Celebrate Reason!


For HumanistNetworkNews.org
May 05, 2010

Every year on the first Thursday in May, our right to religious freedom–the right to decide when, how and whether or not to pray free from government interference or compulsion–is disregarded. The National Day of Prayer, which will be observed this year on May 6, is an event in which citizens are urged by the president to "turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals."

The government has no business directing citizens to pray. Moreover, such an observance is especially offensive to nontheists, who are made to feel like second-class citizens because they don't pray.

This affront to our First Amendment principle of separation of church and state has been ruled as unconstitutional by a federal judge. Yet President Obama has indicated that he plans to celebrate the National Day of Prayer anyway.

Help us take a stand against the National Day of Prayer by celebrating an alternative event that is positive, inclusive and constitutional: the National Day of Reason. This observance is held annually to coincide with and as a counter to the National Day of Prayer. It celebrates reason as the guiding principle of our secular democracy–something that everyone can get behind regardless of their religion.

Here are a few things you can do to celebrate reason on May 6:

Attend a National Day of Reason event. Events are being held by local groups across the country on and around May 6. Join fellow humanists and nontheists for lectures, peaceful demonstrations, socializing and more.

Don't see an event being held in your area? Organize your own National Day of Reason event, such as a letter-writing campaign urging your elected officials to support the separation of religion and government, a community service event, a press conference for your local media to promote respect for church/state separation, and more. Make sure to let us know so that we can put it on the NDR website!

Become an endorser of the National Day of Reason. Sign on and show your solidarity with the NDR's statement of principles, such as support for reason and the scientific method, and the opposition to the National Day of Prayer and other violations of separation of church and state.

Work to have a Day of Reason proclaimed by your state or local government. Use our sample proclamation or draft your own!

Spread the word! On the National Day of Reason homepage you'll find tools to share NDR with your friends and family, including through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other social media networking sites. Retweet NDR using the tags @americnhumanist and #dayofreason.

Find more information about ways you can get involved on the National Day of Reason website.

Together we can work to promote reason as a paramount American value and give voice to concerns about threats to the wall separating church and state.


Roy Speckhardt is the executive director of the American Humanist Association, which is the co-founder of the National Day of Reason.