« 'We interrupt your vacation fun for this important announcement...' | A country of 'third rails' »
April 17, 2010
National Day of Prayer declared unconstitutional
On Thursday, American Patriots from all across our nation gathered together in a celebration of national unity in defense of our freedom. As we exercised our God given rights under the protection of the First Amendment to our Constitution, a terrible injustice was being perpetrated in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
A Wisconsin federal judge on Thursday found the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, saying it violates the First Amendment prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin was a victory for the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Crabb, a Jimmy Carter appointee claims that since the purpose of the National Day of Prayer is to "encourage" all Americans to pray, it is unconstitutional. The operative word here is "ecourage," this is not a mandate or even a request from the government, it is merely encouragement.
The federal government and our 50 states all have spent valuable resources to encourage us all to refrain from using tobacco products and in fact they actively encourage us to quit smoking through onerous taxation. Mrs. Obama is encouraging us all (especially the children) to eat healthier foods and exercise. There are a myriad of ways in which our government acts through advertising, regulation and taxation to encourage us to live in the manner that they feel is best.
The First Amendment states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibition the free exercise thereof..." and as the National Day of Prayer carries no mandate and no penalty and does not exclude any religious belief (or lack thereof) it could hardly be in conflict with the constitution.
Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed an amices brief in the case on behalf of 31 members of Congress, said he was confident the decision would be overturned on appeal.
"This is one district court judge," said Sekulow, an attorney with the public interest law firm founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. "It's not like it's happening all over the country. In no way do we think this is the mainstream of judicial thinking in the United States."
If the loyal Americans that I had the great pleasure of joining with in friendship during the Crystal Lake, Illinois Tea Party had been aware of Ms. Crabb's outrageous decision it is safe to say that they would have aroused her anger...by praying for her!