National Day of Prayer Ruled Unconstitutional
National Day of Prayer Ruled Unconstitional
“In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience,” wrote the judge, Barbara B. Crabb.
By Niele Anderson
Sentinel Religion Editor
The foundation of the United States was built in part with a reverence and acknowledgement of God. God can be found in the United States constitution and on U.S. Currency. Recently this acknowledgement has been put to the test by a federal judge.
A federal judge on last Thursday struck down the federal statute that established the National Day of Prayer, ruling that it violates the constitutional ban on government-backed religion. The Obama administration said in a Twitter message on Thursday that Obama intends to recognize this year’s National Day of Prayer, which is May 6.
The belief in prayer for this country can be traced back as far as 1775 when the Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending “a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer”. On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer must be declared by each following president at an appropriate date of his choice.
In 1982 a National Prayer Committee formed to coordinate and implement a fixed commemorated day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended so that the National Day of Prayer would be held on the first Thursday of May. A stated intention of the National Day of Prayer was that it would be a day when adherents of all great religions could unite in prayer. The law was amended in 1988 to designate the first Thursday in May as the annual National Day of Prayer.
“Throughout our nation’s history,” Obama’s proclamation last year read, “Americans have come together in moments of great challenge and uncertainty to humble themselves in prayer.” The injunction against the National Day of Prayer will not take effect until the defendants in the case, President Obama and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, have exhausted their appeals, the decision said.