MADISON, Wis. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys asked a federal court Monday to throw out a lawsuit that claims government-issued proclamations which call on citizens to pray are unconstitutional. The motion to dismiss--the second filed by ADF attorneys--comes in response to an amended complaint filed in the lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
“Prayer proclamations are a long-established and cherished American tradition going back to the Founding Fathers,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “This is simply a ridiculous lawsuit and an example of one radical organization’s allergic reaction to anything involving God."
The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed its suit against a number of government officials, including now-former President George W. Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle. The suit also names National Day of Prayer Task Force Chairperson Shirley Dobson, who is being represented by ADF attorneys.
Last year, ADF attorneys sent an information letter to nearly 1,200 of America’s largest cities, advising them of their constitutional right to religious freedom and to recognize and participate in the National Day of Prayer.
The 58th National Day of Prayer, which occurs May 7, offers an opportunity for thousands of Americans to exercise their religious rights and unite in prayer for the country at a variety of events nationwide. In 1775, the Continental Congress called upon people to pray for God’s wisdom in forming a nation. In 1952, President Harry S. Truman established an annual National Day of Prayer via a joint resolution of Congress. The law was amended in 1988 to set the day as the first Thursday of May.
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.