ADF Media Relations | 480-444-0020
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys sent an informational letter last week to nearly 1,200 of the nation’s largest cities, advising them of their constitutional right to recognize and participate in the 2008 National Day of Prayer Thursday. ADF attorneys will also be available to defend, free of charge, any municipality that is threatened with legal action for observing the event.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced to abandon their religious heritage simply to appease someone’s political agenda,’” said ADF Chief Counsel Benjamin Bull. “The U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that public prayer is ‘deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country.’ The National Day of Prayer has been a part of that. That is why ADF attorneys stand ready to defend the right of millions of Americans who wish to join together in prayer on May 1 without fear of legal attack from those who seek to silence their constitutional right to pray.”
A national day of prayer was unofficially established more than 200 years ago by President George Washington, who in 1795 issued a proclamation setting aside Feb. 19 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. In 1952, President Harry S. Truman established a national day of prayer via a joint resolution of Congress. Thirty-six years later, President Ronald Reagan amended and signed a law permanently designating the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer.
“Public officials and citizens throughout our country need to be encouraged and reminded that they can and should resist the increasingly radical demands of secularist groups to censor public prayer,” said Bull. “The Constitution protects public officials who choose to invoke divine guidance and blessings upon their work and our nation.”
More information on National Day of Prayer observances can be found at www.ndptf.org. A copy of the ADF informational letter is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/NDPLetter2008.pdf.
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