Appeals Court Overturns Day of Prayer Ban; Judges Say Atheists Suffered No Harm

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 15, 2011 | Go to article overview

Appeals Court Overturns Day of Prayer Ban; Judges Say Atheists Suffered No Harm


Byline: Valerie Richardson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A federal appeals court Thursday threw out a ruling that would have prohibited the president from declaring a National Day of Prayer, in a decision that cheered social conservatives and occasioned much wailing and gnashing of teeth by groups advocating a strict separation of church and state.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation announced that it would seek a rehearing by the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a three-judge panel ruled against its challenge to the 1952 law, which instructs the president to issue a proclamation encouraging citizens to pray.

The Chicago-based court ruled that the organization lacked standing because it suffered no harm. It noted that the proclamation requires the president only to take action and does not compel any individual to pray any more than a person would be obliged to hand over his money if the president asked all citizens to support the Red Cross or other charities.

All they have is a disagreement with the president's action. But unless all limits on standing are to be abandoned, a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury, Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, a Reagan appointee, said in the opinion.

The decision overturns the April 2010 ruling of U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, a Carter appointee, who declared the law unconstitutional because it constituted a call to religious action.

The appeal was filed by the Justice Department on behalf of President Obama.

In her opinion, Judge Crabb wrote that declaring a National Day of Prayer was tantamount to encouraging citizens to fast during the month of Ramadan, attend a synagogue, purify themselves in a sweat lodge or practice rune magic.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the FFRF, called the appeals court decision cowardly and said the foundation's lawsuit would have been successful if it had been judged on the merits and not on the question of standing.

Congress and the president of the United States have no business telling me or any other citizen to pray, to 'turn to God in prayer and churches,' much less setting aside an entire day for prayer every year and even telling me what to pray about, Ms. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Appeals Court Overturns Day of Prayer Ban; Judges Say Atheists Suffered No Harm
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.