Mr. Speaker, Federal Judge Barbara Crabb sided with some atheists last week and wrongly ruled the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.

The first amendment to the Constitution states, ``Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'' The judge obviously forgot the "free exercise" part.

Our Founding Fathers jealously guarded the right to free exercise of religious conscience. Thanksgiving was started in 1789 by President George Washington so the Nation could, ``Thank and pray to the Almighty for blessing America.'' We start each day of Congress with a prayer. Heaven knows we need it. We have a long history of honoring the religious foundation of America's liberty.

The National Day of Prayer does not seek to establish a government religion. Quite to the contrary, we specifically recognize one day each year the right of Americans to freely exercise their religion, free from anyone's interference, including atheists and Federal judges.

What's next, Judge Crabb? You going to ban Thanksgiving and Christmas as national holidays?

And that's just the way it is.