National Day of Prayer activities may have more political undertones than usual this year, as religious groups take aim at what they see as President Obama's attacks on religious freedom.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has called for a public day of prayer and fasting, prompting criticism from First Amendment watchdog groups, atheists, and the Houston Clergy Council.
A federal judge last year had struck down as unconstitutional the National Day of Prayer. But on Thursday, a US appeals court ruled that the people who had brought the case lacked legal standing.
US District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on government endorsement of religion.