Update: Defending the National Day of Prayer

Article: ACLJ

Defending National Day of Prayer

We are once again in federal court defending the constitutionality of the National Day of Prayer.  This time representing members of Congress in a critically important amicus brief filed in a federal appeals court.  As you know, a federal district court in Wisconsin recently ruled in favor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s claim that the National Day of Prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

This ruling is clearly flawed and out of step with more than 200 years of history, Supreme Court precedent, and multiple acts of Congress.

The case is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  We filed an amicus brief on behalf of 67 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate – both Republican and Democrat.  We’ve also filed on behalf of thousands of members of the Committee to Protect the National Day of Prayer.  This brief clearly demonstrates that the district court’s ruling should be overturned.

While it seems absurd that the National Day of Prayer could have been found unconstitutional in the first place, it is vital that the appeals court overturns this lower court decision. This is a case that is being followed closely and the ramifications of the outcome of this case will have dramatic ramifications – the future of the time-honored tradition of a national day to pray for our nation hangs in the balance.

Our brief includes a lengthy appendix detailing the robust history of prayer proclamations, including presidential proclamations dating back to George Washington.  It’s also significant to note that James Madison, who authored the First Amendment that is at the center of this challenge, himself issued four similar proclamations of prayer.

You can read our amicus brief here.

History and the law are clearly on the side of the National Day of Prayer.  We will continue fighting to make sure that the courts recognize this fact.

We’re delighted to represent 67 members of Congress in this brief at the appeals court level.  We want to thank Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia for taking the lead on this Congressional effort.  Rep. Forbes and Rep. Mike McIntyre of North Carolina co-chair the Congressional Prayer Caucus.  The complete oflist is posted in alphabetical order below:

Rep. Randy Forbes

Sen. Sam Brownback

Sen. James Inhofe

Sen. Mike Johanns

Sen. Roger Wicker

Rep. Robert Aderholt

Rep. Todd Akin

Rep. Rodney Alexander

Rep. Michelle Bachmann

Rep. Spencer Bachus

Rep. Gresham Barrett

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

Rep. Rob Bishop

Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Rep. John Boehner

Rep. John Boozman

Rep. Kevin Brady

Rep. Paul Broun

Rep. Eric Cantor

Rep. Michael Conoway

Rep. Geoff Davis

Rep. Lincoln Davis

Rep. Mary Fallin

Rep. John Fleming

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry

Rep. Virginia Foxx

Rep. Trent Franks

Rep. Scott Garrett

Rep. Phil Gingrey

Rep. Louie Gohmert

Rep. Gregg Harper

Rep. Wally Herger

Rep. Pete Hoekstra

Rep. Bob Inglis

Rep. Walter Jones

Rep. Jim Jordan

Rep. Steve King

Rep. John Kline

Rep. Doug Lamborn

Rep. Robert Latta

Rep. Donald Manzullo

Rep. Kevin McCarthy

Rep. Michael McCaul

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter

Rep. Patrick McHenry

Rep. Mike McIntyre

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Rep. Gary Miller

Rep. Jeff Miller

Rep. Jerry Moran

Rep. Sue Myrick

Rep. Randy Neugebauer

Rep. Pete Olson

Rep. Mike Pence

Rep. Joe Pitts

Rep. Ted Poe

Rep. Tom Price

Rep. Phil Roe

Rep. Jean Schmidt

Rep. Heath Shuler

Rep. Adrian Smith

Rep. Lamar Smith

Rep. Glenn Thompson

Rep. Todd Tiahrt

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland

Rep. Joe Wilson

Rep. Frank Wolf



About CPCFoundation

An unprecedented, nationwide movement of praying Legislators and citizens who are taking action to protect our Judeo-Christian heritage and religious liberty.
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2 Responses to Update: Defending the National Day of Prayer

  1. Ladonna says:

    I don’t understand why a Christian or any other god believer would even want a National Day of Pray. That is basically saying that you won’t pray unless the government holds your hand. Pathetic. Prayer is supposed to be private communication between oneself and their God. This National Day Pray turns it into something shallow. Having your government tell you when to pray and what to pray for isn’t what prayer is supposed to about. We live in a secular democratic republic which ensures freedom for all. Not a theocracy. What if the government had a National “nobody pray today” Day? Would that be ok to? The government is supposed to be neutral in matters of religion and the National Day of Prayer which instructs its citizens to engage in a religious ritual goes over the line. The evangelicals misinterprets neutrality for hostility. The evangelicals think that if the government isn’t blowing their horns then that is hostile to their religion. Far from it.

  2. Ladonna says:

    History and tradition is a horrible argument to uphold an unconstitional law that wasn’t proposed until 1953. This country had a tradition of slavery and segregation as well, but would someone use that as a reason to not abolish it? This reasoning is flawed.

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