconstitutional
WorldNetDaily.com reports: “A federal district court in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb issued the decision in a case filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based atheist and agnostic group that challenged the constitutionality of a 1988 federal law.
The law gives the president the authority to designate the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer.
Crabb, appointed to the court in 1979 by President Carter, determined the statute violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which says, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
In her opinion Crabb wrote that in her view of case law, government involvement in prayer may be consistent with the establishment clause when the government’s conduct serves a significant secular purpose and is not a ‘call for religious action on the part of citizens,’ citing a high-profile Ten Commandments case, McCreary County, Kentucky v. ACLU.
Unfortunately, she wrote, the National Day of Prayer law cannot meet that test.
It goes beyond mere ‘acknowledgment’ of religion, Crabb wrote, because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context. In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience.…” (This pleases Annie Gaylor who heads up the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an atheist organization. Psalm 9:17 states: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God…”)