Sunday, January 11, 2009

God in the Crosshairs – The Pledge, our Money, and the Oath...

To my Conservative Friends:

In his usual Sunday slot, our good friend and Guest Blogger, Alabama Ben has written a great follow-up to yesterday's Educational Article on the Pledge... As usual, Ben has all the facts on the looney lefts ridiculous attempts to trample our traditional values. In this article, Ben sets his cannons on one of the country's most devout atheists.

I am sure you will enjoy....


God in the Crosshairs – The Pledge, our Money, and the Oath
By: Alabama Ben

What discussion of the Pledge of Allegiance isn’t complete without at least a brief discussion of those who wish to ban or change it? It’s been a topic of controversy ever since the words “Under God” were added back in the 1950’s. This controversy turned into an ongoing legal battle to remove references of God not just from the Pledge, but from our currency, and even the Inaugural Oath that the President recites when being sworn in.

Let’s take a look at three fronts of the War on God, and who’s currently winning.

The Pledge - 2002

Offending Phrase: “Under God”
Offended Party: Michael A. Newdow, lawyer and avowed atheist

Brief:

In 2002 Michael Newdow of California filed suit against his daughter’s school district because she was being forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance, which he felt was a religious declaration and offended his sensibilities. Further, he claimed, it offended his daughter, who was also an atheist. (Nevermind the fact that his daughter is a devout Christian and a member of Calvary Chapel, and also that he does not have custody over her nor has he ever been married to her mother. Small technicalities, right?)

The case eventually went before the 9th Circuit Court, filled with activist liberals who pounced on it with glee, voting in Newdow’s favor and declaring the Pledge to be unconstitutional for its state endorsement of religion.

Result:
Fortunately this was struck down soundly by the Supreme Court (In an 8-0 decision), much to Newdow’s chagrin and the vast majority of Americans’ relief. I have to say it frightens me that it was allowed to go so far as an actual ban being passed, even if it was the 9th Circuit that carried it out.

The Money – 2005

Offending Phrase: “In God We Trust”
Offended Party: Michael A. Newdow, the same lawyer and avowed atheist from before

Brief:
In 2005 Newdow was back again, this time targeting a new area where the God he claims doesn’t exist was offending his apparently easily offended sensibilities. Now his target was our currency, where the phrase “In God We Trust” has been proudly stamped since 1864. Again, his claims were that a statement referring to God on a government document or building was an endorsement of religion and something that violated his First Amendment rights (Which his brain somehow mistranslates into a freedom from religion, rather than a freedom of religion).


Result:
As with the Pledge lawsuit, this was struck down, but unlike the Pledge lawsuit it never made it to the Supreme Court. A U.S. district judge struck it down in 2006, stating it was a secular phrase, a national slogan that did not trample on Newdow’s rights. I don’t entirely agree with it being a secular phrase, but it certainly doesn’t endorse just one religion. You can claim it does, as we are predominantly a Christian nation, and certainly a religious nation by vast, vast majority.

I won’t say that Newdow was entirely unsuccessful with this lawsuit, however. Also in 2006, when the U.S. Mint announced it would be making the Presidential dollar coins, it showed that it had removed the phrase from the face of the coin, opting to put it around the edge instead. Could Newdow’s case have had something to do with it? Possibly. It’s not a complete removal, and it’s only one coin, but it’s not a good sign in my book.

The Oath – 2008

Offending Phrase: “So Help Me, God”
Offended Party: Michael A. Newdow (Notice a trend here?)

Brief:
By now it’s really obvious that Newdow doesn’t know when his fifteen minutes of fame are up. He also doesn’t know that it’s pretty laughable that someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of something is spending so much time and energy protesting that something. If this is the only life we get, which I assume he believes, why would you want to waste it in such a manner? But, I digress.


Newdow is now suing to have the phrase “So help me, God” removed from the Inaugural Oath, which a President being sworn-in typically states at the end of the Oath. While not included in the original Oath in the Constitution, it has been recited since 1933, and it is believed that Washington himself said it when he was sworn in. He claims that he and others like him won’t be able to enjoy the Inauguration unless this is removed, as its alleged state endorsement of religion not only violates his First Amendment rights, but also turns him into an outcast.

Result:
The case is currently pending, but it is unlikely to go anywhere. As the last article cited states, the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment has been interpreted to allow inaugural prayers and statements of God in other ways as the writers of the Establishment Clause made such statements and prayers themselves [Marsh v. Chambers (1983)]


In conclusion, I don’t even want to know the amount of taxpayer money and court time Michael Newdow and his ilk have wasted on such silly lawsuits as these. And the fact that some of them were even heard and supported blows my mind. God help us in the future if these activist judges become more prevalent or worse, take more Supreme Court seats.

What is next on Newdow’s agenda, I wonder? He’s targeted the Pledge, our currency, and the Inaugural Oath. I guess the Declaration of Independence with his reference to a “Creator” will be deemed unconstitutional next and a push will be made to have it removed from textbooks and have all copies burned, or sold on Ebay like Obama’s senate seat.

Only time will tell...

Alabama Ben

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