The National Day of Reason is gaining nationwide momentum and being recognized as its own holiday, instead of a response to the National Day of Prayer. To encourage more people, both secular and religious, to celebrate “the central importance of reason in the betterment of humanity” every day, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.Res. 357) to designate Friday, May 7, 2021, as National Day of Reason. Raskin tweeted, “We’ll praise the central role of reason and science in making government work as an instrument of progress and the common good #ForThePeople.”
The resolution, now in its seventh year, is co-sponsored by fellow Congressional Freethought Caucus members Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA), Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA), Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Representative Jerry McNerney (D-CA).
The 2021 resolution acknowledges the significant role of reason and knowledge in societal progress throughout history, especially in the drafting of the constitution to prevent the establishment of religion and protect freedom of thought. It also reminds us how essential science and evidence-based solutions are both on Capitol Hill and in the streets in addressing our current challenges:
Whereas reason provides the vital catalyst for confronting the crises of our day, including the civilizational emergency of climate change, and for cultivating the rule of law, democratic institutions, justice, and peace among nations;
Whereas irrationality, magical and conspiratorial thinking, and disbelief in science have undermined the national effort to combat the COVID–19 pandemic, contributing to the deaths of more than 555,000 people in the United States;
Whereas reason and science are fundamental to implementing an effective coordinated response to beat the COVID–19 virus, which includes improved social confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccinations and evidence-based solutions to the inequities exacerbated by the pandemic, and involves the Federal Government, the States, and the scientific and medical communities;
Humanists across the country celebrate National Day of Reason as part of Secular Week of Action, an opportunity to volunteer—in person and online—to demonstrate our shared commitment to making this world a better place. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis and the resulting economic downturn, the Secular Week of Action (April 30 – May 9) s focuses on addressing food insecurity and homelessness. This nationwide campaign is a great time for individuals and groups to raise awareness of humanism and make deeper connections in our communities as they join people from all walks of life in active service. As American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt said: “We continue to fight for the freedoms and civil rights of all Americans, and look toward a more inclusive future, where reason is recognized as a vital tool in our quest to confront humanity’s most pressing issues.”
Please contact your representatives to encourage them to co-sponsor this important resolution that emphasizes the need for critical thought, scientific integrity, and free inquiry to resolve social problems and promote the welfare of humankind. The National Day of Reason website provides sample text for proclamations, resolutions, statements, and letters to the editor you’re welcome to use.