Knoxville pastor fights for National Day of Prayer

Knoxville pastor fights for National Day of Prayer

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"What we're really asking is that President Obama actually repeal this decision," says Rev. Larry Keith, of Word of Faith Church in Knoxville. "What we're really asking is that President Obama actually repeal this decision," says Rev. Larry Keith, of Word of Faith Church in Knoxville.
"I am overjoyed that this has been declared unconstitutional, and anyone who is supportive of supporting the constitution would agree," Sharron King says. "I am overjoyed that this has been declared unconstitutional, and anyone who is supportive of supporting the constitution would agree," Sharron King says.

By DENAE D'ARCY
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knoxville pastor says he'll fight a federal judge's ruling that the National Day of Prayer isn't constitutional all the way to the White House.

The judge made the ruling on Thursday, saying the line between church and state is blurred by the government's involvement in the event.

However, supporters of the day of prayer say their civil liberties have been denied.

"What we're really asking is that President Obama actually repeal this decision," says Rev. Larry Keith, of Word of Faith Church in Knoxville.

Rev. Keith believes the decision is a slam against civil liberties.

He says he also believes there shouldn't be a separation of church and state. "We would not have this nation or the freedoms we enjoy without the reality of that. There is no dividing line there and I believe the church really should affect the state."

On the other side of the debate stands Sharron King, a member of the national group Freedom From Religion.

"I am overjoyed that this has been declared unconstitutional, and anyone who is supportive of supporting the constitution would agree," King says.

She believes the First Amendment declares government and religion shouldn't mix. "Having a day of prayer is a thing that people should be able to do on their own without having it be declared by the president that's the problem."

Knoxville citizens weighed in on this Friday for this report.

British Hills says, "It should be by choice you know. It's based on whether someone wants to. I don't think it should be forced, but I do think it should be made available for people who are interested."

Casey Holbrook thinks "...it reflects a shift in our culture away from just religion in general."

Jonathan Kinnard believes the National Day of Prayer is "...a day we use to celebrate all religions and prayer."

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