- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The American Humanist Association is lobbying Congress to make the first Thursday in May — which is already the National Day of Prayer — simultaneously the “National Day of Reason.”

Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the AHA, told Religion News that the movement is predicated on the notion that the government should not endorse one set of beliefs above another.

“This is government recognition of prayer that is wrong,” Mr. Speckhardt said. “Having a National Day of Reason on the same day says this is an example of a day the government can endorse that doesn’t exclude people based on their answer to a religious question.”

Although the proposed change went nowhere in Congress last year, and a similar draft is currently stalled in committee, there are signs of momentum.

This year’s resolution was sponsored by three Democratic members of the House, California Reps. Mike Honda and Judy Chu, as well as nonvoting District of Columbia delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

And governors in three states — Iowa, Nebraska and Delaware — last year acknowledged National Day of Reason concurrently with the National Day of Prayer.

Christian scholar and author Larry Alex Taunton said the idea is disparaging to religious believers.

“Proposed as an alternative to the National Day of Prayer, the very name ‘National Day of Reason’ implies that religions, all of them, are unreasonable,” Mr. Taunton said in a statement.

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