Our religious history won’t be erased

Published 12:35 am Monday, May 17, 2010

Throughout the history of this great nation, our people have used prayer to seek guidance, to ask for forgiveness, to express gratitude, to build strength and for so much more. The power of prayer is beyond measure, and each one of us is gifted with the freedom to express our beliefs and convictions.

On May 6, Americans again celebrated the National Day of Prayer and affirmed their right to express their faith.

As you may know, an appointed judge recently deemed this day unconstitutional.

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U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb issued the decision in a case filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group that challenged the constitutionality of a 1988 federal law, which requires the president to designate the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer.

Thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to appeal this flawed decision.

The National Day of Prayer pays tribute to the significant part that prayer has played in building our nation and to the integral role it still holds in our lives today. Setting aside a day to honor this religious practice is a tradition that does not need to be broken.

I am an original cosponsor of House Resolution 1273, which affirms the constitutionality of the National Day of Prayer, and House Resolution 1279, which calls for an appeal of the ruling that found the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional.

Moreover, I am an original cosponsor of a resolution which reaffirms “In God We Trust” as the official motto of the United States. It also supports and encourages the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.

Rest assured, I will not sit idly by as restrictions are placed on the rights of all Americans. We cannot allow our rich religious heritage to be erased from the history books.

Our religious history shouldn’t simply be contained to the lips and hearts of men, but should be documented and recorded so that our children and grandchildren will know that “God shed His grace on thee.”

U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, represents the Fifth Congressional District and serves on the House Appropriates Committee. His Washington, D.C., office can be reached at 202-225-8490 or online at alexander.house.gov.