Why National Day of Reason?
A Message from Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association
Now, more than ever, America needs a Day of Reason.
With the religious right’s influence in Congress, and with the threat to our Judiciary looming large, there has never been as important a moment in which to affirm our commitment to the Constitutional separation of religion and government, and to celebrate Reason as the guiding principle of our secular democracy.
During the past year we have witnessed the intrusion of religious ideology into all spheres of our government, with such assaults on the wall separating church and state as:
- Faith-based initiatives in federal agencies that give preferential treatment to religious organizations which proselytize and employ discriminatory hiring practices;
- Restrictions on important scientific research on the basis of religious objections;
- Attempts to introduce biblical creationism and its alter-ego “Intelligent Design” into our public school science curricula;
- The appointment of judges who willingly place their religious beliefs above our laws;
- Battles over the display of the Ten Commandments and other overtly religious icons in schools and on courthouses;
- Religiously motivated restrictions on access to reproductive services and information;
As in previous years, this year’s National Day of Reason coincided with the Congressionally-mandated and federally-supported National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 5, 2016. We thank all who value the separation of religion and government & joined us in commemorating this year’s Day of Reason, and in building awareness for this important cause.
What can you do to demonstrate your support for a Day of Reason?
Plan a special event to commemorate the NDR, such as a protest demonstration, special lecture, or social gathering;
- Work to have a Day of Reason proclaimed by your state or local government;
- Hold a press conference for your local media to promote respect for the separation of religion and government, and to draw attention to the many breaches of that principle during recent months;
- Organize a letter-writing campaign urging your elected officials to support the separation of religion and government;
- Visit the National Day of Reason web site to sign-up as an endorser, to view planned events, or to read some of the media coverage from previous years.
We invite individuals and organizations to endorse this campaign, and to submit information about their plans to commemorate the National Day of Reason and their efforts to educate the public about the important underlying issues. Those organizations conducting events, activism or outreach in their communities will be featured on the site so that activists can readily identify opportunities to organize and participate in local events.
There is great potential this year to give voice to our shared concerns about the serious threats to the wall separating church and state. We hope that you will visit our site, and we look forward to hearing about your plans to observe the National Day of Reason.
American Humanist Association