Posted by: Ticktock | April 21, 2009

Get Out and Do Something!

Barack Obama just signed a new bill that triples the size of AmeriCorps, the domestic community service organization that helps college graduates pay down their loans in return for helping poor and troubled communities.

The jobs available at AmeriCorps are not always easy.  My wife commuted an hour and a half every day to the worst projects on the south side of Chicago to manage an Americorps sponsored recycling program.  It was a tough year for her, but I was really proud of her effort.  If you’re a young college student or recent graduate, get out there and give back to struggling communities if you can.  Or represent the best of America and journey abroad to the Peace Corps.  You won’t regret it.

Why not celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up your community?  My 4 year old  daughter and her mom helped by picking up trash at the county park near our house this past weekend. Make it a fun time with the family, walking around the neighborhood picking up garbage with plastic gloves and a trash bag.  There are also events planned in most major cities.  Check out the schedule of events listed here.

Feeling too lazy to get out and clean?  I totally understand.  The weather has been depressing lately.  Why not stay inside and play a word game quiz on the PC?  Go to to play the game that keeps on giving.  For every question you answer correctly, you’ll be helping the third world become vaccinated.

The National Day of Prayer is on Thursday May 7th.  If you are a secular humanist or atheist, you probably don’t plan on celebrating this day because you think that prayer is an ineffective equivalent to wishes and hopes.  You may even know that this national day is organized by Shirley Dobson, a christian evangelical from Focus on the Familiy, and that the prayers at these unconstitutional events of this “special” day often favor Ms. Dobson’s particular savior (Jesus).

No worries.  You can participate in the National Day of Reason.  No, it’s not a bunch of atheists drinking the blood of a sacrificed goat and painting pentagrams on churches.  It’s actually a day for the non-religious to actually do something to help society (you know, besides clenching fists and making wishes to the sky).  Many atheist groups organize a blood drive, but you’ll have to check out the National Day of Reason web site to see what’s happening in your area.

Go grab some life and give it a bear hug this week, OK?  You know you want to!



  1. How is the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional? I thought it was freedom “of” religion, not “from” religion?

    • The committee for the National Day of Prayer is run by a group of christians who send out suggested topics and themes to state and local governments. There are specific examples of christian messages being made by various government officials, which would be unconstitutional because the first amendment essentially says that the government should not advocate a religion.

      One of the stated reasons for the National Day of Prayer is that the writers of the constitution prayed when they ratified it. This is not true. Ben Franklin asked the group if a prayer should be given and all but three voted not to pray.

      It’s funny that you mention “freedom from religion” because the Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the government because they feel the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. We’ll see how that goes. I may have to change my statement if they lose.

  2. Actually- just realized how my comment sounded. I should clarify that I am totally against a National Day of Prayer- I don’t believe the government has any role in one’s religious practice. Still though, I don’t see anything unconstitutional about the Task Force’s involvement at their own events.

    • The National Day of Prayer Task Force’s involvement at their own event is not unconstitutional. Whether the events themselves are I am not aware of. I think what was meant by Skeptic Dad was the designation as a holiday by the United States Congress is unconstitutional. As stated in the First Amendment, the free-exercise clause allows for this type of event to be organized by non-governmental bodies, however the U.S. Congress may not pass any laws enforcing religious observances.

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