To each first Thursday in May celebrating American atheists, humanists and freethinkers as the National Day of Reason (Day of Reason). Here, this action who understands 2021 on May 6 falls (day of prayer dt.) Introduced as a secular counterpart to the 2003 public holiday National Day of Prayer. The following lines of the calendar of curious holidays from all over the world illuminate what this opposition between faith and reason is all about.
Who started the National Day of Reason?
Against the background of the introductory remarks, it is therefore not surprising that both the author and the year of foundation are fairly well documented.
The initiative for this American Day of Reason goes back to a cooperation between the American atheist associations American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists . With the establishment of this day of action in 2003, they pursued two primary goals:
- On the one hand, the clear reference to the unconstitutionality of the National Day of Prayer.
- Secondly, the creation of a special celebration day for all those who can not deal with religious thoughts, or feel excluded thereof (see also the contribution to the internationally celebrated day of the Dude on March 6).
Reason Day: For making a religious holiday unconstitutional in the United States
Much more exciting in this context is of course the reference to the unconstitutionality.
From the point of view of these associations, the religious holiday is a violation of the legal separation of state and religious interests, as it requires all state and local decision-makers to waive tax revenue and working hours. For this reason, the National Day of Reason is clearly seen as a protest and reasonable alternative (see also the contribution to the World Day of logic (Engl. World Logic Day) on 14 January).
Everyone may think what he / she wants, but basically this reference is made with some justification – especially in times of re-strengthened arch-conservative Christians in the USA. In a similar vein so eg also tends each year internationally acclaimed Darwin Day and the – (Darwin Day Engl.) On February 12, and – to a lesser World Philosophy Day (World Philosophy Day.) On each third Thursday in November.
Why does Secular Reason Day fall on the first Thursday in May?
As already indicated at the beginning, the choice of the date results from the reference to the US National Day of Prayer, although its original date was still to be left to the decision of his successor in office by then US President Harry S. Truman in 1952.
In 1988 the legal decision was made for the first Thursday in May, which since 2003 has also provided the flexible date for the secular day of honor of reason. Accordingly, as a small service, the following is an overview of all upcoming dates for the National Day of Reason in the USA. Nobody should say that he / she did not know anything about it.
- 2019: Thursday, May 2nd
- 2020: Thursday, May 7th
- 2021: Thursday, May 6th
- 2022: Thursday, May 5th
- 2023: Thursday, May 4th
- 2024: Thursday, May 2nd
- 2025: Thursday, May 1st
- 2026: Thursday, May 7th
- 2027: Thursday, May 6th
- 2028: Thursday, May 4th
- 2029: Thursday, May 3rd
- 2030: Thursday, May 2nd
In this sense with Good Old Kant: Out of self-inflicted immaturity. A healthy amount of reason, rationality and enlightenment has never harmed anyone.