Oklahoma Atheists president Red McCall tells Romenesko readers:
The Oklahoma’s “Prayer Of The Day” is just one of many religious pieces we see in the media on a daily basis. The Oklahoman is a non-tax payer funded news publication so there really is no constitutional violation there with regards to the POTD.
I think that the inclusion of the POTD piece is just as simple as catering to their market. I personally do not know who their specific demographic is, but I don’t recall many of my peers subscribing to the publication. The national percentage of people who claim to be Christian in this country is around 83%. I am pretty sure that in Oklahoma, that percentage is quite higher.
Several members of Oklahoma Atheists will be featured in the religion section of the Oklahoman in a couple of weeks, so I know that they are definitely not biased against non-Christians.
To the best of my knowledge, no one in the group has publicized that they have written a complaint to them.
Oklahoman editor Kelly Dyer Fry says the prayer first appeared on the paper’s editorial page in 1960, and was moved to the front page in 1974.
“Our prayer is written by one of our copy editors,” she writes in an email. “I have worked here almost two decades [and] I have never received negative feedback from readers regarding our prayer. We do, however, get positive feedback routinely.”