Atheists Condemn Kansas Gov.'s Issuance of "Day of Collective Repentance to God"

Washington, DC-The Secular Coalition for America today condemned Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for issuing an overtly religious proclamation and taking part in an upcoming event sponsored by organizations that seek to replace the nation's secular government with Christian theology.

In the official proclamation for Brownback's "Day of Restoration," the Republican governor urged citizens to "collectively repent of distancing ourselves from God and ask for His mercy on us." In conjunction with the proclamation, Brownback released a video in anticipation of the upcoming "Reign Down" prayer rally to take place on Saturday, December 8, in Topeka.

"It's unconscionable that Gov. Brownback, who was elected to serve all citizens, has decided to use his position in government to further a religious ideology," said Edwina Rogers, executive director for the Secular Coalition for America. "It is not lawmakers' jobs to tell citizens to pray or to promote religion."

Described as day of "worship and prayer," "Reign Down" is sponsored by the several government-affiliated groups and leaders, including the Congressional Prayer Caucus and Republican Rep. Trent Franks.

Brownback has been involved in other events that insert religion into government. In August of 2011, he spoke and delivered a prayer at Texas Governor Rick Perry's prayer rally and has ties to several key leaders in the Dominionist movement-which seeks to govern the United States with Christian theology-including Lou Engle, who is also a sponsor of "Reign Down."

"The governor's proclamation and participation in the event is exclusionary to thousands of Kansans who do not subscribe to this particular brand of Christianity-both religious and nonreligious Americans," Rogers said. "It's disturbing to see so many lawmakers involved in an event that not only excludes so many of their constituents, but ignores one of the core founding principles of our nation: the separation of church and state."   

The Secular Coalition for America has held initial organizing calls for a state chapter in Kansas. The chapter will lobby state lawmakers to protect and strengthen the secular character of the government.

CONTACT: Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA Communications Manager at [email protected] or (202)299-1091 ext. 205, cell (202)630-9725


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