To the editor:
On Thursday, May 3, while Christians prostrate on the Capitol steps in St. Paul for the National Day of Prayer, the Minnesota Atheists will be celebrating the National Day of Reason inside the Capitol’s rotunda at noon. The celebration is open to the public and we welcome all who are interested.
The National Day of Reason is celebrated by secular organizations throughout the nation on the first Thursday in May as a collective response to the National Day of Prayer. This is also a day that we highlight religious-based unconstitutional practices, policies, and referendums such as the anti-GLBT marriage amendment on this November’s statewide ballot.
While it may be true that the texts of Abrahimic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) forbid GLBT sexual relationships, we can take comfort that we do not live in a Christian nation where the Bible dictates our lives in the bedroom.
John Adams left little doubt about religion’s role in our government when he and Congress ratified the Treaty of Tripoli in 1797 which clearly indicates that “the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”
It’s also important to note that the framers of our Constitution carefully made no mention of God or Jesus in our nation’s most sacred, law giving document. Our godless Constitution was written by men of science and reason who valued the teachings of Spinoza, Locke, and Hume. It is due to their devotion to reason, not Jesus, that the framers wrote “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Most atheists and many people of faith agree that our nation is strengthened when we preserve the Jeffersonian wall between religion and government. Both institutions are cheapened when one overreaches into the other.
Whether you’re tired of impressionable children being led by their public school teacher to pledge their allegiance to a nation “under God” or policy makers making an overt display of prayer, you can respond by actively celebrating reason every day with the Minnesota Atheists.
Editor’s note: Jayne is associate president of Minnesota Atheists