Religion in Society

The National Day of Reason, a time to celebrate, reason

| by Jerome McCollom

Today, the fifth of May, is the National Day of Reason. It is a day to honor the usage of reason. We are a nation founded upon the usage of reason. The Enlightenment, was the source for our secular republic. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Thomas Paine were men of, and supporters, of that movement. Even though we are a nation founded upon reason, the government is not necessary to support it. The government, be it through the President of the United States, or a governor of one of the 50 states, should not issue a declaration or proclamation in support the usage of reason. But, today is also day declared to be a National Day of Prayer. I am a strong supporter of individuals issuing such a statement, and urging their fellow Americans to pray. Good for them. What is wrong though is the government supporting and endorsing the concept of prayer. T

he National Day of Prayer is intermingling the government/state and prayer/religion. It is not just saying Americans have the right to pray, which no one doubts, but that the government should be endorsing prayer as something good. For example, imagine a day where the government tells people to doubt that a god exists. There would be huge outrage. Now, I can doubt the existence of a deity and I can engage in a conversation with my readers on this issue. What the government cannot and should not do, is take a position when it comes to the existence of such a being. That should be left in the marketplace of ideas. But, that is what the organizers of this day of prayer want, for the government to be on their side. We see this with a god on our currency and our Pledge of Allegiance. Let the government to remain neutral on this issue.