Bill would designate a statewide day of prayer in S.C.

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COLUMBIA — South Carolina senators will consider creating a State Day of Prayer to coincide with the national one.

A bill on today’s agenda for the Senate Judiciary Committee would insert a single sentence into state law setting that day as the first Thursday in May.

Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Mount Pleasant, proposed the idea in 2010, soon after a federal judge in Wisconsin declared the National Day of Prayer an unconstitutional call for religious action. Limehouse called the ruling an assault on religion and said he wanted a state day in place in case the Obama administration lost its appeal.

Limehouse’s bill sailed through the House two days after he introduced it, bypassing the committee process completely, but it died in the Senate.

He re-filed it last April, shortly after an appeals court dismissed the federal lawsuit. A three-judge panel ruled the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation did not have standing to sue because, while they disagree with the proclamation, it has not caused them any harm.

Again, Limehouse’s bill cleared the House unanimously two days later.

He said the single-sentence bill makes no reference to any specific religion.


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