"US Supreme Court West Facade" by Matt Wade / CC BY-SA 3.0

National Day of Prayer Is Illegal, But Courts Won’t Hear Challenges

May 2, 2019

By Andrew L. Seidel

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer, the day our secular government tells citizens that they should pray, violating the Constitution in the process.

The First Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” And yet, in the early 1950s, Congress passed this law:

“The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches . . . .”

Congress made a law respecting an establishment of religion, precisely what our First Amendment bars. Alexander Hamilton wrote that the president has “no particle of spiritual jurisdiction.” But the law orders the president to tell the people to pray. Every year, he does. By any reasonable constitutional or legal measure, this law is out of bounds. It’s unconstitutional. Illegal. A no-no.

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