National Day of Prayer: Should leaders in office express their religious values?
YAKIMA, Wash.- National Day of Prayer, a time when many people come together and pray for our country. President Trump, Newhouse and other people of power took to social media recognizing the holiday and encouraged the community to say a blessing.
"We are proud of our religious heritage, and as president I will always protect religious liberty," said President Trump.
Representative Dan Newhouse and others received some negative backlash with comments from people saying leaders in office shouldn't encourage religion.
Action News reached out to locals who that argued leaders in office should keep their religious views private, while others say anyone should have the right to speak about their religion, no matter who you are.
"Going into office, you don't know who you are going to encourage. You don't know who you are going to start making people think, but I don't think it's something you can push on people and it's too bad because maybe some people need that," said local Marilyn Nester.
Nester has always been surrounded by religious values and said before it was never a uncommon practice. Now she says it becoming a sensitive topic, but should be talked about.
"For me it would be okay, because I think I'm really open to that kind of stuff, but I think that it wouldn't hurt any of us to be encouraged," said Nester.
Some on social media also criticized, saying they're not following the principle of separation of church and state. Pastor Mike Lyon from Open Bible Christian Center says that statement has been misunderstood.
"The Congress will not establish any religion or prohibit religion. It never said that there wouldn't be religion in high offices, it said they weren't going to establish a government religion," said Lyon.
Action News spoke to locals who are not religious who argued that everyone should have the right to chose what religious path they want to take, and not made to feel like they're doing something wrong by not participating in the Day of Prayer.
President Trump also issued an executive order that would expand government grants and partnerships with religious groups.