May 14, 2012
A Colorado appeals court panel ruled that the state's Day of Prayer is "predominantly religious" and therefore violates the constitutional rights of nonbelievers, CBN News reports. The Freedom From Religion Foundation challenged the statewide Day of Prayer -- proclaimed six times between 2004 and 2009 by Govs. Bill Ritter and Bill Owens -- claiming it amounted to a government endorsement of religion. The three-judge Colorado Court of Appeals panel agreed because the proclamations included Bible verses and religious themes. "[The Day of Prayer] undermine[s] the premise that the government serves believers and nonbelievers equally," Judge Steven Bernard wrote in the 73-page decision. The case will now go back to a trial court to decide whether future Colorado governors should be barred from making prayer proclamations.