Foxx takes heat over dueling proclamations about prayer, reason - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Foxx takes heat over dueling proclamations about prayer, reason

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A proclamation signed by Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is sparking controversy after he dubbed Thursday the "Day of Reason" in Charlotte – the same day as the "National Day of Prayer."

According to the president of Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics, the proclamation was sent to him in the mail several weeks ago by Mayor Foxx.

In a copy of the proclamation provided by the group's president, Shawn Murphy, Mayor Foxx proclaimed May 2, 2013 as "a day of reason."  He told WBTV this is the second year in a row that the Mayor has declared the Day of Prayer as the Day of Reason for Charlotte.

"The application of reason, more than any other means, has proven to offer hope for human survival upon Earth," the proclamation starts. "Improving conditions within the universe, and cultivating intelligent, moral and ethical interactions among people and their environments."

"What the Day of Reason is about is being an inclusive day. The actual Day of Prayer does exclude secular Americans," Murphy said.

According to Mayor Foxx's spokesperson, Foxx also issued a "National Day of Prayer" proclamation for the YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

The YMCA celebrated its 26th Annual Community Prayer Breakfast on Tuesday with a morning of fellowship, music and prayer at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

In the separate proclamation, Mayor Foxx also names May 2nd as "National Day of Prayer."

WBTV spoke with a local Hare Krishna, who says Foxx proclaiming Thursday both a Day of Reason and National Day of Prayer sends the wrong message.

"It makes the claim that religion is unreasonable, and I don't agree with that," said David Willard.

On Sunday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued a proclamation declaring that North Carolina would join the nation on Thursday with a "Day of Prayer."

McCrory's proclamation states "WHEREAS, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees and protects the freedom to exercise and practice religious beliefs, including prayer; and WHEREAS, the State of North Carolina joins our nation in marking the 62nd consecutive observance of the National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2013, as mandated by the United States Congress and the President, in Public Law 100-307."

The Governor's proclamation declares North Carolina will also observe the Week of Prayer in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer.

Mayor Foxx cites the Founding Fathers as a source of inspiration for his "Day of Reason" proclamation.

"Those who wrote the Constitution of the United States of America, the basic document for governing the affairs of humankind within the United States, based it upon principles delineated within the philosophies distinguishing the historical Age of Reason."

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