Colorado Day of Prayer Ruled Unconstitutional

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A Colorado appeals court panel recently ruled that the state's Day of Prayer is "predominantly religious" and violates the constitutional rights of nonbelievers.

Govs. Bill Ritter and Bill Owens proclaimed days of prayer six times between 2004 and 2009.

"In doing so, they undermine the premise that the government serves believers and nonbelievers equally," Judge Steven Bernard wrote in a 73-page decision.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation challenged the statewide Day of Prayer, claiming it amounted to a government endorsement of religion.

The three-judge Colorado Court of Appeals panel agreed because the proclamations included Bible verses and religious themes.

The case now goes back to a trial court to decide whether future Colorado governors should be barred from making prayer proclamations.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is responsible for organizing events for the National Day of Prayer proclaimed by the president, is based out of Colorado Springs.

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