CFI Applauds Ruling Striking Down National Day of Prayer

April 16, 2010


The Center for Inquiry (CFI) applauds the

April 15 ruling

by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin striking down the federal statute designating a yearly National Day of Prayer. CFI believes this ruling represents an important step toward achieving a secular state in which the government takes no position on religious issues, which is one of the purposes of  the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.  

Judge Crabb’s decision granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in

Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Obama

. FFRF originally filed the lawsuit in 2008 against the Bush administration to prevent the government from declaring the National Day of Prayer.

CFI’s president and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay called the decision “a long overdue recognition by the federal courts that the government should stay out of the prayer business entirely,” adding further that “determining which religious exercises to engage in—if any—is a matter best left to the conscience of the individual. The government should not tell us to pray—or tell us not to pray. We can decide for ourselves.”

Read the full press release.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at