Friday, March 18, 2011

Ban 'Day of Prayer' in Arizona: Atheist Lawsuit

A Wisconsin-based group is suing Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, contending it was an unconstitutional promotion of religion for her to proclaim last May 6 as a "day of prayer."

UPDATE 1/5/12: After losing in federal court, atheists file new lawsuit in state court

-- From "Lawsuit challenges Arizona 'Day of Prayer'" by The Associated Press 3/16/11

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix by the Freedom from Religion Foundation of Madison on behalf of four individuals identified of nonbelievers in religion.

It asks that Brewer's 2010 proclamation be overturned and that she be barred from issuing a similar one this year.

Brewer spokesman Matt Benson says proclaiming a day of prayer is an American tradition dating back to George Washington's presidency and that the governor is confident her actions are within constitutional bounds.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Atheists sue to keep Brewer from declaring day of prayer" by Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services 3/17/11

"The First Amendment says you can't prohibit the free exercise of religion," said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy. And Herrod, who also is an attorney, called the concept of a separation of church and state "a fallacy."

Brett Harvey, senior legal counsel to the Scottsdale-based Alliance Defense Fund, said what Brewer -- and others -- have done with these declaration is legal.

"It is perfectly acceptable for politicians and for public officials to recognize the religious heritage of this country," he said. And Harvey said the U.S. Supreme Court has even upheld things like prayers to open meetings and swear in public officials.

There is little chance that U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver will have a hearing on the matter before this year's proclamation is issued.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.