Thursday, July 22, 2010

FRC Calls Obama Administration's Defense of the National Day of Prayer Inadequate

/PRNewswire/ -- Today Family Research Council and The Liberty Institute announced the filing of a motion for argument in a recent National Day of Prayer (NDP) case citing the Obama Administration's weak defense of the NDP as the cause. Last April, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional. The district court's decision is now being reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"President Obama's Justice Department filed a brief that doesn't go far enough in defending the National Day of Prayer, which is why we are petitioning the court to participate in oral arguments. The President's attorneys failed to cite any of the key cases that would require immediate dismissal of this lawsuit because the plaintiffs lack standing to bring it. FRC plans to mount a robust defense of this important national event that a liberal judge has attempted to scrub from the public square," Perkins said.

Ken Klukowski, Director of Family Research Council's Center for Religious Liberty and lead counsel for FRC's amicus brief in the case, added to Perkins' remarks:

"In recent months, Obama Administration officials have stated a willingness to defend the 'freedom to worship' but much more is at stake in this case - our First Amendment right to freedom of religion, which goes far beyond just worship.

"FRC is respectfully requesting that the court allow us to participate in oral arguments to ensure a vigorous defense is made against a lawsuit that claims a national day of prayer - a tradition as old as the country itself - is unconstitutional. It is our hope that the Court will recognize that the American people deserve and expect their elected leaders to vigorously defend our constitutional right to religious freedom.

"The courts cannot ban free religious expression by citizens who participate in the NDP because such participation is not imposed. Neither the Constitution nor the NDP itself require any religious activity by anyone, anywhere. So, if permitted, we intend to present a convincing case that this is a perfect example of a harassing lawsuit that should have been dismissed at the outset," concluded Klukowski.

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