CHARLOTTE--A proclamation signed by Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx has some in the religious community up in arms.
Thursday is National Day of Prayer but in the city of Charlotte it will also be the Day of Reason.
An atheist and agnostic group is hoping to provide an alternative to non-believers, but some pastors said the move is offensive.
Thursday, millions of people across the country will bow their heads for National Day of Prayer, but in Charlotte, a second proclamation signed by Mayor Anthony Foxx also declares May 2 as the Day of Reason, a move that has some speaking out.
"I frankly thought there must be some sort of misunderstanding or mistake but then, I actually looked at the proclamation read the order and thought, wow," said Pastor Mark Harris of First Baptist Church in Charlotte.
The Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics organization brought the request before the Mayor so non-believers could be heard as well.
"It's not a threat, it's not a a replacement. It's just an alternative," said VP of Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics Mary Snow.
The Day of Reason is a national movement that coincides with the congressionally-mandated National Day of Prayer.
First Baptist Church Pastor Mark Harris said the day is offensive.
"It's an affront in many ways. I think the fact that the National Day of Prayer was established as a time to cry out to God and yet we find that declaring this National Day of Reason is somehow saying that human reasoning has offered more hope," said Harris.
The mayor's office said signing proclamations brought forth by organizations is part of the mayor's job. In the past 10 days, Foxx has signed dozens on a wide variety of topics.
Although some said having both a day of prayer and a day of reason is fair, Harris said it speaks volumes.
"I think he should read the proclamations before he signs them and make sure that what he signs he is willing to stand by. I am surprised Mayor Foxx is willing to stand by some of the things in that proclamation,” said Harris.
"What this says to me is Foxx is sort of equal opportunity about it. He is saying this is fine and this is fine. They can happen at the same time, and that is kind of the epitome of reasonable," said Snow.
Several prayer events will be held across the city Thursday. Charlotte Atheists and Agnostics said they do not have an organized event planned for Thursday but encourage people to recognize the day.