The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that governors’ proclamations of a state Day of Prayer violate the Constitution’s provisions for religious liberty.
When the state sponsors the particular religious practice of prayer, the three-judge panel found, it sends a message that those who pray are favored members of Colorado’s political community.
“In doing so, they undermine the premise that the government serves believers and nonbelievers equally,” Judge Steven Bernard wrote in a 73-page decision.
The content of six Colorado Day of Prayer proclamations, 2004 to 2009, is “predominantly religious,” lacking a secular context or purpose, and the effect is “government endorsement of religion over nonreligion,” Bernard wrote. Judges Alan Loeb and Nancy Lichtenstein concurred.
The governors’ proclamations, made by Govs. Bill Ritter and Bill Owens, have included biblical verses and other religious themes. They are calls to actual worship, Bernard wrote.
Let’s now apply this to the National Day of Prayer!
(Source: The Denver Post)