Occasionally live television provides a vivid display of the mental gymnastics and cognitive dissonance deployed to advance an argument. Take Fox News' Megyn Kelly, who recently asked what was so “promotional about religion” in setting aside a day to celebrate “the role that God has played in the formation of this country and its laws.”
Discussing a court ruling that declared national prayer day unconstitutional, Kelly hosted Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Lynn set forth an argument against the appropriateness of the government setting aside a day to commemorate prayer:
Prayer is religious. It's nothing but that. There is no secular purpose here. This isn't like declaring Christmas a holiday, which the federal government does, because that's got not just religious rituals, but now glommed onto it all secular rituals. National Day of Prayer is only about religion. There is nothing secular about it.
At this point, Kelly jumped in to display an astounding failure to grasp the concept:
Why can't it be a day where people acknowledge not just prayer, but they are encouraged to meditate as well, which is not necessarily prayer? And why can't it be a day where we take a moment and we stop and we acknowledge the role that God has played in the formation of this country and its laws. What's so promotional about religion there?
It just so happens that just about everything about setting aside a day to “take a moment” to “acknowledge the role that God has played in the formation of this country and its law” is “promotional about religion.” It's actually the epitome of promoting religion.