National Day of Prayer Deemed Unconstitutional, but Obama Will Recognize it Anyway
Yesterday, a U.S. District Judge in Wisconsin ruled that the annual National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.
“It goes beyond mere ‘acknowledgment’ of religion 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,” wrote Judge Barbara Crabb, who said the Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause, which bans the creation of a “law respecting an establishment of religion” in the Constitution.
I’m glad to hear this.
Some Christians argue that advocating prayer doesn’t advocate any particular religion and therefore it’s fine. The atheists and agnostics are rightly frustrated by this argument that dismisses them (16% of the population) as having any significance, but many others have reason to take offense.
Not all religions are theistic. For many Buddhists, prayer has nothing to do with their religious practice. Why not force a day of meditation on all of the theists? And, for the atheists and agnostics, why not have a day of questioning and denying God’s existence?
There is one further issue that this news report clarifies. Fox News and Tea Party protesters may call Obama all kinds of names, but there are two labels that can’t be honestly applied to Obama: Liberal and Progressive. He has continued all the same policies as Bush, and he has passed a health reform bill that ultimately helps insurance companies more than the average American. Bush was a corporatist. Obama is a corporatist. And Christianity is the religion favored by corporatist presidents. Christianity and patriotism. The tools used by corporatism to keep Americans in line. Interestingly, the Tea Party (which is funded and promoted by corporations) uses Christianity and patriotism to attack everyone they disagree with.
How many of the Teabaggers who have called Obama a Muslim will be praying on the National Day of Prayer?
How many of the Fundamentalists who claim to believe Obama is the Anti-Christ will be praying on the National Day of Prayer?