Jan Brewer Didn't Injure Atheists With Her Prayers, Judge Rules

A Maricopa County judge has ruled that Governor Jan Brewer did not injure atheists during her "Day of Prayer" in March.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has filed several lawsuits to challenge state prayer days, which worked in its favor in Wisconsin, but has now failed twice in Arizona.

"In the absence of a particularized and concrete injury suffered by Plaintiffs, their claims can not go forward," Judge Eileen Willett's ruling says. "Plaintiffs have not alleged that they filed their claims in their capacity as taxpayers, nor have they shown a direct injury, pecuniary or otherwise."

In a statement, the governor says the lawsuit was "another sad attempt to stifle an American tradition" by what she calls a "special-interest group," which is funny, because it looks like the Freedom From Religion Foundation is promoting a secular cause here.

"Uniting in prayer is a custom as old as our nation itself," Brewer says. "For centuries, millions of Americans of every race, creed and color have come together in voluntary prayer to seek strength and wisdom. This is an American right and tradition, and one that I've proudly marked each year I've been Governor by proclaiming an Arizona Day of Prayer."

(Click here for a precise example of how that has not been happening in this country for centuries.)

Brewer didn't make any specific reasons for her prayer this year, but did ask people to pray last year for the economy and state budget.

If it's any consolation to the atheists, Willett was Republican-approved by "AZ Judges Review" when that site was still being updated, and her official court bio lists her as the vice president of the "St. Thomas More Society Board of Directors" -- a name shared by many different organizations.

Read her ruling below:

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley