Family policy group joins pro-prayer brief
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Published: 08-Jul-2010

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 08-Jul-2010

Yesterday (Wednesday, July 7), the Oklahoma Family Policy Council (OFPC) signed onto an amicus brief by Liberty Institute filed in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals supporting the National Day of Prayer in the case of "Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Obama."

Those represented in the brief alongside Oklahoma Family Policy Council include Dr. James C. Dobson, the Family Research Council (FRC), Focus on the Family Action (Citizenlink), the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), Let Freedom Ring, and Liberty Counsel, along with 27 other family policy councils located in states nationwide.

“As we just reaffirmed during Independence Day celebrations nationwide, all Americans have the God- given, unalienable right to the free expression of religious liberty,” said Mike Jestes, executive director of the Oklahoma Family Policy Council. “Yet, one federal judge in Wisconsin threatens the liberty of hundreds of millions of citizens by her recent ruling on the National Day of Prayer. We’re also a nation of laws, and we’re working appropriately within the legal system, with our colleagues, to reverse this unconstitutional, misguided decision,” Jestes explained.

Jestes and the council are involved frequently in advocacy of traditional morality at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. The group is a leading sponsor of the Pro-Life Media Coalition.

When Congress passed a statute in 1952 calling for the President to issue a proclamation designating the National Day of Prayer, it memorialized the tradition of Presidents from Washington to Truman who designated a day of prayer. Thirty-six years later, the National Day of Prayer was officially set as the first Thursday of each May by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

On April 15, 2010, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb (W.D. Wis.) ruled that the federal government’s observation of prayer is unconstitutional. The lower court ruling contrasts with rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court that protect traditions of religious invocations. The brief filed in the circuit court argues that not only is the National Day of Prayer constitutional, but that Judge Crabb’s ruling establishes active hostility to religion and must be reversed.

Founded in 1989, Oklahoma Family Policy Council is a nonprofit state-based organization, which is associated with Focus on the Family and 27 other family policy councils nationwide. Each year, OFPC and Board members Col. Lloyd (U.S.A.F., Ret.) and Susan Smith sponsor the NDP observance at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The amicus brief has been made available online at

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