A National Day of Reason?

I strongly support the National Day of Reason, although I wish it weren’t needed. There would be no National Day of Reason if there were not a government-endorsed National Day of Prayer.

Though held annually on the same day, the first Thursday in May, there is a major difference—and not just in terms of reason vs. faith. Some government officials claim that the National Day of Prayer represents a broad interfaith coalition, which it does not. Shirley Dobson, wife of James Dobson, heads the event. Together they promote conservative Christian causes. However, even if the event were religiously inclusive, it would still exclude millions of Americans who do not pray, and it marginalizes them as second-class citizens.

As a secular country with a secular Constitution, our government should not favor one religion over another, or religion over non-religion. But for those who truly want to be inclusive of all Americans, I have a solution: Have the government sponsor two separate days—a National Day of Prayer and a National Day of Non-Prayer, a day on which Christians might then appreciate how atheists and humanists feel about a government pushing prayer.

That said, I don’t need a president or anyone else telling me to set aside a special day to not pray, because I happily do not pray every day. On the other hand, those who wish to pray every day are free to do so without government urging. Our government should never tell its citizens when, how, or whether to pray.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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