AG Chris Koster Crusades for National Day of Prayer on YOUR Behalf, Missouri
|Koster Prays the Ruling Gets Reversed|
The observance, first established by President George Washington, was put in legal jeopardy last April when a federal judge in Wisconsin sided with the Freedom From Religion Foundation Inc. and ruled that the National Day of Prayer violates the separation of church and state. (Read that decision here).
The federal government disagreed and appealed. Now Koster and the other state AGs have jumped in to lend support with their amicus brief, arguing that the Day of Prayer is actually less intrusive than, say, the prayers that begin sessions of Congress, which the Supreme Court has previously upheld.
Read the original full district court ruling, or check out the excerpt below, both written by Judge Barbara B. Crabb:
"[The National Day of Prayer] goes beyond mere "acknowledgment" of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context. In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience....
[This is] not a judgment on the value of prayer or the millions of Americans who believe in its power. No one can doubt the important role that prayer plays in the spiritual life of a believer.
....However, recognizing the importance of prayer to many people does not mean that the government may enact a statute in support of it, any more than the government may encourage citizens to fast during the month of Ramadan, attend a synagogue, purify themselves in a sweat lodge or practice rune magic."