A federal district court of appeals has overturned a lower federal court that had ruled the National Day of Prayer as constitutional. This was based on perceived lack of standing by the plaintiffs.
The National Day of Prayer was an act passed by Congress in order to promote religion in the U.S. Supporters of this unconstitutional act defend this legislation by stating it is just to tell people they have the right to prayer. Yeah right. To be specific, the NDP mandates that the president issue a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
Even if the president was an atheist, he would be required to tell his fellow Americans about prayer, as if we live in a nation where nobody had ever heard of it. The U.S. is by far the most religious developed nation in the world. This is not the Czech Republic. Even in the most secular states, religion is everywhere.
Nothing is, of course, hindering the ability of people to pray, if they so wish. Nothing is hindering the ability of private organizations to promote their religious beliefs. Look at me, I do not require the government to promote my own humanist beliefs. I, nor any atheists, require nor want the government to spend a day stating to Americans not to pray, or to urge them to doubt if there is a god. There would be outrage, and it would be understandable.
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This decision sets a precedent in making it almost impossible for citizens to challenge the ability of their government to promote religion. As citizens, the idea that we dont' have standing to challenge our government's violation of the Establishment clause, which prohibits a promotion and endorsement of religion, is absurd.
There are many Americans on the religious right who fundamentally believe that the government is an arm of their church. They sincerely believe that their deity, and not American citizens, determine the direction of our nation. Fundamentally, the difference between their beliefs and the beliefs of the clerics in Iran in terms of a government and nation being led and directed by a god, is a matter of degree and not kind. Theocracy of any sort, should be opposed.