The national advocacy group In God We Trust today called on the Obama Administration to continue to vigorously defend the National Day of Prayer in court and for the President to issue the traditional Presidential proclamation next month despite a court ruling yesterday that the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional.
“Prayer is never unconstitutional,” says Bishop Council Nedd, In God We Trust’s National Chairman. “American Presidents have led this nation in prayer since its founding. Yesterday’s court ruling declaring the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional is one of the most egregious examples of out of control judges making law from the bench. To say the President of the United States cannot say a prayer, or lead the nation that elected him in prayer, is violating his first amendment rights. Celebrating the National Day of Prayer does not force anyone to believe in anything. It is simply recognizing the fact that an overwhelming number of Americans believe in God and that prayer plays an important role in American culture. The Administration must appeal this decision and the President should still issue the traditional proclamation next May. Anything less will be considered a slap in the face to the American people.”
The lawsuit that resulted in yesterday’s ruling was filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the nation’s preeminent atheist group. The FfRF is a member organization of the Secular Coalition of America whose representatives met with members of the White House political staff last February. “I hope the President will stand up to his atheist allies and stand up for the American people by defending the National Day of Prayer,” Nedd says.