May 6th, 2010
02:14 PM ET
4 years ago

National Day of Prayer goes on despite ruling

Washington (CNN) - The 59th annual National Day of Prayer was held Thursday against a backdrop of controversy and growing doubts about the future of the event, which a federal judge recently declared unconstitutional.

President Truman signed a bill establishing an official National Day of Prayer in 1952, but U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb in Wisconsin ruled April 15 that the law violates the ban on government-backed religion.

The Justice Department is appealing the case on behalf of the White House. An injunction against the National Day of Prayer will not take effect until all government appeals have been exhausted.

Several events to mark the day were scheduled Thursday across Washington, including services at the Pentagon, the Cannon House Office Building and on the steps of the Capitol.

Updated: 2:14 p.m.

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soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    This is a nation that was built on prayer. The Pilgrims prayed at Plymouth Rock, Washington prayed at the Delaware River. It goes on and on. You don't want to pray, your choice! Let not have a Al Fitr celebration at the White House or let's not celebrate Muslim business men in the White House either! That is religious! That is unless your are just targetting Christians! The National Day of Prayer has been celebrated since Truman. Now, all of a sudden, it's unconstitutional??

    May 6, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Mike

    This is a waste of time, energy and resources for a federal judge to be involved on a topic such as this.
    We are a nation founded on Christ centered values, morales, and ethics. That is what America is. There are two paths to take.
    God or Satan.

    Michael McDonald

    May 6, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. MAD 'MAX' TEXAN

    That Federal Judge needs to be disbarred. He does not have enough initelligience to make rulings on any afairs.

    May 6, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Dave

    All you atheist / agnostic morons need to lighten up.

    Just because it is a National Day of Prayer, or say "In God We Trust" on the money, or says "One Nation Under God" in the Pledge does not impose anything on you.

    It is NOT in violation of the constitution. The spearation of Churh and State is so the government does not establish a national religion. None of those things are establishing a national religion.

    Get over it.

    May 6, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. David

    Separation of church and government, that simple.

    May 6, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Willy Brown

    Screw Liberal Judges!

    May 6, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. jeff jackson, alabama

    Here's a GREAT IDEA !!!!
    Why don't you 500 or so
    out there who want to take
    freedom OF religion from
    the rest of us pack your bags
    and just get the heck out
    of America. Go to China.
    Go to Russia. Go to Venezuela.
    Go to Cuba.
    But just go some where besides
    here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 6, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  8. al in memphis

    It must really bother some people to think that somewhere in this country, without their knowledge, that a fellow citizen has made an independent choice to pray. You can only seperate church and state by taking people out of the state.

    I guess all national days of recognition needs to be canceld.

    May 6, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  9. TO CNN

    The way this country been 4 the last 10 years prayer day needs 2 be everyday. What do you think CNN ?

    May 6, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Slider

    Just another federal judge that can't understand that separation of church and state isn't part of the constitution, and that the first amendment allows the free expression to practice religion anytime, freely and anywhere.

    I think Newt Gingrich is correct in wanting to fire some judges, and I think the practice needs to begin immediately.

    We could start with this loser before we move onto the 9th Circuit.

    May 6, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Anonymous

    I pray every day.

    May 6, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. Kari

    That Obama, he sure is an anti-Christian radical. sarcasm.

    May 6, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Anonymous

    It seems the Founding Fathers wanted to seperate government from religious dogma not a citizens right to pray or not. If you are a prayerful person you don't need a designated day to pray.

    May 6, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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