Jewish Web site targets national prayer day

A Jewish Web site has launched a campaign against the National Day of Prayer, saying it is religiously exclusive.

JewsOnFirst.org, a site that defines itself as “defending the First Amendment against the Christian right,” is targeting the prayer day for what it calls a “litmus test” that limits participation to “fundamentalist Christian evangelicals.”

Created by a congressional resolution in 1952, the prayer day is organized by a privately run task force. According to its Web site, the task force seeks, among other things, to “foster unity within the Christian church” and “publicize and preserve America’s Christian heritage.”

The site also pledges respect for all people “regardless of denomination or creed.”

According to JewsOnFirst, the prayer day has been “hijacked” to exclude Jews, Muslims and Catholics. The site is calling on governors to refrain from issuing proclamations endorsing the day.

The task force claims it was created “for the express purpose of organizing and promoting prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values.”

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