National Day of Reason
National Day of Reason is observed next on Thursday, May 2nd, 2024 (146 days from today).
National Day of Reason is a legal and secular holiday in the United States, established in response to the National Day of Prayer. This holiday is for all those who do not recognize God or an established religion or faith. The key message behind this day is to provide a positive, inclusive alternative to the National Day of Prayer, while valuing the separation between religion and government. It also aims to build a community among non-religious people in the United States.
History of National Day of Reason
A group of leaders from within the rational community endorsed the idea of National Reasons Day. This celebration is held in tandem with National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday of May every year. The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason - a concept all Americans can support - and to raise public awareness of the persistent threat to religious freedom posed by the government enter the private worship sector.
The Day of Reason also exists to inspire the secular community to be visible and active on this day to set the right example on how to create positive change. Local organizations can use "Day of Reason" to label their events or they can choose labels such as Action Day, Business Day or National Day of Reason. The key message is to provide a positive, productive, constitutional alternative to the National Day of Prayer of Exclusion.
Since ancient times, various days have been designated for prayer and religious observance. People call for prayer, fasting and thanksgiving.
This is where the National Day of Prayer originates. In 1952, President Harry S. Truman instituted this religious holiday in which people were asked to turn to God in prayer and meditation. However, when religions diverged from previously established paths, an ideology of inclusion persisted. Many people in America do not believe in any religion and, therefore, cannot celebrate this holiday. As the result, National Day of Reason was born.
The American Humanist Association has joined forces with the Washington Area Secular Humanists to create a secular holiday for all atheists, humanists, secularists, and those unable to celebrate Prayer Day nation.
While celebrations (and popularity) have slowly grown over time, many state and local governments are recognizing the date officially.
Celebrations have taken the form of blood transfusions, secular events and activities, and in some cases, protests against National Day of Prayer. The day has also gained support from politicians such as Mayor Jean Stothert (Omaha, Nebraska), who supported National Day by signing a statement, and Pete Stark, who also supported the day in House of Commons.
These celebrations are part of Secular Action Week when people volunteer to make the world a better place.
Some facts about religion and governance
- There is no God in all constitutions of the United States
The US Constitution makes no mention of God, but references appear in state constitutions, the Declaration of Independence, the Declaration of Allegiance, and even on US currency.
- Religion in the present congress
In 2019, the majority - about 88% - represented in the current convention identified as Christians.
- 63% of Americans do not like the intertwining of religion and politics
- 76% of Americans believe that houses of worship should not endorse political candidates.
- Religion should not influence policies
A 2017 survey found that 65% of respondents believed that religion should be kept away from government policies.
- Famous Presidents and Their Religions
Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln had no official religious affiliation; almost all others are Christians.
Some reasons for National Day of Reason for being important
- We honor the reason
Logical and rational thinking is at the heart of a secular democracy. So we see this day as a way to honor reason and its separation from religion.
- Reason itself is an important tool
When faced with humanity's most complex and pressing problems, we need 'reasons' to support us. So observing a day that is literally a reason to celebrate is a gift.
- It leads the way to a holistic future
A nation that accepts and celebrates all types of people, cultures, and religions or religions is a truly inclusive nation.
How to celebrate National Day of Reason
- Check out local celebrations
Several organizations organize food and blood, donations and other activities on this day. Go ahead and volunteer for those you like.
- Organize a letter writing campaign
Ask your local government to organize National Day of Reason for the official celebration if they have not already done so. Talk to community leaders and locals to get more support for your cause.
- Visit the official website
Register as a subscriber on the official National Day of Reason website, read media coverage of past years' celebrations and see upcoming events planned.
ObservedNational Day of Reason has been observed the first Thursday in May.
Thursday, May 5th, 2022
Thursday, May 4th, 2023
Thursday, May 2nd, 2024
Thursday, May 1st, 2025
Thursday, May 7th, 2026