EXAMINER – Minnesotans rally for the National Days of Reason and Prayer

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A quiet battle of polar viewpoints occurred during a blustery afternoon at the Minnesota state capitol Thursday. On the front steps supporters from around the state rallied for the National Day of Prayer. Inside the rotunda advocates for the separation of church and state celebrated the National Day of Reason.

As instituted by Public Law 100-307, the president annually proclaims a national day of prayer on the first Thursday in May. In this year’s proclamation, President Barack Obama joined “the citizens of this Nation in giving thanks, in accordance with our own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection.” Pastors from all around the Twin Cities led 60-70 people in prayer and the Minnesota Adult &Teen Challenge Choir sang on behalf of “government, military, media, education, church and family.”

In contrast, representatives from various groups including the Minnesota Atheists, the Humanists of Minnesota, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State celebrated the theme “One nation indivisible.” United by the belief that the Pledge of Allegiance has changed over the years “to reflect the tyranny of a religious majority over a non-religious minority,” Minnesota’s observance of the National Day of Reason honored those secular veterans who fought to preserve the separation of church and state by awarding them certificates of appreciation for their wartime efforts.

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