Friday, April 16, 2010

A rare decision in favor of separation between church and state

And it's a big one.

MADISON, Wis. — A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional Thursday, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic.

Before this, the biggest statement against the National Day of Prayer came from Jesse "The Governor" Ventura:

* I believe in the separation of church and state... We all have our own religious beliefs. There are people out there who are atheists, who don't believe at all... They are all citizens of Minnesota and I have to respect that.
o Explaining his refusal to sign a "National Day of Prayer" proclamation (6 May 1999)

The decision is only a District Court decision at this point, which means two things.

First, we can expect an appeal, first to the Circuit, and then, potentially, to the Supreme Court.

Second, we can expect to hear a lot of whining and wailing from conservatives. As with the Pledge of Allegiance, I suspect they can be counted on to claim that the prayers that all these devout Christians are making really don't mean anything.

This should be fun.

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