Appeal Planned For Day Of Prayer
Special Report - April 28, 2010
The Obama administration plans to appeal a recent decision by a federal judge in Wisconsin that struck down the 1952 federal statute creating a National Day of Prayer (NDP). The Obama administration filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on April 22 in Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Obama, the lawsuit challenging the NDP. The White House also announced that President Obama plans to issue the annual NDP proclamation on May 6, the date scheduled for this year’s NDP. As we previously reported, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled on April 15 that the NDP statutewhich was signed into law by President Truman in 1952violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Continuing its attack on the NDP, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently sent over 1,000 letters to mayors and governors across the U.S., pointing to Judge Crabb’s ruling and urging local officials not to participate in this year’s NDP. “Under our secular Constitution,” the FFRF letter contends, “elected officials have neither the moral nor the constitutional authority to exhort constituents to pray, much less to set aside an entire day for prayer every year, and tell them to gather with others ‘to turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.’” The FFRF letter was in response to an April 16 letter to mayors from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which emphasizes that Judge Crabb’s ruling does not affect local observances of the 2010 NDP. “We are writing to assure you that the opinion should not disrupt your local observance of the 59th Annual National Day of Prayer to be held on Thursday, May 6, 2010,” the ADF letter states. “In her opinion, Judge Crabb specifically stayed the ruling until all appeals in the case are exhausted. By her own words, then, it will not interfere with this year’s observances.”
In related news, the U.S. Army has rescinded an invitation to Franklin Graham, honorary chairman of the 2010 NDP, to speak at an NDP event at the Pentagon. The Army made the decision to withdraw its invitation to Reverend Graham last week, after some groups complained about previous statements he made about the religion of Islam. “Suggesting Mr. Graham should be removed from a National Day of Prayer event because of his religious opinions is absurd. No one understands better the need for prayer at this critical juncture in our nation’s history,” said Shirley Dobson, Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, in a statement. “In addition, the Graham family has been faithfully serving the religious needs of Americans, including presidents, dating back to President Eisenhower. Moves to exclude any member of this great family from this prayer event represent everything that is wrong with the agenda of political correctness that is rampant in our country. Our nation’s founders wouldn't have tolerated it, and neither should we.” This message was underscored this past weekend when President Obama met privately with Dr. Billy Graham and his son Franklin at Dr. Graham's Montreat, NC home.
North Carolina Family Policy Council president, Bill Brooks, recently interviewed Franklin Graham on “Family Policy Matters,” the Council’s weekly radio program. That interview about the National Day of Prayer will air on radio stations throughout North Carolina beginning Saturday, May 1, and will also be available on the ncfamily.org Web site. You can find the show and a list of radio stations here.
Reverend Graham is scheduled to join Shirley Dobson, Dr. James Dobson, Ricky Skaggs, and others in Washington, DC at the Cannon House Office Building on Thursday, May 6 to lead the nation in prayer. The national observance will be broadcast live, beginning at 9:00 AM online and on television via GOD TV. To find local events in North Carolina for next week’s 59th annual National Day of Prayer go here.
Copyright © 2010. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.