Atheists Say Prayer Caucus A Threat To US Constitution

Casey Harper | Contributor

An activist atheist group is attacking the congressional prayer caucus, and it’s out for blood.

The American Humanist Association sent a letter to newly elected members of Congress imploring them not to join the congressional prayer caucus, saying the caucus is a threat to the U.S. Constitution and American rights.

“Generally speaking prayer caucuses are unnecessary and a threat to the wall of separation of church and state,” AHA Legal Director David Niose told TheDCNF. “The caucus is little more than a platform for pandering to the Christian right, and membership in it amounts to a public statement that a politician is hostile to the rights of Americans who are nonreligious and non-theistic.”

Niose added that the caucus promulgates the idea that American Christians are under attack, an idea he says is untrue.

“Christians are in the majority here and far from persecuted,” Niose told TheDCNF. “As such, America needs a Congressional Prayer Caucus about as much as it needs a Congressional White Caucus or Congressional Male Caucus.”

Rep. Randy Forbes started the prayer caucus in 2005. AHA pointed to declining membership, saying the group has dropped from 104 to 89 members since 2012.

TheDCNF has been in contact with Forbes’ office but could not get a comment in time for publication.

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