Thursday, May 1, 2008

National Day of Prayer and the First Amendment

Today is the National Day of Prayer.

One might be able to argue that a sufficiently ecumenical National Day of Prayer does not violate the First Amendment. However, don't worry. The National Day of Prayer is now being run to be a blatant violation of the First Amendment. See for example what is happening in Minnesota.

The entire list of attendees at the state capitol is composed of evangelical Christians. There will not even be a Catholic representative. This isn't a coincidence either. The event is run by Shirley Dobson, the wife of James Dobson who founded and runs Focus on the Family. Mrs. Dobson also runs the National Taskforce to coordinate the event. Dobson only lets people be state coordinators if they sign a statement affirming that "I believe that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of The Living God. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the only One by which I can obtain salvation and have an ongoing relationship with God." The statement continues but that enough should make it apparent. This about as blatant a violation of separation of Church and State as you can get. This amounts to nothing less than active discrimination against non-evangelicals.

Have other religious groups decided to protest and maybe sue? No. That would be too sensible. Jews on First, a group that has a good attitude about the First Amendment issues is promoting a separate inclusive day of prayer. Screw that. What we need is a special day honoring the First Amendment where we can explain to everyone what the First Amendment says and explain what they can and cannot do with our tax dollars. If James Dobson and his ilk want to undermine the fundamental values of this great nation they can do so without us paying for it.

Hat tip to Pharyngula.

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