The American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America are pleased to announce that U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) has officially recognized the National Day of Reason by issuing a proclamation in the House of Representatives. The National Day of Reason, to be observed on May 3, is an alternative to the Congressionally endorsed National Day of Prayer.
The National Day of Reason celebrates the application of reason and the positive impact it has had on humanity. It is also an opportunity to reaffirm the Constitutional separation of religion and government.
On March 24th, I was proud to address the tens of thousands of Americans who gathered on the Mall for the Reason Rally. These individuals came from all around the country to deliver a simple message: reason must be the guiding principle of our democracy. In a nation of citizens from so many different backgrounds and beliefs, the only way we can solve our problems is through cultivating intelligent, moral, and ethical interactions among all people.
Our nation faces many problems—bringing our troops home from Afghanistan, creating jobs, educating our children, and protecting our safety net from irresponsible cuts. We will solve these issues through the application of reason. We must also protect women’s reproductive choices, the integrity of scientific research, and our public education system from those who would hide behind religious dogma to undermine them.
Finally, the National Day of Reason is about taking time to improve our communities. Every year, events are held on this day that demonstrate the desire of secular Americans to help their fellow citizens and our nation as a whole. Community service events, such as food drives and blood drives, are just some of the ways that people will be working to help those in need on the Day of Reason and throughout the year.
I encourage everyone to join in observing this day and focusing upon the employment of reason, critical thinking, the scientific method, and free inquiry to improve our world and our nation.
“Reason should be the guiding force for public policy,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “The National Day of Prayer excludes millions of Americans who choose not to pray or prefer keeping prayer private. Reason is something that everyone can celebrate.”
Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition for America, agreed.
“Our founders recognized that the best guarantee of freedom for all was a separation of religion and government,” Youngblood said. “The National Day of Reason reminds us of the continued importance of our nation’s founding principles and offers an alternative to the government-sponsored theism that the National Day of Prayer represents.”
The event is scheduled on the first Thursday in May each year to coincide with the National Day of Prayer in order to raise awareness of the threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship. Many local groups affiliated with the American Humanist Association observe the National Day of Reason by participating in blood drives, holding rallies outside state government building or host social gatherings. Some groups also hold rallies outside state government buildings or host social gatherings. The National Day of Reason website, NationalDayofReason.org, was established by the American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists.
The American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America urge all Americans to support the constitutional principal of church-state separation by recognizing the National Day of Reason.