Reported By Regina Raccuglia
NASHVILLE, Tenn.For the past 58 years, Nashville and other U.S. cities have celebrated National Prayer Day.
Survey: Is National Prayer Day Unconstitutional? | Watch This Story
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin ruled on Thursday that National Prayer Day is unconstitutional. In a written statement, she said, "The government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic."
Some in Nashville agree.
"She's probably right; it probably is unconstitutional," said Teenie Fearheiley. "I think anybody should be able to pray any time they want to, and I hope they do."
But others feel the judge is getting personal.
"I think we need a National Prayer Day in this day and time because of this day and time," said Pamela Thomas. "I don't think she should make that ruling for everyone because that's not how everyone feels."
"It's not any sort of law that has anything to do with religion; it's simply a day set aside for prayer," said Tory Walters.
Since the ruling, no Nashville organizations have canceled any prayer day events -- but that, too, is gaining attention.
"I will continue to pray and hope Nashville does the same," said Sherri Manlove.
"Every day should be a national day of prayer. We, as the people, need to step up, and if you want to pray, pray every single day," said Walters.
Crabb added in her written statement that her order does not block any prayer day until appeals in the case are exhausted.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a Madison-based group of atheists and agnostics, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2008 arguing the day violated the separation of church and state.
President Barack Obama's administration said the president still plans to recognize the day and issue a proclamation for the next prayer day.
Copyright 2010 by WSMV.com. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.Got a story idea? E-mail newstips to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the newsroom 24/7 at 615-353-2231.