The National Day of Prayer: atheists welcome.

Americans must be protected, lest our feelings be hurt. Our tender, tender feelings, and our lightly-held core beliefs.

Or, at least, you’d think that:

A federal court in Wisconsin decided Thursday that the country’s National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional because it calls on citizens to take part in religious activity.

U.S. District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb ruled that the statute that created the National Day of Prayer violates the Constitution’s prohibition against the government establishment of religion.

Judge Crabb, an appointee of former President Jimmy Carter, wrote in her decision that ‘”some forms of ‘ceremonial deism,’ such as legislative prayer, do not violate the establishment clause.” But she said the National Day of Prayer goes too far.

I’d like to know what average, everyday atheists think about this. Does your average atheist really give a crap about the National Day of Prayer? Does he feel oppressed? Influenced? Offended?

Or does he feel more offended that feeling, caring people like Judge Crabb are so worried that he — she, they — are so weak-minded? That their beliefs can be so easily shaken?

As a TrogloPundit commenter pointed out, these questions cut both ways. A prayer at a high school graduation; a nativity scene on the local courthouse lawn; the words “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance don’t infringe on your ability to believe that Jesus was just some guy; that the Bible is a hateful and destructive piece of fiction; that there is no such thing as God at all.

On the other hand, not having the prayer; not placing a nativity scene on public property; removing those words from the Pledge doesn’t infringe on my faith, or how I choose to live out that faith.

Oh, I could make the case that the very act of removing such references from the public sphere is also a form of government influence, especially when long-held traditions are involved. Denying that long-held tradition says: this doesn’t belong.

But. All I really require from my government on any issue of faith: stay out of my way. You ignore me, I’ll ignore you, and everybody’s happy. Well, I’m happy. And that’s what counts.

Atheists should have the same attitude and — although it’s a fair bet your average atheist is also more likely to be politically liberal, and thus expect active government involvement in everyday life — I’ll bet many atheists do have that attitude.

I bet there are many atheists out there who don’t give a rat’s ass about the National Day of Prayer. I’ll bet there are atheists out there who think this whole “controversy” is stupid.

If nothing else, getting all the religious types busy praying will mean shorter lines at Starbucks.

Or, maybe a few atheists might show up at a NDoP service. Y’know, just to show Judge Crabb that their beliefs aren’t so easily shaken, not even by a federal statute.

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