National Day Of Reason 2010

Today was once again the National Day of Reason, and this year there’s something to celebrate: the National Day of Prayer (which was the original inspiration for this day) was ruled an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state by a federal judge. Sadly however (though given the political realities of the US, hardly surprisingly), President Obama will continue to observe it until all appeals are exhausted, and (like every President before him) ignore the National Day of Reason. It is very difficult to see how the National Day of Prayer could be constitutionally valid, however, so it seems inevitable that it will eventually be declared illegal. I hope this will make more Americans aware of the fact that the US constitution was not founded on Christian values, but secular ones.

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I’ll pray that the people I meet display any reason what so ever. Past experience has shown that the chances are not good.

  
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Actually, as I continually try to remind everyone, the United States Constitution was drafted by a bunch of Freemasons (Washington, Hamilton, Madison, John Jay, John Marshall and Franklin among them) and pretty much reflects Masonic values — particularly the belief that the proper function of government is the protection of as many basic liberties as possible, for the largest number of people possible.
Most Americans are sinfully ignorant of their own history and culture, having been taught a conveniently jingoistic gloss of it, in which the republic could not exist, had it not been for the contributions of John Wayne, over the course of 2 1/2 centuries.

  
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Gordon Graham

Gordy

An interesting day in history (May 7) as it is the anniversary of the fall of Dien Bien Phu to the Viet Minh under the leadership of General Giap. It was the end of France’s colonial empire in Indochina. The Geneva Conference divided it into Laos, Cambodia, North and South Viet Nam. They, North and South Viet Nam, would then be united 20 years later. In fact, a week ago last Friday, April 30, was celebrated as Liberation Day in Viet Nam. Many of us who fought and killed there still bare the wounds of that effort, an effort based on a lie. The current crop of political pawns, at least those in Iraq, are involved in a similar effort based on a lie. Their wounds are much worse than ours were. Ike’s warning in his farewell address (Google the movie “Why We Fight”) applies to us even more than it did then as we are the world’s largest supplier of arms to the world. If there weren’t wars, or the fear of them, how would those folks make a profit? Not exactly a value endorsed by the Freemasons, is it. Thanks for that contribution Firefly.

  
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@Gordon Graham
And thank you for pointing out the information about Dien Bien Phu. I was unaware of that.
Maybe we should have a Truth In Government Day — a day when ALL our elected officials are compelled to tell the TRUTH, and nothing but the truth for an entire day. Maybe that would make a difference, though probably not.
“The fifth freedom — to dream — is all that’s left the likes of us.” — William Blake

  
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Thanks Gordon Graham I agree with you as I also understand your feelings, having also served in Vietnam. What a shame that war was waged (as with all wars, of course).

  
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Thank you, Patrick, for your sacrifice, and the toll it is still with you.

Have you seen this: http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/main.html

  
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@Gordy – Thanks for the link, Gordon. Every American ought to view this. The fact that Eisenhower was Supreme Allied Commander during World War II only gives his words more weight.
If anyone doubts that “War’s good business,” they should note that the value of Cheney’s stock options in Halliburton and its subsidiary KBR rose 800% during the first two years of the Iraq war.
Nothing like a little healthy “conflict of interest.”

  
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I don’t think it is against any constitutional law for there to be a special day set aside to pray to your God, whoever he/she/it may be. I do however think it is unconstitutional to bring religious morality into politics and law making. Personal beliefs should not dictate what is right or wrong for a country or community. I think its absolutely imperative that governments around the world walk that fine line of religious neutrality.

  
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This “thing” this national day of prayer is a bizarre beast that keeps coming back, like the proverbial hydra.

Take a look at the history of this here:
http://www.religioustolerance.org/day_pray2.htm

Also notice that the first “National Day of Reason” which was designed to be a protest, unfortunately simply amplified the the day’s significance.
“2003: The National Day of Prayer was held on MAY-1. It coincided with three other celebrations: Wiccans celebrate Beltane on this day. This is one of their four major Sabbats (seasonal days of celebration). Wicca is a Neopagan religion, patterned after the aboriginal religion of the ancient Celtic people. Other Neopagan religions also celebrated on this day.
International Workers’ Day, recognizes the contribution by workers throughout the world. It is recognized in almost every country except the United States, Canada, and South Africa.
This will be the first annual observance of the National Day of Reason. Future celebrations will also be scheduled the first Thursday in May. It is a response to the National Day of Prayer by various Humanist, Agnostic, Atheist, and other secular groups. It is intended to support those Americans who do not believe in a personal male deity who listens to prayer and responds to it.”

As it just means one more set of groups being active on that day, I don’t know how effective it really is as a protest effort, since literally everyone is out protesting/supporting something…

As a final note, while President Obama followed the Law (that is moving towards being removed) and announced the National Day of Prayer, he did not have a public service in the East Wing of the White House, as Bush had done in the past years:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/05/obama-cancels-national-prayer-day-service.html

I think President Obama knows full and well, that the activity directed as the law is written is unsupportable, but it has to travel through the legal track of the court system before it can be properly removed. If it is found to be unconstitutional, it will finally be done with and can’t be brought back in, so it is probably the best way to dispose of this thing once and for all.

The website that is linked for the national day of prayer in Sachiko’s remarks is really quite obnoxious. The NDOP website shows great bias and tries to rewrite revolutionary history and recent history to fit its zealous christian/conservative agenda.

  
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I just came across this article by a Christian zinging Christians and though a bit off subject, I think the guy has it nailed down pretty well. It echoes many of the complaints I’ve read on this blog about certain Christians and how they behave: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shore/10-ways-christians-tend-t_b_562583.html

For me, a National Day of Prayer and a National Day of Reason are both stupid. I don’t need a national day of anything. For me, it’s just another example of governments wasting time on irrelevant things while failing to address and solve the actual problems of the country.

  
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BRAD – Upon what is a government to base its values upon? Morality is usually derived from religious beliefs. I understand that any particular religion is likely to have elements of its dogma that are unacceptable to followers of a different sect or faith. Most of the major religions have something like our golden rule, while some countries, like the U.S., seem to follow the code of the west: “Do unto others before they do it unto you.”

“Ethics” can be an extremely complicated field of philosophical study, at least when one gets into the esoteric realms.

The “Ten Commandments” are of now particular help as they were originally written. For example, “Thou shalt not kill” was generally interpreted to mean: “Thou shalt not murder other Jews.”

“Talmudising” is unlikely to be of much help either.

So, how would you defend your method of establishing what is right or wrong in the field of politics and law making without referring to someone’s religious dogma?

  
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@Gordon Graham – I really appreciate your post above, most people don’t know anything of the history of the Viet Nam War, let alone America’s part in it. I had family that served there and they were never wiling to talk about the experience, so we assumed it was horrendous.

@Swamp Rat – I just read Ten Ways Christians Tend to Fail at Being Christian, fantastic. There are some Cristians that just need to hace their noses tweaked (or even rubbed in it).

  
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Have you see this: Vets Launch $2m TV Ad Campaign on Energy and Terror
http://www.vetvoice.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3693

  
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