City of Washington misses opportunity to embrace secular community

The City of Washington missed a big opportunity recently.

It could have joined Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and city governments in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City in issuing a historic ?Day of Reason? proclamation, which recognizes the May 5, 2016 secular event, for the growing secular community across Washington.

It was an opportunity to affirm its commitment to the Constitutional separation of church and state, religion and government.

It was an opportunity to publicly show that its local government remains neutral on issues of religion and does not favor religious belief over nonbelief.

It was an opportunity to publicly stand up for those in its community that are not defined by any religious dogma or doctrine and yet are still happy and productive members of Washington.

For whatever reason, the City of Washington chose to miss out on this opportunity.

For the past 65 years, religion and religious belief have been favored, promoted and given the upper hand over non-religion thanks to the ?National Day of Prayer.? On the surface, it sounds harmless but it actually helps perpetuate the decades long struggle for acceptance, inclusion and equality that nonbelievers have lived with since the dawn of religion. Every year it reminds nonbelievers that their government takes a side when it comes to issues of religion and religious belief.

The National Day of Reason does not.

It is inclusive. It?s Constitutional. And most importantly, it?s something that all Americans can support.

Too bad the City of Washington chose not to.