Zealots Never Sleep
Think what you will of the outcome, it’s astonishing — and not a little unsettling — that there are people who think it the most important use of their time and resources to battle the benign and vapid symbolism of a particular “national day of”:
A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional Thursday, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic. …
Congress established the day in 1952 and in 1988 set the first Thursday in May as the day for presidents to issue proclamations asking Americans to pray. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison-based group of atheists and agnostics, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2008 arguing the day violated the separation of church and state.
Even casting my mind back to my own, sometimes obnoxious, atheism, I can’t imagine the sort of zealotry that must spur people to organize in opposition to a generic call to prayer. Of course, organizational dynamics probably play some role — with the actual foundation soliciting limited funds from a broad number of people and then having to contrive action items to prove that it’s worth the donation (which, one imagines, the donors see mainly as a thumb in the eye of us fundies).