Pray for the National Day of Prayer

A federal judge has ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.   U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb issued the ruling, which would strike down a federal law that established the National Day of Prayer in 1952.  In 1988 the first Thursday of May was made the official day each year.  Days of Prayer have been called for by the government well before 1952.  For example, our 15th President, James Buchanan, called for a Day of Prayer in January 1861, as our nation was splitting in the days before the Civil War.

The judge feels that the Day of Prayer is an establishment of religion.  This would seem to be a case of judicial activism.  Obviously, our nation has a history of doing this, and it hadn’t raised any constitutional flags so far.  Also, the original intent of the freedom of religion clause was to prevent religious minorities from being discriminated against.  Have there been stories of non-praying people who have faced persecution on the first Thursday of May in years past?  The judge is trying to fix something that isn’t broken.

So what’s next?  The Obama Administration is challenging the judge’s ruling.  Maybe the case will end up in the Supreme Court.  President Obama took some criticism last year for not having a ceremony marking the day, yet he might be remembered as the President who saved the Day of Prayer.  I love irony.