Yesterday, April 12, 2016, United States Representative Michael Honda (CA-17) introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives, House Res. 670, recognizingMay 5, 2016, as the National Day of Reason. The National Day of Reason is an initiative by the American Humanist Association to promote reason as a secular alternative to the National Day of Prayer.
Upon introduction of the resolution, Rep. Honda said “The National Day of Reason celebrates the positive impact the application of reason has had on humanity. The evolution of my Silicon Valley district into the world’s center of innovation came about through the use of the scientific method and the application of reason. These are fundamental pillars that scientists and engineers in Silicon Valley and around the country depend on to develop new technologies and cures for diseases. I introduced this resolution declaring May 5th, 2016 a National Day of Reason because the application of reason has proven to improve the conditions in which people live, offer hope for human survival on Earth, and cultivated intelligent, moral, and ethical behaviors and interactions among people. I encourage everyone to take this occasion to reflect upon the way that philosophical principles developed during the Age of Reason influenced our Founding Fathers as they formed our country and how the employment of reason, critical thought, the scientific method, and free inquiry can help resolve human problems and improve the welfare of humankind.”
“National Day of Reason is a day for all Americans since everyone can see the value of reason in addressing the needs of the day,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “While some may seek personal guidance from their god or gods, we encourage our elected leaders to use reason, compassion, and egalitarianism as their guides in determining what’s best for America.”
The American Humanist Association worked closely with Rep. Honda to craft the National Day of Reason resolution. This is the second consecutive year that Rep. Honda has introduced a resolution to recognize the National Day of Reason, co-sponsored by Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large).
The American Humanist Association celebrates the National Day of Reason every first Thursday in May, the same day as the National Day of Prayer, created by a 1952 resolution of the US Congress. Reason is a value that religious and nonreligious individuals can both embrace, making the National Day of Reason an inclusive alternative to the National Day of Prayer that also upholds the separation of church and state.
Efforts are on-going to introduce National Day of Reason resolutions and proclamations at the state and local levels. Humanist groups across the country will observe the National Day of Reason with rallies, lectures and other events. More information can be found at NationalDayofReason.org.