On April 10, an article titled “Critics: ‘Day of prayer‘ goes too far,” was unnecessarily critical of Gov. Kim Reynolds for asking Iowans to participate in a day of prayer. Connie Ryan, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa’s director, wrote “they were alarmed and disheartened that the governor would declare a Day of Prayer. Mark Stringer, ACLU’s Iowa director wrote: “When, how, or whether to pray is a deeply personal decision, one that should be made without the government’s interference or influence.”
The governor did not command or interfere with anyone’s participation in a Day of Prayer. She invited participation in an event that has been acknowledged for years.
The government has long called for a National Day of Prayer. Abraham Lincoln referenced God in his second inaugural address seven times and prayer three times. President Truman signed into law a National Day of Prayer. President Reagan amended that law to be observed the first Thursday of May. In 2011, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the National Day of Prayer had not caused any harm and did encroach on people’s rights. It is observed by many different faiths.