FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 5, 2022
Jonny Levenfeld, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; 202-704-4535
National Day of Prayer Undermines Religious Freedom in America
WASHINGTON–Today, after President Biden issued the annual, congressionally-mandated proclamation marking the National Day of Prayer, religious freedom advocates expressed concern about the state’s explicit endorsement of religion. Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement:
“Prayer serves as a source of hope and fortitude for many Americans, and our nation’s religious diversity and historical commitment to protecting freedom of belief are among our greatest strengths. But our Constitution also requires that we give equal rights to millions of Americans who do not identify with any religion. True religious freedom means people of all beliefs and circumstances have the right to abstain from religion and religious practice altogether – including prayer.
“The Establishment Clause clearly prohibits the state from favoring religion over non-religion – and even symbolic acts in which the government inserts itself into religious practice undermine our democratic values. Interfaith Alliance has for years raised concerns about the National Day of Prayer, warning that the annual observance violates the boundaries between religion and government. These bedrock principles demand that the state shall not dictate if, when, or how we worship.
“All Americans who hold fast to an inclusive vision of religious freedom should urge their representatives to finally revisit this troubling practice. Each National Day of Prayer that goes by slowly chips away at our devotion to the principles that undergird our democracy.”
Interfaith Alliance is the only national interfaith organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of both religion and democracy in America. If you are interested in speaking further with senior leaders at the organization, please contact Jonny Levenfeld at (202) 704-4535 or [email protected]
Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit www.interfaithalliance.org.