Group Sues Bush Over Nat'l Day of Prayer

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The nation's largest group of atheists and agnostics is suing President Bush and other officials over the federal law mandating the National Day of Prayer.

The Freedom of Religion Foundation filed suit last week, claiming the President's call to Americans to pray violates the constitutional ban on government officials promoting religion.

Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, is also named in the lawsuit. The foundation claims the Task Force is too closely tied to the religious organization Focus on the Family.

Neither Dobson nor the Task Force has issued any statement on the suit.

The lawsuit says the Day of Prayer creates a "hostile environment for non-believers who are made to feel as if they are political outsiders."

The group has filed several lawsuits over the years. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a suit against President Bush's faith-based initiative, also filed by the foundation

The National Day of Prayer is held each year on the first Thursday in May. The national proclamation issued this year asked God's blessings on our country and called for Americans to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is also named in the suit because the foundation is based in Madison, Wisc. Doyle is one of country's 50 governors who issued proclamations calling for the day for prayer.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press, Chicago Tribune.com

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