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Foxx faces criticism over ‘Day of Reason’ proclamation

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx issued a proclamation saying that Thursday was a “Day of Reason,” lending his name for the second consecutive year to a movement that emphasizes the separation of church and state.

But the mayor – who is now in the national spotlight as President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation – was criticized on the Fox News show “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning. Penny Nance, of the group Concerned Women for America, suggested that the beliefs behind the Day of Reason are responsible for the Holocaust.

“You know, (English writer) G. K. Chesterton said that the Doctrine of Original Sin is the only one which we have 3,000 years of empirical evidence to back up. Clearly, we need faith as a component and it’s just silly for us to say otherwise,” Nance said to host Steve Doocy.

Nance then said, “You know, the Age of Enlightenment and Reason gave way to moral relativism. And moral relativism is what led us all the way down the dark path to the Holocaust.”

Foxx, a Democrat, also issued a proclamation that Thursday was a “National Day of Prayer.” That is a congressional-sponsored day that encourages people of all religions and faiths to pray for the country.

Foxx attends Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte.

The American Humanist Association called Nance’s comments “inaccurate” and “offensive.”

“It’s just that kind of extremist rhetoric that we confront daily in our effort to promote freedom of and from religion,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

The American Humanist Association, a co-sponsor of the day, said on its website that, “with the religious right’s influence in Congress, and with the threat to our Judiciary looming large, there has never been as important a moment in which to affirm our commitment to the Constitutional separation of religion and government, and to celebrate Reason as the guiding principle of our secular democracy.”

Foxx also issued a proclamation for a Day of Reason last year.

Foxx couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

His press secretary, Al Killeffer, said the mayor makes a number of proclamations. In the last half of April, Foxx issued proclamations for “Fashion Meets Philanthropy Day,” “Earth Day,” “Type 1 Diabetes Day,” and “Jazz Appreciation Day.”

Harrison: 704-358-5160
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