EURweb.com – About two dozen members of Congress joined religious leaders Wednesday for a news conference on Capitol Hill to defend the National Day of Prayer.
The event was sponsored by the Congressional Prayer Caucus in response to a federal court ruling last week that declared the prayer day unconstitutional because it appears the government is endorsing religion and promoting prayer.
Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) criticized the judge’s ruling, saying it “undermines the values of religious freedom that America was founded upon and misinterprets the Constitution.”
“Since its founding, faith and prayer have been an integral part throughout our nation’s history,” Miller said Wednesday, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The members of Congress stressed that the National Day of Prayer does not force anyone to pray, but is an opportunity for Americans to do so as their predecessors have.
The National Day of Prayer was officially created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, and signed into law by President Harry Truman. Since 1952, every president has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
This year marks the 59th annual National Day of Prayer. The Congressional National Day of Prayer event will take place in Cannon Building at the U.S. Capitol on May 6. Speakers at the event include Franklin Graham and James Dobson, among others.