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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:44 PM
Original message
National Day of Prayer ruled constitutional
Source: CBS

Last April, federal judge Barbara Crabb found that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional, writing that 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."

Today, however, a federal appeals court panel voted 3-0 to overturn that ruling. The decision was based on the finding that the group that challenged the law did not have standing to do so.

The lawsuit was brought by a group of atheists and agnostics called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which argued that it violated the separation of church and state.




Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20054027-503544....
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Drale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. Did not have the standing to do so?
What does that mean? Anyone can challenge any law they want.
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. No people can't do that.
Courts have held that someone challenging a law must have suffered some injury from it. If you have no injury (in a general sense, not physical) then you have no standing to challenge the law. In this case Congress passed a law calling on the President to have a National Day of Prayer. The only one being called on to do anything is the President. No one else. The President would have standing to challenge the law but no one else.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. What about someone on the President's staff whose job it is to make arrangements for it? n/t
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I think that would be like a atheist being hired to do maintenance on a church.
If you don't like the outcome of your duties don't accept the job.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I mean if the day of prayer was just PART of this person's duties.
For example, the President's Chief-of-Staff, or social secretary or something.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #22
30. Private organizations are not bound by the Constitution; government is.
Not saying the poster to whom you replied chose the best example. Just saying government may not condition a benefit, be it welfare or a job, on any condition that does not pass Constitutional tests. A church can.
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #30
41. I know but I was trying to use an analogy however imperfect.
The point is at that level you do the duties or don't work for the President. You would not last at that level if you had other ideas.
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JustABozoOnThisBus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #22
49. The outcome of my duties?
If I'm an atheist hired to do maintenance at a church, then the outcome I care about is that the roof no longer leaks, or that the furnace heats the building. What other outcome would you want from a maintenance job? Well, besides some income, of course.

All that pounding will certainly not disturb God, because there is no God.

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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. Always wondered what injury Bush* had in the Florida fiasco.
:shrug: They seem to bend their rules however suits them..
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-16-11 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #21
43. He was being denied a job.
IOKIYAR.

Tesha
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
48. Wouldn't that make it a 'Presidential Day of Prayer', then?
If the only person being asked to pray is the president, how can it be 'national'?
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Moosepoop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Lack of standing due to lack of injury.
From the article linked in the OP:

In asserting that the Freedom From Religion Foundation lacked standing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit said that "unless all limits on standing are to be abandoned, a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury in fact." It found there was no injury in part because the proclamation can essentially be ignored by an individual.
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Travelman Donating Member (326 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. It means that they couldn't demonstrate actual harm to them
Standing has a fairly tight definition, and it looks like the appellate court found that the ones who brought suit could not produce evidence (or at least not sufficient evidence) that they would personally be harmed by the National Day of Prayer.

Think of it like tort law. Say my car is on fire. You carelessly back your car into my car and leave a big dent in the door. My car finishes burning to the ground before the fire department arrives and gets it put out.

Now I take you to court because I want you to pay for the dent in my door. The judge is going to take one look at the burned-out shell of a car that I have and ask if it was already on fire when you hit it. Yes, it was. So the judge is going to say that I have no actual harm done to me, no actual damages from you, because you only dented a car that at that point had no value anyway. It's not like I'm going to get a body shop to fix the door. I have no standing to sue you for the damages, because I don't actually have any damages from you.
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primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #7
47. The problem is that the definition of harm is so narrow
It takes far too little account of basic quality of life issues that can adversely affect one to an extent equal or greater than someone crashing into your car, but aren't as tidily tangible.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. So who would have standing to contest the constitutionally of it?
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former9thward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. The President.
He is the one that has been ordered to do something by the law.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
33. Fat chance.
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 07:32 AM by No Elephants
"Despite the initial ruling President Obama proclaimed a National Day of Prayer last year; in his proclamation, he said in part, "In prayer, we have expressed gratitude and humility, sought guidance and forgiveness, and received inspiration and assistance, both in good times and in bad." He also called on Americans to "pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings."


The administration, which appealed the initial ruling, argued that the National Day of Prayer was legal because it simply acknowledged the role of religion in the United States."

(Note: in the proclamation, Obama all but said "our" prayers have been answered. Compare that with what his legal brief said.)
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CBGLuthier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Atheists aren't full citizens so of course they lack standing
Ain't that right Poppy Bush

Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Imagine a murdering fuck like Bush saying that. Kind of sickening.

http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/ghwbush.htm

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bongbong Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Religion as used by the PTB
The-Guy-Who-Was-In-Dallas-On-Nov-22-1963 said that not out of any love for religion. He said it as a Dog Whistle to his flock, and to further division in America. TPTB know the maxim "Divide And Conquer" very well, in fact, they really don't have any other ideas on how to keep their position in society (other than the normal crime & lies that they utilize 24x7)
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
19. You nailed it! Atheist & Agnostics are not respected or considered...
"True Americans"...And people wonder why Atheist have a chip on their shoulder in America!
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sweet. +10 points to my blood pressure.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. let's all pray that the National Day of Prayer is a huge failure . . . n/t
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
32. Pray every day other than the National Day of Prayer. That'll show 'em good!
Oh, wait.....

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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. What about forcing someone to participate?
Is that constitutional?
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #11
34. No. Court almost said as much.
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 06:42 AM by No Elephants
"It found there was no injury in part because the proclamation can essentially be ignored by an individual."
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4saken Donating Member (111 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
12. Ruling not overturned because it's found to be constitutional?
Endorsement of prayer, or any sort of "communication" with deities is absolutely assuming a religious perspective.

Tony Perkins from The Family Research Council spoke about today's ruling with...

"Today's ruling sends a message to Judge Barbara Crabb and any other activist judge who would rewrite the Constitution to advance a hostile treatment of religion in public life"

He really thinks that lacking a special holiday for the prayer he can do daily is "hostile". His assertion that people should accept the codes of his mythology and pray to his deity is what is antagonistic, unfriendly and "hostile" here.

It's so sad to see so many directly informing their actions with mythology, and the entire country endorsing it. The prayer messages will be heard more easily by the deity on that day because millions are being "sent" every minute rather than just hundreds of thousands?
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
13. That is NOT a finding that it's "constitutional"; it's disputing the right of the claimants to sue
BIG FUCKING DIFFERENCE.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #13
31. Sometimes it's only a technical distinction without a single practical difference, though.
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 06:28 AM by No Elephants
Who would have standing to sue? And is s/he (or are they) likely ever to sue?

That said, yes, the headline is wrong.

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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #13
52. That's not what the conservative followers are being told, though
I work for USPS in a distribution center; I've seen literally thousands of envelopes going out to religious nutbars all over SW MI to the effect that "ACLU fighting to make National Day of Prayer UNCONSTITUTIONAL". Big capital letters in thick blue, I think. Scary.

They're going to frame this to their followers as being ruled constitutional; bank on it.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. Bad Headline! They Didn't Rule Anything Constitutional, They Threw the Suit Out on a Technicality
By throwing the suit out, they avoided ruling on the constitutionality of the National Day of Prayer.
The headline is wrong.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #14
35. Yes, headline is legally wrong, but please see Replies 31 and 33.
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 07:11 AM by No Elephants
Which President is going to have the political courage to fight against the Constitutionality of the 1988 law?

Not the Constitutional Law lecturer from U.Chi, that's for sure.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:36 PM
Response to Original message
15. Constitutional or not, as a Catholic I find it to be bad religion to
have prayer dictated by the government, especially because typically right wing elements in government and religion tend to hold hands and bless each other!
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
16. Bad ruling. We should jettison this and the Prayer Breakfast as well
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
17. They didn't rule it constitutional. They ruled that they didn't have jurisdiction.
Not the same thing.
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Exactly. The CBS headline is bullshit
designed to appeal to ignoramuses/the religious right.
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #24
28. yeah frickin mainstream media
i'd rewrite this to say: "Ruling against National Day of Prayer overturned for lack of standing". but at least those who side with Judge Crabb are so far dominating the comments section.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #24
36. Yes...but that's not the whole story. Please see Replies 31, 33 and 35.
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 06:57 AM by No Elephants
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skepticscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #36
42. The headline is not "legally" wrong
It is factually wrong and deliberately (or ignorantly) misrepresents the basis for the decision. The merits of the suit and the constitutionality of the government encouraging people to pray to God were never considered.

Try again.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:04 AM
Response to Reply #17
37. No, they ruled plaintiffs did not have standing. That's different from saying a
court does not have jurisdiction.

However, as a practical matter, this ruling, if upheld, means we will continue to have a National Day of Prayer, probably well beyond all the lives of any currenti DUer and maybe for as long as there is a USA, so we are discussing issues of largely academic interest only.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
18. ooops... I recced this by accident
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Keith Bee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
25. Separation of Church and State? In this country?
Never was, never will. :(
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
26. The Government should have zero to do with religion..
and more to do about the Constitution.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
27. Then, a National Day of "No Prayer" should also be Constitutional -- !!
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
29. Harry Truman (D) signed this law in 1952
so you can't say this is a republican creation. Past presidents have also declared days of prayer during wartime, such as John Adams in 1798 and Abraham Lincoln in 1863 however as non-binding resolutions rather than laws. But the law compels every president regardless of religious belief/nonbelief to declare such a national day, and obviously the President of the United States has First Amendment rights like the rest of us Americans too.

I remember when Christine O'Donnell straight up said in that debate that separation of state is nowhere to be found in the Constitution despite the phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Guess what? That National Day of Prayer law blatantly violates that!!!! Congress made a law requiring a declaration of a day honoring religious tradition, and the president signed it!
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #29
39. Reagan signed this law in 1988 and Obama defended it in 2011. Please see Reply 33.
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 07:45 AM by No Elephants
And, in fairness to Harry (and whoever else signed similar laws before 1964), 1952 was well before the SCOTUS ruled on any kind of Constitutional right to freedom FROM religion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Day_of_Prayer
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
38. When there's a national atheist day, I wonder if those people challenging it will have standing?
Edited on Fri Apr-15-11 07:18 AM by originalpckelly
:shrug:

I bet they would.
And I bet people would have a problem if you put, "We don't trust in God, because God doesn't exist."
But atheists have to see, "In God we trust."
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Zax2me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #38
53. Isn't every non-national prayer day atheist day?!
Edited on Mon Apr-18-11 08:51 PM by Zax2me
Could be defined to some accuracy.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-15-11 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
40. Well.....
"The decision
Clark continued that the Court was of the feeling that no matter the religious nature of the citizenry, the government at all levels, as required by the Constitution, must remain neutral in matters of religion "while protecting all, prefer none, and disparag none". The Court had clearly rejected "the contention by many that the Establishment Clause forbade only governmental preference of one faith over another" (Eastland, 1993, p. 59).

Citing Justice Hugo Black in Torcaso v. Watkins, Justice Clark added, "We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person 'to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion'". Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against non-believers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs". Such prohibited behavior was that self-evident in the Pennsylvania law requiring Bible reading (and allowing recitation of the Lord's Prayer) in its public schools. The Court recognized the value of such ideal neutrality from lessons of history when government and religion were either fully fused or cooperative with one another and religious liberty was nonexistent or seriously curtailed.

William J. Brennan's concurrence
Justice Brennan filed a lengthy and historically significant concurrence, taking seventy-three pages to elaborate his ideas about what the Framers intended in the formation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, gauging {sic} the value of religion in our culture, reviewing past precedents, and suggesting a course for future church-state cases. Brennan felt the need to focus on the history of the Establishment Clause to counter numerous critics of the Court's Engel decision, who pointed out that prayer in public schools, as well as in many other areas of public life, was a longstanding practice going back to the framing of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He professed to be aware of the "ambiguities in the historical record" and felt a modern-day interpretation of the First Amendment was warranted (Davis, 1991, p. 77). In defense of that approach, Brennan stated:

<snip>

In answer to critics of a broad interpretation of the prohibitions against government in the realm of religion, Brennan said, "nothing in the text of the Establishment Clause supports the view that the prevention of the setting up of an official church was meant to be the full extent of the prohibitions against official involvements in religion".

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engel_v._Vitale


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abington_School_District_v... (The SCOTUS had consolidated the Schempp case and Madalyn Murray's more famous--or notorious--case).

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astral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
44. How does having a Nat'l Day of Prayer harm anybody who doesn't want to pray?
I don't hardly observe any holidays whatsoever. People can have holidays of any kind they want; I may even get the day off work. Nobody is forcing me to observe anything.

What is the big deal here?

And BTW, if atheists wish to unite, or not unite, and step up and declare a National Atheists' Day, what is stopping you?

Do you want it? Would make you feel better?

This dissing of atheists must be really hard to bear.

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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. It's none of the government's business who prays and who doesn't.
If churches want to declare a National Day of Prayer, then that's their business- not the governments. I don't expect (or want) the government to declare a National Atheists' day because it has nothing to do with politics or government. "Congress shall make no law respecting any order of religion". Separation of church and state. What our great nation was founded on.

And it hurts the atheist kid that gets the shit kicked out of him on the playground by the God Squad for not praying during "National Prayer Time". It hurts people who are made to feel different, or as if they don't belong, or that they are not "real" Americans- which several members of Congress have come right out and said they aren't.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-17-11 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
45. So when is the National Day of Sacrilege?
If you bring Occam's Razor, I'll bring the doughnuts.
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RedCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
50. When is the National Day to prey?
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-18-11 02:40 PM
Response to Original message
51. Don't worry -- Obama will find a way to cancel it, just like he does every year.
:sarcasm:
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