Thursday May 3rd is the National Day of Reason in the United States. The day is a secular celebration for humanists, atheists, and other secularists and freethinkers in response to the National Day of Prayer, that is unfortunately a legal holiday in the United States. This country has many issues from high unemployment to religious conservatives attacks on women’s rights. The government shouldn’t be holding national days of prayer, we need reason to help solve human problems.
Now, more than ever, America needs a Day of Reason.
With the religious right’s influence in Congress, and with the threat to our Judiciary looming large, there has never been as important a moment in which to affirm our commitment to the Constitutional separation of religion and government, and to celebrate Reason as the guiding principle of our secular democracy.
During the past year we have witnessed the intrusion of religious ideology into all spheres of our government, with such assaults on the wall separating church and state as:
Faith-based initiatives in federal agencies that give preferential treatment to religious organizations which proselytize and employ discriminatory hiring practices;
Restrictions on important scientific research on the basis of religious objections;
Attempts to introduce biblical creationism and its alter-ego “Intelligent Design” into our public school science curricula;
The appointment of judges who willingly place their religious beliefs above our laws;
Battles over the display of the Ten Commandments and other overtly religious icons in schools and on courthouses;
Religiously motivated restrictions on access to reproductive services and information;
As in previous years, this year’s National Day of Reason is scheduled to coincide with the Congressionally-mandated and federally-supported National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 5, 2011. We invite all who value the separation of religion and government to join us in commemorating the Day of Reason, and in building awareness for this important cause.
Rep. Pete Stark (D – CA), the only openly atheist member of Congress, issued a proclamation Recognizing the National Day of Reason on the House floor on April 27th:
The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the Constitutional separation of religion and government.
. . .
Our nation faces many problems—bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, creating jobs, educating our children, and protecting our safety net from irresponsible cuts. We will solve these issues through the application of reason. We must also protect women’s reproductive choices, the integrity of scientific research, and our public education system from those who would hide behind religious dogma to undermine them.
There is a need to back off the intrusion of religion into government. For example, in Ohio, the GOP controlled legislature passed 5 different anti-abortion laws since 2011 while state and local governments have had to make severe cuts to services and education.
The priorities of the religious conservatives are out of balance.
The National Day of Reason in 2013 is on May 2nd.