A First: Member of Congress Formally Recognizes National Day of Reason
For the first time since its establishment in 2003, a sitting member of Congress issued a formal proclamation last week in support of the 2011 National Day of Reason.
Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) collaborated with the Secular Coalition for America on a proclamation that enters the National Day of Reason into the congressional record. Rep. Stark is currently the only openly nontheist member of Congress.
Via Secular News Daily:
[Rep. Stark proclaimed:]
” … Reason and rational thinking have made our country great. The Constitution of the United States of America is based upon the philosophies developed during the historical Age of Reason and the idea that citizens engaging in rational discourse and decision-making can govern themselves. The Constitution also contains a strong separation of church and state, making it clear that government should continue to be built on reason.
Our nation faces many problems — ending two wars, creating jobs, educating our children, tackling our budget, and protecting our safety net. Although the gravity of these issues may drive many to prayer, the way we will solve them is through the application of reason.”
Rep. Stark went on to explain that the National Day of Reason stresses community improvement and encourages people to volunteer. Many nonreligious groups across the U.S. organize blood drives, canned food drives and free educational forums as part of the celebrations.
Created as an alternative to the National Day of Prayer, the National Day of Reason is celebrated each year on the first Thursday in May.
Photo credit: Mike Goren