The first Thursday of every May is a day that sees elected officials getting together at Washington D.C. and other parts of the U.S. in recognition of what is known as the National Day of Prayer. It’s one of those special days, where everybody, right from the President to the average civil servant, encourage citizens from all religious backgrounds to take some time off and focus on their relationship with God.
However, a sizable 20% of the U.S. population do not accept the existence of a divine figure and prefer not to associate themselves with any specific faith system. Many of these people, in recent times have expressed discomfort over the idea of a government sanctioned day that completely excludes them.
It seems that their discomfort will soon be addressed as Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton from the District of Columbia and Rep. Mike Honda of the California District have introduced a resolution to create an alternative to the National Day of Prayer. This alternative is to be named as the “National Day of Reason” and will be observed on the first Thursday of every May, along with the National Day of Prayer.
In fact, it is believed that the National Day of Reason will be recognized for the first time on May 5 this year. According to the proponents of the resolution, the National Day of Reason will serve as a platform for religious and non-religious citizens to examine the role of reason in bettering humanity.
In a press release, Rep. Mike Honda stated that the use and application of reason have been known to improve living conditions for people, bring about hope for the survival of the human race, and encourage moral and ethical behavior among people.
He encouraged people to contemplate on how philosophical principles that took during the age of reason played a role in the formation of the United States and how the implementation of reason, critical thinking, inquisitiveness, and scientific understanding can further the betterment of humankind and solve many of the problems affecting humanity today.
The National Day of Prayer continues to be observed as an American tradition every year, especially with more support coming from President Obama’s address on religious liberty last year. Obama spoke of how religious liberty was a privilege to all Americans and that citizens of other countries did not enjoy the same level of freedom.