Thursday, May 07, 2009

Today - National Day of Reason

So, let's be reasonable today, OK? So that means no horoscopes, no magical thinking of any kind (yes, I'm talking to you "law of attraction" people), and no, wait for it . . . God.

Why a "National Day of Reason?"

Many who value the separation of religion and government have sought an appropriate response to the federally-supported National Day of Prayer, an annual abuse of the constitution. Nontheistic Americans (including freethinkers, humanists, atheists, agnostics, and deists), along with many traditionally religious allies, view such government-sanctioned sectarianism as unduly exclusionary.

A consortium of leaders from within the community of reason endorsed the idea of a National Day of Reason. This observance is held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday in May each year (May 7th in 2009). The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship.

The Day of Reason also exists to inspire the secular community to be visible and active on this day to set the right example for how to effect positive change. Local organizations might use "Day of Reason" to label their events, or they might choose labels such as Day of Action, Day of Service, or Rational Day of Care. The important message is to provide a positive, useful, constitutional alternative to the exclusionary National Day of Prayer.

To facilitate the commemoration of the National Day of Reason by individuals and organizations throughout the U.S., the American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists joined together in 2003 to launch this National Day of Reason web site. This web site is designed to serve as the focal point for an effort to recognize the National Day of Reason, and as a platform to offer a criticism of the federally-sponsored National Day of Prayer. We hope that it will be a resource to the community of reason, the press, and the general public.

Look to this site for facts and statistics regarding the National Day of Prayer, essays on church-state separation from noted authorities in the field, sample proclamations and press releases, and a host of other resources. The focus of the site will be the many National Day of Reason events taking place in cities and towns across the nation.

We invite individuals and organizations to endorse this campaign, and to submit information about their plans to commemorate the National Day of Reason and their efforts to educate the public about the important underlying issues. Those organizations conducting events, activism or outreach in their communities will be featured on the site so that activists can readily identify opportunities to organize and participate in local events.

There is great potential this year to give voice to our shared concerns about the serious threats to the wall separating religion and government. We hope that you will visit our site again, and we look forward to hearing about your plans to observe the National Day of Reason.

Now, more than ever, America needs a Day of Reason!

OK, sure, why not?

But hell, if we need to remind people to be reasonable, there isn't much hope. Protesting a national day of prayer in a nation that is nearly 80% Christian isn't going to get very far.


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