Text: H.Res.1279 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)

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Introduced in House (04/20/2010)


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[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 1279 Introduced in House (IH)]

111th CONGRESS
  2d Session
H. RES. 1279

  Calling for an appeal of the ruling which found the National Day of 
 Prayer to be unconstitutional and expressing the support of the House 
  of Representatives for the institution of an annual National Day of 
                                Prayer.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             April 20, 2010

 Mr. Tiahrt (for himself, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Roe of Tennessee, Mr. Posey, 
   Mr. Herger, Mr. Franks of Arizona, Mr. Bartlett, Mr. Harper, Mr. 
Aderholt, Mr. Pence, Mr. Miller of Florida, Mr. Davis of Kentucky, Mr. 
  Wamp, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Westmoreland, Mr. Kline of Minnesota, Mr. 
 Bachus, Mr. Hunter, Mrs. Blackburn, Mr. Lamborn, Mr. Wilson of South 
Carolina, and Mr. Latta) submitted the following resolution; which was 
               referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
  Calling for an appeal of the ruling which found the National Day of 
 Prayer to be unconstitutional and expressing the support of the House 
  of Representatives for the institution of an annual National Day of 
                                Prayer.

Whereas the first action of America's first Congress in 1774 was to ask a 
        minister to open with prayer and to lead Congress in the reading of 4 
        chapters of the Bible;
Whereas the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States 
        Constitution was intended by our Founding Fathers to prohibit one 
        religious denomination from enjoying the exclusive backing of government 
        and to prohibit the Federal establishment of any type of religious 
        uniformity or orthodoxy that rewards observers and punishes violators;
Whereas the First Amendment guarantees the right of elected and appointed 
        officials to express their religious beliefs through public prayer;
Whereas public prayer and national days of prayer are a long-standing American 
        tradition to bolster national resolve and summon the national will for 
        victory;
Whereas the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in 
        forming a Nation in 1775;
Whereas Benjamin Franklin proposed that the Constitutional Convention begin each 
        day with a prayer;
Whereas General George Washington, as he prepared his troops for battle with the 
        British in May 1776, ordered them to pray for the campaign ahead, that 
        it would please the Almighty to ``prosper the arms of the united 
        colonies'' and ``establish the peace and freedom of America upon a solid 
        and lasting foundation'';
Whereas President John Adams declared May 9, 1798, as a National Day of Prayer, 
        ``that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten 
        it'';
Whereas President James Madison, who wrote the First Amendment to the 
        Constitution, issued four proclamations calling the Nation to a day of 
        prayer;
Whereas President Abraham Lincoln, on March 30, 1863, issued a proclamation, 
        ``recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty 
        God,'' and designated April 30, 1863, as a National Day of Prayer;
Whereas President Harry S. Truman, on April 17, 1952, by signing Public Law 82-
        324, established an annual National Day of Prayer;
Whereas, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated the first Thursday in May 
        as the annual National Day of Prayer;
Whereas, since 1988, each President has issued a nonsectarian proclamation of 
        the National Day of Prayer;
Whereas, in 1998, President Bill Clinton called on ``people of every religious 
        denomination gather to worship according to their faith. In churches, 
        synagogues, temples, and mosques, Americans come together to pray'';
Whereas, in 2002, President George W. Bush issued a proclamation calling on, 
        ``our citizens to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to 
        honor the religious diversity our freedom permits by recognizing 
        annually a `National Day of Prayer''';
Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the integral in an 
        unanimous ruling declaring ``This is a religious people. . . . From the 
        discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice 
        making this affirmation'';
Whereas the Supreme Court has a lengthy history of affirming the practice of 
        public prayer conducted and encouraged by the Federal Government;
Whereas, in 2008, a lawsuit was brought against the Federal Government 
        questioning the constitutionality of the annual National Day of Prayer; 
        and
Whereas, on April 15, 2010, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the 
        annual National Day of Prayer was a violation of the First Amendment to 
        the Constitution: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) encourages Attorney General Eric Holder to appeal the 
        ruling by United States District Judge Barbara Crabb, which 
        found the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional; and
            (2) reaffirms the commitment of the United States House of 
        Representatives to the institution of an annual National Day of 
        Prayer.
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