May 11, 2012

Colorado Court of Appeals Rules Against State Day of Prayer

Colorado flagThere was some big news out of Colorado yesterday that was somewhat overshadowed by President Obama's announcement. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation's 2008 lawsuit against the state governor's proclamations for a Colorado Day of Prayer.

From Judge Steve Bernard's opinion:
A reasonable observer would conclude that these proclamations send the message that those who pray are favored members of Colorado’s political community, and that those who do not pray do not enjoy that favored status.
Absolutely! The court clearly gets it and found Colorado's prayer proclamations unconstitutional.

The ruling was also clear that the court has no interest in ruling on the right of private citizens to pray, even in public. The key is that the state may not sponsor religion by promoting prayer in this way.

I applaud the decision and believe that it helps strengthen the argument for similar lawsuits against the National Day of Prayer.