The National Day of Reason (NDR):
Held on the first Thursday in May. Part 2.
This essay is a continuation from Part 1
2011-MAY-05: Rep. Pete Stark proclaims NDR:
Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) entered a proclamation into the congressional record that recognizes MAY-05 as the National Day of Reason. He represents the 13th District in California.
According to the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) mailing, it stated:
"Reason and rational thinking have made our country great. The Constitution of the United States of America is based upon the philosophies developed during the historical Age of Reason and the idea that citizens engaging in rational discourse and decision-making can govern themselves. The Constitution also contains a strong separation of church and state, making it clear that government should continue to be built on reason." 1
Stark's home page stated:
"The National Day of Reason, observed by millions of people in this country and around the world since 2003, celebrates the application of reason and the positive impacts it has had on humanity. Reason and rational discourse have the power to improve living conditions around the world and cultivate intelligent, moral, and ethical interactions among people." 2
Sean Faircloth, executive director of the SCA, spoke on 2011-MAY-95 at a National Day of Reason event on the North Carolina State Capitol grounds in Raleigh. He said:
"The Secular Coalition for America has a great appreciation for the continued work Representative Stark has done to promote reason and secular values on Capitol Hill. By encouraging Americans to employ reason and perform good deeds in their community, this proclamation embodies values that all Americans can rally behind – not simply those who pray or believe in a god." 1
One member of the SCA is the American Humanist Association (AHA). Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the AHA said:
"The National Day of Reason has truly taken off. Through National Day of Reason activities such as volunteer work, charity events, and open-forum discussions, it’s self-evident that you don’t have to believe in God to be a good person, and you don’t have to adhere to a divisive tradition such as the National Day of Prayer." 1
The National Day of Reason web site offers the following draft proclamation:
"WHEREAS, the application of reason, more than any other means, has proven to offer hope for human survival upon Earth, improving conditions within the universe, and cultivating intelligent, moral and ethical interactions among people and their environments, and
WHEREAS, those who wrote the Constitution of the United States of America, the basic document for governing the affairs of humankind within the United States, based it upon principles delineated within the philosophies distinguishing the historical Age of Reason, and
WHEREAS, most citizens of the United States purport to value reason and its application, and
WHEREAS, it is the duty and responsibility of every citizen to promote the development and application of reason
NOW, THEREFORE, I [name, title] hereby proclaim Thursday, the 5th day of May, 2011 a
DAY OF REASON
and I encourage all citizens, residents and visitors to join in observing this day and focusing upon the employment of reason, critical thought, the scientific method, and free inquiry to the resolution of human problems and for the welfare of human kind.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of [government] to be herein affixed. 3
A sampling of ten 2011 NDR events:
- NDR and Food/Blood drive: Tulsa, OK.
- CFI-Tampa Bay Blood Drive: Tampa Bay area, FL.
- A reading and discussions of Carl Sagan's "The fine Art of Baloney Detection:" Redding, CA.
- Get your A on!: Facebook.
- ReasonFest: Lawrence, KS.
- Blood Drive, San Diego, CA.
- NYC Atheists blood donation event - Gift for life: New York City, NY.
- The Headbanging Hostess: Stamford, CT.
- Farmer's Market Booth: San Luis Obispo, CA.
- AOK Food Drive, Oklahoma City, OK
- "Secular Americans Praise Rep. Pete Stark’s National Day of Reason Proclamation.
Millions Celebrate National Day of Reason Today," Email from Secular Coalition for America, 2011-MAY-05.
To Recognize the Value of Reason in American Life
- "Latest News," Pete Stark" home page, at: http://www.stark.house.gov/
- "Send a Proclamation," National Day of Reason, at: http://www.nationaldayofreason.org/
Copyright © 2003 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2003-APR-1.
Most recent update: 2011-MAY-05
Author: B.A. Robinson