Charlotte, North Carolina proclaims “Day of Reason”

In honor of my visit*—I’m flying into Charlotte today (see post above)—the mayor of that city has officially proclaimed a “Day of Reason.” Anthony Foxx, current mayor but nominated by President Obama to be the next Secretary of Transportation, issued the following decree:

charlotte_2013

Read that thing! A more secular document you couldn’t find! There’s no reference to God, and did I mention that this comes from the South?

Foxx, born in 1971, will be the youngest member of Obama’s Cabinet if confirmed, and is one of the youngest Cabinet members in history.  He’s done a great job with the city, ergo his elevation to a Cabinet position. Based on that, and the above, I have great hopes for him.

Mayor Foxx issued a similar declaration last year—at the request of the Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics organization! 

Now, there’s really nothing any rational person (even a religious one) could object to in this document, but of course it will cause outrage. Why? Because, as many of you know, today is also the official U.S.-government-sanction “National Day of Prayer”, proclaimed by Obama but a clear violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution (no government sponsorship of religion). The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) contested this in 2010, and got the Day of Prayer overturned by a federal judge on Constitutional grounds: a clearly correct decision.

The Obama Administration, in one of its worst moves, appealed this ruling, and a three-judge federal panel then reinstated the Day of Prayer, ruling that the FFRF didn’t have standing to sue. The case is currently under appeal. It galls me that my own country, supposedly one whose government is divorced from religion, has an official Day of Unreason, in which we’re supposed to importune a nonexistent being. Foxx’s proclamation reinstates my faith in humanity.

Other Day of Reason events are listed here: sadly, there aren’t many.

Mayor Anthony Fox: My hero!

Mayor Anthony Foxx: My hero!

__________

*Just kidding. But I wish it were true!

20 Comments

  1. Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Finally some good news from the USA!

    • Dr. Dot
      Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Funny thing to realize about the US, and this was painfully obvious by the end of November 2012: There is a VERY vocal minority in the US that seems hell bent on rolling back 250 years of history and dragging us into the stone age. Regardless of how shrill they are, they are in fact the minority, and ignoring them is generally considered good form (and will likely lead to a more accurate picture of what’s going on).

      Not 100% accurate, but a good guideline to follow when dealing with the lunatic fringe.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Technically 250 years in the past wasn’t the stone age but maybe you meant first dragging back 250 years then going ahead and dragging society back into the stone age after that. Either way I’m just being an unhelpful smart ass….my real point is below.

        What worries me is the whole evangelical movement since their doctrine is to infiltrate government and change public policy….and they seem to be organized with international groups. It sounds almost paranoid but it’s something that can’t be ignored.

        • Notagod
          Posted May 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          Exactly! Thanks, for making the point. The idea that they should be ignored is what has allowed them to become a dangerous problem. Dr. Dot is very wrong.

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      +1

  2. Melissa Johnson
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    I’d like to shake this man’s hand. This does my heart good. I recommend President Obama follow suit and proclaim the Year of 2014 as Year of Reason! (I know, I know..)

  3. Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    That is great. Would like to see more of this, all around the world.

    I just wonder what it is with all these “whereas”es, especially because I have seen that before in a bill passed by some Tea-Partiers. Is it illegal to write a proclamation in the USA that reads as if the author does not have a stick up their rear end?

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      It’s just an old-fashioned way of saying “Because…”

      Instead of “Now, Therefore,…” it would have been snappier of him to say “And so…”

      I don’t imagine anyone writing it while kebabbed, but rather hearing it being Oyezed by a Town Crier with a tricorn hat, a red gold-braided jacket and a bell.

  4. Don
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    This is as refreshing as a morning in May. Is Mayor Foxx a freethinker?

  5. Michael Day
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    This reasonably made my day. I hope that this way of thinking trickles down here to Georgia some time soon.

  6. Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Now this is something! Congrats, Prof.C.

    Most of your readers might know about the movie now premiered, “The Unbelievers”. I hope it does very well. Here’s a good CNN interview with Dawkins and Krauss:
    religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/29/new-film-examines-science-vs-religion/comment-page-3/

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Well, by good I mean Dawkins and Krauss were good, as usual.

  7. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Awesome! I’d love to see an International Day of Reason….maybe a Reason Week. I hope NC’s reason trickles down to SC so we don’t have to keep reading silly things like this: http://bit.ly/14PGE5x

  8. gerard52
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Congaulations! to you Jerry and the Mayor, we need more proclamations from cities and towns around the country recognizing the secular character of the nation.

  9. Logicophilosophicus
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The use of the word “purport” will annoy.

  10. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    All the reasons to rejoice.

  11. Gordon Munro
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Sorry but one seperation of church n state public official even in North Carolina doth not justify a Kirkegaardian “leap of faith in hoomanity.”

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for telling me how I should feel. And you better read your Kirkegaard, because the leap of faith is belief without evidence, even because it’s absurd to believe.

      Here we have a bit of evidence.

  12. Mark Joseph
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, this is of course wonderful news, but I have to wonder if it comes with a dark lining–won’t Mr. Foxx be able to less good as a Secretary of Transportation than he is doing as a mayor?

  13. Gordon Munro
    Posted May 1, 2013 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Glad to. And I have read our dear Dane. I enjoy anecdotal evidence as much as any other dedicated WEITist. When theists do it we call it cherry-pickin’.


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