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Author Topic: Day of Prayer Ruled Unconstitutional  (Read 6702 times)
TheGreatOne
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« on: April 15, 2010, 09:55:43 pm »
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MADISON, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional Thursday, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic.

"In fact, it is because the nature of prayer is so personal and can have such a powerful effect on a community that the government may not use its authority to try to influence an individual's decision whether and when to pray," Crabb wrote.

Congress established the day in 1952 and in 1988 set the first Thursday in May as the day for presidents to issue proclamations asking Americans to pray. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison-based group of atheists and agnostics, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2008 arguing the day violated the separation of church and state.

President Barack Obama's administration has countered that the statute simply acknowledges the role of religion in the United States. Obama issued a proclamation last year but did not hold public events with religious leaders as former President George W. Bush had done.

Crabb wrote that her ruling shouldn't be considered a bar to any prayer days until all appeals are exhausted. U.S. Justice Department attorneys who represented the federal government in the case were reviewing the ruling Thursday afternoon, agency spokesman Charles Miller said. He declined further comment.

Obama spokesman Matt Lehrich said in an e-mail to The Associated Press the president still plans to issue a proclamation for the next prayer day.

"As he did last year, President Obama intends to recognize a National Day of Prayer," Lehrich said.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which represented 31 members of Congress who joined the federal government as defendants, called Crabb's ruling flawed and promised to appeal.

"It is unfortunate that this court failed to understand that a day set aside for prayer for the country represents a time-honored tradition that embraces the First Amendment, not violates it," ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said in a statement.

The Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based group of Christian lawyers, issued a statement saying Crabb's ruling undermines American tradition dating back to the nation's birth.

Freedom From Religion Foundation attorney Richard Bolton didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

Crabb wrote that her ruling was not a judgment on the value of prayer. She noted government involvement in prayer may be constitutional if the conduct serves a "significant secular purpose" and doesn't amount to a call for religious action. But the National Day of Prayer crosses that line, she wrote.

"It goes beyond mere 'acknowledgment' of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context," she wrote. "In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience."

http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/nation_world/20100415_ap_federaljudgerulesdayofprayerunconstitutional.html

Should have happened along time ago. 
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cinyc
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2010, 10:05:33 pm »
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Nonsense.  What's next?  Thanksgiving?

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

-Abraham Lincoln
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 10:27:09 pm by cinyc »Logged
Volatilesaff
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2010, 10:10:18 pm »
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U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic.

Truth. Pray on your own time, we don't need a specific day for such a thing.
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2010, 10:12:33 pm »
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This thread should get interesting rather quickly.
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2010, 10:13:00 pm »
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cinyc, that's an appeal to tradition. It's a logical fallacy.
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 10:15:32 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2010, 10:16:30 pm »
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Why would Thanksgiving be next?  Its not a religious holiday.  
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TheGreatOne
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2010, 10:17:28 pm »
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This thread should get interesting rather quickly.
Yep, that's why I posted it.  Its better than discussing Ron Paul for a week. 
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Хahar
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2010, 10:20:37 pm »
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Why would Thanksgiving be next?  Its not a religious holiday. 

It's inherently religious, though not promoting any particular religion.
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cinyc
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2010, 10:21:03 pm »
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cinyc, that's an appeal to tradition. It's a logical fallacy.

Not when interpreting the constitution.   Who do you suppose we're supposed to give thanks to during Thanksgiving?  How many national prayer days did George Washington pronounce?  How can something that the founders also proclaimed be unconstitutional?
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2010, 10:22:54 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?
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cinyc
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2010, 10:23:11 pm »
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Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

-George Washington

http://wilstar.com/holidays/wash_thanks.html
« Last Edit: April 15, 2010, 10:27:31 pm by cinyc »Logged
Marokai Besieged
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2010, 10:23:48 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Darling, Obama's not involved in this story.

Take a deep breath.
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cinyc
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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 10:25:19 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?

True.  Obama did say that, sort of.  Stumbling over his words and initially forgetting to say just.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_say_we_are_no_longer.html
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 10:30:50 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?

True.  Obama did say that, sort of.  Stumbling over his words and initially forgetting to say just.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_say_we_are_no_longer.html

Umm, okay.
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Joe Republic
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 10:41:50 pm »
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Real Americans (and Big Sky Bob) demand to know.


I just slept for 11 hours, so I should need a nap today, but we'll see.
cinyc
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 10:43:08 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?

True.  Obama did say that, sort of.  Stumbling over his words and initially forgetting to say just.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_say_we_are_no_longer.html

Umm, okay.

There is a tape out there of Obama saying exactly what jfcmst claims he did - if edited out of  context.  Taking remarks out of context - kind of like what the left did to President Bush to make him look like a moron on TV.
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2010, 10:47:33 pm »
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Why would Thanksgiving be next?  Its not a religious holiday. 

It's inherently religious, though not promoting any particular religion.

This I find curious. How is Thanksgiving religious? One can be thankful for good fortune without having to believe that some divine power provided said fortune. Even a determinist like me sees value in reflecting on what "luck" I've had.
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2010, 10:52:58 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?

True.  Obama did say that, sort of.  Stumbling over his words and initially forgetting to say just.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_say_we_are_no_longer.html

Umm, okay.

There is a tape out there of Obama saying exactly what jfcmst claims he did - if edited out of  context.  Taking remarks out of context... .

Actually, here is the exact quote, I did NOT edit his words: "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."

Imagine if King David had proclaimed that to Israelites and lifted up other gods to the same level of the one true God- God would have wiped him and them off the face of the earth.
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I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
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A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2010, 10:53:50 pm »
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cinyc, that's an appeal to tradition. It's a logical fallacy.

Not when interpreting the constitution.   Who do you suppose we're supposed to give thanks to during Thanksgiving?  How many national prayer days did George Washington pronounce?  How can something that the founders also proclaimed be unconstitutional?

The Alien and Sedition Acts were clearly unconstitutional, for instance.
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« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2010, 10:54:49 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?

True.  Obama did say that, sort of.  Stumbling over his words and initially forgetting to say just.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_say_we_are_no_longer.html

Umm, okay.

There is a tape out there of Obama saying exactly what jfcmst claims he did - if edited out of  context.  Taking remarks out of context... .

Actually, here is the exact quote, I did NOT edit his words: "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."

Imagine if King David had proclaimed that to Israelites and lifted up other gods to the same level of the one true God- God would have wiped him and them off the face of the earth.

I may be forgetting my Old Testament, but I don't believe God smote Solomon.
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2010, 11:01:37 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?

True.  Obama did say that, sort of.  Stumbling over his words and initially forgetting to say just.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_say_we_are_no_longer.html

Umm, okay.

There is a tape out there of Obama saying exactly what jfcmst claims he did - if edited out of  context.  Taking remarks out of context - kind of like what the left did to President Bush to make him look like a moron on TV.

So it's okay for him to do it because the evil Left supposedly did it first?
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cinyc
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2010, 11:10:29 pm »
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cinyc, that's an appeal to tradition. It's a logical fallacy.

Not when interpreting the constitution.   Who do you suppose we're supposed to give thanks to during Thanksgiving?  How many national prayer days did George Washington pronounce?  How can something that the founders also proclaimed be unconstitutional?

The Alien and Sedition Acts were clearly unconstitutional, for instance.

The constitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts was questioned by the Anti-Federalists immediately after they were passed.  Two state legislatures denounced them.  And the most odious provisions of the Alien and Sedition Acts were never passed again.  No Supreme Court case was brought against the law, but Marbury v. Madison hadn't been decided yet.

The sheer number of Presidents who have proclaimed days of prayer or fasting - including Washington, Adams, Madison and Lincoln - suggests it is constitutional if not mandatory.
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2010, 11:17:47 pm »
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Obama: "We are NO LONGER a Christian Nation"

Hmm, now when did Obama say this? I'd obviously applaud him if he did but you are just fabricating things as usual aren't you?

True.  Obama did say that, sort of.  Stumbling over his words and initially forgetting to say just.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_obama_say_we_are_no_longer.html

Umm, okay.

There is a tape out there of Obama saying exactly what jfcmst claims he did - if edited out of  context.  Taking remarks out of context - kind of like what the left did to President Bush to make him look like a moron on TV.

So it's okay for him to do it because the evil Left supposedly did it first?

Obama's quote was NOT edited and it was NOT out of context
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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Cuivienen
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2010, 12:09:03 am »
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cinyc, that's an appeal to tradition. It's a logical fallacy.

Not when interpreting the constitution.   Who do you suppose we're supposed to give thanks to during Thanksgiving?  How many national prayer days did George Washington pronounce?  How can something that the founders also proclaimed be unconstitutional?

The Alien and Sedition Acts were clearly unconstitutional, for instance.

The constitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts was questioned by the Anti-Federalists immediately after they were passed.  Two state legislatures denounced them.  And the most odious provisions of the Alien and Sedition Acts were never passed again.  No Supreme Court case was brought against the law, but Marbury v. Madison hadn't been decided yet.

The sheer number of Presidents who have proclaimed days of prayer or fasting - including Washington, Adams, Madison and Lincoln - suggests it is constitutional if not mandatory.

No matter how common something is, it can still be unconstitutional. "Commonness" is not a constitutionally relevant criterion. Segregation was quite common and actively supported by many Presidents, but it was ultimately ruled unconstitutional.
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