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Atheist group sues Bush, governor over National Day of Prayer

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tiagosilva29    952

MADISON, Wiscousin (AP) - The nation's largest group of atheists and agnostics is suing President Bush, the governor of Wisconsin and other officials over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Friday in U.S. district court, arguing that the president's mandated proclamations calling on Americans to pray violates a constitutional ban on government officials endorsing religion.

The day of prayer, held each year on the first Thursday of May, creates a "hostile environment for nonbelievers, who are made to feel as if they are political outsiders," the lawsuit said.

The national proclamation issued this year asked God's blessings on our country and called for Americans to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is named in the suit because he is one of 50 governors who issued proclamations calling for the prayer day. The foundation is based in Madison.

Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and White House press secretary Dana Perino also are named.

The foundation has filed numerous lawsuits in recent years, including one rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court last year that attacked President Bush's faith-based initiative.

The White House and Doyle spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner had no comment on the lawsuit. A message seeking comment from the task force was not returned Friday.

Source

In before "In God We Trust". Because we clearly shouldn't.

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Mrs_Angel_D    0

I for one truly hope that this lawsuit goes somewhere. It's my opinion that religion has become far to involved in politics in this country and it's time to separate the two. I'm not Christian but I do have a set of religious beliefs, that being said, my beliefs do not belong mixed up in politics in any way. There should be a clear separation of church and state, and that line has been blurred and crossed one too many times.

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Crompee    5

Yup, it doesnt matter what your beliefs are.. Religion shouldnt be involved in politics.

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Neo Razgriz    0

Actually, religion should not be involved in ANYTHING and, like a viral infection in the human body, should be eradicated completely!

That four word statement is laughable and also illogical. Trusting in something that does not exist and was made up from the minds of other mortal men? Pfft, that's weakness personified!

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Ayepecks    117

While I don't think beliefs should be forced on anyone, simply don't say the words or don't celebrate the day if you don't believe it. Just like you don't have to celebrate Christmas -- although many atheists do, just without the religious aspect.

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The Teej    203

While I believe seperation of politics and religion is good, trying to ban the national day of prayer isn't necessary. Next thing you know, they'll be trying to ban Eid or Christmas because some people will feel hostile during those times as well. It's one day, get over it.

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lalalawawawa    59
Actually, religion should not be involved in ANYTHING and, like a viral infection in the human body, should be eradicated completely!

That four word statement is laughable and also illogical. Trusting in something that does not exist and was made up from the minds of other mortal men? Pfft, that's weakness personified!

+1 :)

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tiagosilva29    952
Next thing you know, they'll be trying to ban Eid or Christmas because some people will feel hostile during those times as well.

Actually, it's because they are _religious_ holidays. People are free to celebrate what their religion asks to in the privacy of their homes, or in the middle of their sect. It would only be acceptable to have it has a national/local holiday, with or without public money spent around it if the country was a theocracy, or had an official state church that mandated such holiday. (Or in our case, if the country signed a concordat with a religion... in exchange of something. <_< )

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+Gary7    7,591
I for one truly hope that this lawsuit goes somewhere. It's my opinion that religion has become far to involved in politics in this country and it's time to separate the two. I'm not Christian but I do have a set of religious beliefs, that being said, my beliefs do not belong mixed up in politics in any way. There should be a clear separation of church and state, and that line has been blurred and crossed one too many times.

It won't. For one thing you have to get permission from the Government to sue them.

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Commodore Max    2

I love how almost every country states that God's on their side ...

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+Gary7    7,591
I love how almost every country states that God's on their side ...

He is, he is on everyone's side.

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gigapixels    99

I definitely like the idea of this lawsuit. You can ignore this "National Day of Prayer" (I definitely do), but the fact is that the President and many other government officials are endorsing religion by creating and supporting such a holiday. That is where it crosses the line.

Religion needs to be completely kept out of politics.

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Ci7    209
Trusting in something that does not exist

you think so , but i dont

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MightyJordan    8,467

Jeez, they're giving atheists like me a bad name.

They obviously don't realise that it's not compulsory to pray on that day. Hey, recently over here, we had a "National No Smoking Day". Didn't make a blinding bit of difference! My mum still smoked 5 cigs that day! :D

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Darksoft    15
Jeez, they're giving atheists like me a bad name.

They obviously don't realise that it's not compulsory to pray on that day. Hey, recently over here, we had a "National No Smoking Day". Didn't make a blinding bit of difference! My mum still smoked 5 cigs that day! :D

Then as an atheist you are completely missing the point.

The issue here is the endorsement of religion (through legislation) by the government.

that = bad

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Andre S.    1,924

What exactly is "hostile" in praying? I'll tell you what's hostile, it's that proselyte association. All they try to do is purge society from religion, under the ridiculous argument that people are still free to believe in what they want. People are not free to believe in Christianity, if they're not free to act according to those beliefs. In a society that's mainly Christian like the United States of America, it's effectively the minority trying to impose its ways upon the majority. If these guys want to not pray, well, they just have to not pray and leave others alone!

Gosh.

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roadgeek9    0
I for one truly hope that this lawsuit goes somewhere. It's my opinion that religion has become far to involved in politics in this country and it's time to separate the two. I'm not Christian but I do have a set of religious beliefs, that being said, my beliefs do not belong mixed up in politics in any way. There should be a clear separation of church and state, and that line has been blurred and crossed one too many times.

I agree, but it won't ever happen anytime soon in this country. The only thing I disagree with you in one minor way, I'm an atheist, but nonetheless still agree with you.

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Ayepecks    117
I definitely like the idea of this lawsuit. You can ignore this "National Day of Prayer" (I definitely do), but the fact is that the President and many other government officials are endorsing religion by creating and supporting such a holiday. That is where it crosses the line.

Religion needs to be completely kept out of politics.

Here's the problem: it does not endorse religion. It doesn't endorse religion of any kind.

Furthermore, let's take a look at the actual code of law...

The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.

It's not forcing anything upon anyone. It says people may turn to God for prayer. It doesn't request it. Doesn't enforce it. Doesn't do any of that. It doesn't request any action, unlike some national holidays.

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C++    0

This lawsuit and the people cheering for it absolutely disgust me.

If you think you are so ****ing smart not believing in God, when his existence has not been disproven any more than it has been proven, then that is your business. But most people, despite what one may conclude from judging by this high and mighty authority on religion known as Neowin, still have some religious beliefs. And it is not your ****ing right to take that away from them, any more than it is their right to impose it on you. This "National Day of Prayer" is optional, like any holiday. No one is putting a bible in your hand and a gun to your head, and saying "Repent."

With all the tangible things out there which actually make a difference for better or worse, you are fighting against something you don't even believe exists? Jesus Christ -- pun intended -- learn to pick your ****ing battles.

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remix17    1
Actually, religion should not be involved in ANYTHING and, like a viral infection in the human body, should be eradicated completely!

That four word statement is laughable and also illogical. Trusting in something that does not exist and was made up from the minds of other mortal men? Pfft, that's weakness personified!

(Y)

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abulfares    0
Here's the problem: it does not endorse religion. It doesn't endorse religion of any kind.

Furthermore, let's take a look at the actual code of law...

It's not forcing anything upon anyone. It says people may turn to God for prayer. It doesn't request it. Doesn't enforce it. Doesn't do any of that. It doesn't request any action, unlike some national holidays.

This lawsuit and the people cheering for it absolutely disgust me.

If you think you are so ****ing smart not believing in God, when his existence has not been disproven any more than it has been proven, then that is your business. But most people, despite what one may conclude from judging by this high and mighty authority on religion known as Neowin, still have some religious beliefs. And it is not your ****ing right to take that away from them, any more than it is their right to impose it on you. This "National Day of Prayer" is optional, like any holiday. No one is putting a bible in your hand and a gun to your head, and saying "Repent."

With all the tangible things out there which actually make a difference for better or worse, you are fighting against something you don't even believe exists? Jesus Christ -- pun intended -- learn to pick your ****ing battles.

+1

completely agree. exactly like Christmas, aka the birth of Jesus. funny how this group is fighting the National Day of Prayer, but have no problem celebrating Christmas.

Whether u like it or not religion is indeed part of the culture and history of the US. Can't just throw all that away.

Actually, religion should not be involved in ANYTHING and, like a viral infection in the human body, should be eradicated completely!

That four word statement is laughable and also illogical. Trusting in something that does not exist and was made up from the minds of other mortal men? Pfft, that's weakness personified!

although u r entitled to your beliefs, but u r minority. And since you (as a minority) are not being forced to follow the majority, then the beliefs of the majority should be respected.

Edited by abulfares

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remix17    1
+1

completely agree. exactly like Christmas, aka the birth of Jesus. funny how this group is fighting the National Day of Prayer, but have no problem celebrating Christmas.

Whether u like it or not religion is indeed part of the vulture and history of the US. Can't just throw all that away.

Many people celebrate Christmas in a secular sense. Me for instance.

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The_Decryptor    1,105

Edit: ^ Yeah, Christmas here hasn't meant anything for decades, it's just when you get presents and eat food. Of course we still put up a tree because Pagans rock :p

Ehh, I don't know if this would fall under your constitution, the law seems wide enough to not be focusing on one religion, which would seem to make it ok.

Of course I still think the idea is silly, but meh.

This lawsuit and the people cheering for it absolutely disgust me.

If you think you are so ****ing smart not believing in God, when his existence has not been disproven any more than it has been proven, then that is your business. But most people, despite what one may conclude from judging by this high and mighty authority on religion known as Neowin, still have some religious beliefs. And it is not your ****ing right to take that away from them, any more than it is their right to impose it on you. This "National Day of Prayer" is optional, like any holiday. No one is putting a bible in your hand and a gun to your head, and saying "Repent."

With all the tangible things out there which actually make a difference for better or worse, you are fighting against something you don't even believe exists? Jesus Christ -- pun intended -- learn to pick your ****ing battles.

Woah, calm down there kiddo, you're not making much sense.

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abulfares    0
Many people celebrate Christmas in a secular sense. Me for instance.

then u can join the National Day of Prayer in a secular way? pray to yourself? maybe ignore this whole thing if it does not fit with your beliefs?

Edited by abulfares

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remix17    1
then u can join the National Day of Prayer in a secular way? pray to yourself? maybe ignore this whole thing if it does not fir with your beliefs?

I don't have beliefs.

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