National Day of Reason 2014 Wrap-Up

Yesterday, the American Humanist Association and other humanist, atheist, secular and freethought groups celebrated the National Day of Reason. Since 2003, the American Humanist Association has led the effort to promote the National Day of Reason as an alternative to the National Day of Prayer, which was created by an act of Congress in 1952. By maintaining the separation of church and state and recognizing reason as a founding principle of our secular democracy, the National Day of Reason is a more inclusive observance of the values of the United States.

To commemorate the day, local groups across the country, from southern Florida to northern California and everywhere in between, hosted events, rallies and festivals. Some took part in charitable events—for example, an atheist group in Bakersfield, CA, organized a blood drive. Other groups, such as the Atheists of Columbus, OH, hosted social gatherings where individuals could reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Groups like the Humanist Hickory Alliance and the Secular Coalition for California used the day as a way to raise awareness about humanist and atheist issues through rallying and lobbying. The Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in Charleston, SC, even had their Reason Fest celebrations filmed for a documentary! A full list of all National Day of Reason events can be viewed here.

Some humanists honored the day online by participating in Twitter and Facebook discussions about the importance of upholding the First Amendment. Our own Roy Speckhardt published a piece on the Huffington Post explaining how the National Day of Prayer excludes nontheistic Americans. But no matter what types of events humanists and atheists held, whether online or off, we all came together in order to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can embrace. Thank you to everyone who attended events and voiced your support yesterday!

Government officials also recognized the National Day of Reason. Congressman Michael Honda (D-CA) and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) both entered statements into the congressional record offering support for the National Day of Reason. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman both issued proclamations declaring May 1, 2014, as the National Day of Reason, as did Mayor Jean Stothert of the City of Omaha. President Obama, however, did not recognize the National Day of Reason, despite the American Humanist Association’s petition, and instead chose to issue a proclamation supporting the National Day of Prayer.

If you’re just not ready to stop celebrating reason this year, you can still check out the National Day of Reason merchandise at You can also start planning for next year’s National Day of Reason on May 7, 2015.