Governor Jan Brewer Likely to Proclaim Another Prayer Day Despite Lawsuit, Spokesman Says

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer won't let a lawsuit deter her from proclaiming another state Day of Prayer, says her spokesman.

As we mentioned in a previous blog post today, local freethinkers -- including two lawyers working pro-bono -- want a federal judge to stop Brewer from calling Arizonans to prayer. But she's likely to do so -- as she has in past years -- prior to the National Day of Prayer in May, says the governor's spokesman, Matthew Benson.

Brewer not only opposes the lawsuit, but believes "it's an attempt to drive religious expression from our public square," Benson says.

Her take on the situation isn't quite correct: The lawsuit seems to be an attempt to drive religious expression from our public institutions, not the "public square." Nobody's trying to stop Brewer or anyone else from publicly wallowing in religion. It's the part where religion is force-fed to Arizona as official state business that annoys the non-believers.

Sure, we can't deny Brewer's point that calling Americans to prayer is a "tradition dating back to George Washington."

Then again, Washington also believed in the tradition of owning slaves, (at least until his death). Tradition is over-rated. But it's popular -- especially with politicians. All 50 U.S. governors have called on their constituents to pray.

Brewer believes that tradition is "perfectly consitutional," says Benson, and that the prayer is non-denominational and "open-ended enough" for just about person who believes in a god.

As for non-believers -- Benson doesn't really know what to say about them.

But clearly, this divisive tradition isn't for all Arizonans.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.