Prayer – the Great Debate

Published 10:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2010

Should our nation’s government support individuals or groups who choose to “go to God” in prayer in a public setting?

Perhaps a better question is does that support conflict with the Constitution on which this nation was founded…a written document that calls for the separation of church and state.

The answer to either question pretty much depends on which side one chooses in this age-old debate over the National Day of Prayer.

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress and signed into law in 1952.

While there have been groups, particularly non-believers in a power greater than man, that have actively sought to have this special day abolished, it appears now, going forward, that the courts may have a say whether or not it is permissible, based on law, to have a sitting President of the United States sign a proclamation that encourages all Americans to pray.

President Obama did sign such a proclamation.

Based on a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation against the President, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin ruled April 15 that federal law designating a National Day of Prayer and requires an annual presidential proclamation of the same violates the establishment clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment.

We are of the opinion that Judge Crabb, while sticking to the letter of the law, failed to see the bigger picture…one that the founding fathers of this great nation painted with religious overtones 234 years ago.

It shouldn’t take the signature of a President on a piece of paper to allow free Americans to gather publically for the purpose of prayer. Those who would protest such gatherings, of any religious faith, are denying Americans of their most basic rights – that of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.