Atheist who challenged pledge words 'under God' sues again

Atheist who challenged pledge words ‘under God’ sues again _ this time with other parents

DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press Writer

**Wednesday, January 5, 2005 **

(01-05) 15:08 PST SAN FRANCISCO (AP) –

An atheist who sued because he did not want his young daughter exposed to the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance has filed another lawsuit – this time with other parents.

Michael Newdow won his case more than two years ago before a federal appeals court, which said it was an unconstitutional blending of church and state for public school students to pledge to God.

In June, however, the Supreme Court dismissed the case, saying Newdow could not lawfully sue because he did not have custody of his elementary school-aged daughter and because the girl’s mother objected to the lawsuit.

In the latest challenge filed Monday in Sacramento federal court, eight co-plaintiffs have joined the suit, and all are custodial parents or the children themselves, Newdow said.

The plaintiffs’ names have been withheld from the lawsuit.

“It’s because of the potential adverse impacts of having your name on a case like this. That’s why they are not named,” Newdow said Wednesday.

He had promised to refile when the Supreme Court dismissed his case this summer.

“I want this decided on its merits,” said Newdow, a doctor and a lawyer, who again is the attorney in the latest pledge case.

Although the Supreme Court sidestepped the broader question of separation of church and state when it tossed the case, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote separately that the pledge as recited by schoolchildren does not violate the Constitution. Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

A fourth justice, Antonin Scalia, removed himself from the case after making off-the-bench remarks that seemed to telegraph his view that the pledge is constitutional.

Rehnquist wrote that the phrase “one nation under God” is more about ceremony and history than about religion. He likened the phrase to the motto “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency, and to the call that opens each session of the high court itself: “God save this honorable court.”

Vickram Amar, a constitutional scholar at Hastings College of the Law, said that “this case starts with a 0-4 handicap from the Supreme Court’s point of view. Lower court judges are not going to be oblivious to that” when they consider the issue.
No court date has been set.

sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2005/01/05/national1750EST0716.DTL

Well if he wins maybe “us Christians” should pull all of our kids out of school because we are tired of anti-religion being taught to our kids!:mad: What are the atheists going to do then?I would love to see the judges try to put over 80% of all americans in jail for their child being truant:D God Bless

Even atheists should fear a government that isn’t “under God.” It is better to have a governement that sees itself as the *protector *of God-given freedoms (including the freedom to be an Atheist) than to have a government that sees itself as the *grantor *of all freedoms. After all, a government that is not “under God” is the highest power–now that is scary!

[quote=Lisa4Catholics]Well if he wins maybe “us Christians” should pull all of our kids out of school because we are tired of anti-religion being taught to our kids!
[/quote]

If Newdow wins here is how the pledge would be recited by schoolchildren:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


I would be interested in hearing you explain how the above could be perceived as “anti-religious” by those children.

[quote=Drew98]If Newdow wins here is how the pledge would be recited by schoolchildren:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I would be interested in hearing you explain how the above could be perceived as “anti-religious” by those children.
[/quote]

Because of the utter absurdity of these kinds of claims. If people like this law-doc are TRULY worried about human rights, there are far more important causes and worrying if some school child mumbles “under God” as he recites the Pledge. It’s petty, pointless and a waste of the court’s time.

Lisa N

[quote=Drew98]If Newdow wins here is how the pledge would be recited by schoolchildren:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I would be interested in hearing you explain how the above could be perceived as “anti-religious” by those children.
[/quote]

That is just another straw.I am talking about what they have already done in public school,school prayer taken out,planned parenthood sex ed, not to mention being tormented if you have an outward religious belief! How do I know I went there! I am homeschooling my older children because of the gang activity in the high schools as well as him being threatened and harrassed for being Christian and Catholic by His English Teacher after he defended Christianity and the Bible are she said it was anti- feminist,when he said my Bible is not ant-feminst and I am Catholic and as far as I know we are the only ones who honor Mary,she replied Catholics are the worst anti-feminist.I complained nothing was done:mad: Had we been atheist it would have not only dealt with but an aclu would have rushed in to make it a national headline.God Bless

[quote=Lisa N]Because of the utter absurdity of these kinds of claims. If people like this law-doc are TRULY worried about human rights, there are far more important causes and worrying if some school child mumbles “under God” as he recites the Pledge. It’s petty, pointless and a waste of the court’s time.

Lisa N
[/quote]

It’s about a bigger agenda. They weren’t able to legalize gay “marriage” in Canada until years of chipping away at christianity. God is being pushed more and more out of the public eye, out of schools, out of people’s public lives. Consequently, people are becoming more and more accepting of misbehaviors.

[quote=Jay74]It’s about a bigger agenda. They weren’t able to legalize gay “marriage” in Canada until years of chipping away at christianity. God is being pushed more and more out of the public eye, out of schools, out of people’s public lives. Consequently, people are becoming more and more accepting of misbehaviors.
[/quote]

It is a critical point with those pushing their “special agendas” that the state be seen as the highest authority - not a Deity. This takes any bibical instructions right out of the argument and makes laws one can get passed as the “ultimate” guide to conscience.

[quote=Jay74]It’s about a bigger agenda. They weren’t able to legalize gay “marriage” in Canada until years of chipping away at christianity. God is being pushed more and more out of the public eye, out of schools, out of people’s public lives. Consequently, people are becoming more and more accepting of misbehaviors.
[/quote]

You brought to mind a “joke” I heard that went along these lines-

Little Girl: "God I’m a little upset today"
God: "Why"
Little Girl: "Well Janie was shot today in the school cafeteria, and well… you were not there to protect her"
God: “well you see honey… They don’t allow me in public schools anymore”

All this really makes me glad I live in my own world!
:wink: :smiley: :whacky:

Pisio

In The Declaration of Independence the Founders write:

[left]When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

[/left]
[left]We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States;

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

[/left]

Or George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, Which by the way is a NATIONAL HOLIDAY.

George Washington’s
1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of** His providence** in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted’ for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which** He has been pleased to confer upon us.**

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dy of October, A.D. 1789.

(signed) G. Washington****

[quote=Lisa N] It’s petty, pointless and a waste of the court’s time.

[/quote]

OK, then am I correct in assuming that you think President Bush should **not **have appealed Newdow’s original case to the Supreme Court?

[quote=Drew98]OK, then am I correct in assuming that you think President Bush should **not **have appealed Newdow’s original case to the Supreme Court?
[/quote]

No, because President Bush appealed Newdow’s original case to the Supreme Court so he could lose his case, be quiet already, and so that the rest of us could get on with our lives. :rolleyes: Apparently, Newdow’s a sore loser and doesn’t want to give up his fight. He tried to win his case by taking advantage of his daughter, saying that she shouldn’t have to say ‘under God’ if she doesn’t believe in God. But his daughter does believe in God, doesn’t mind saying the pledge, and her mother is a Christian. So much for his plan. :rolleyes: It backfired on him, but he’s still trying to win this fight. But I thought he was doing this because he was concerned about his daughter?

[quote=Drew98]OK, then am I correct in assuming that you think President Bush should **not **have appealed Newdow’s original case to the Supreme Court?
[/quote]

No, you know what they say about ASSUMing anything. This is a case that should never have been brought in the first place. The plaintiff claimed he (a concerned parent) was ‘protecting’ the rights of his daughter. Problem with that is the daughter neither thought her rights were being violated nor did she object to ‘under God’ in the pledge. Thus it was total hubris on the part of the father. Waste of EVERYONE’S time. Why doesn’t Daddy Dear try to focus on the real rights of children that are violated every day? He seems to have plenty of time and money. Maybe he could check into our Children’s Services Division or to the way foster parents are screened. We’ve had a lot of kids DIE because their rights were violated by bummy parents, incompetent social workers and uncaring foster parents. Who gives a rat’s patooty about a word in the pledge when anyone can simple not say it?

Lisa N

Lisa N

[quote=Drew98]If Newdow wins here is how the pledge would be recited by schoolchildren:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I would be interested in hearing you explain how the above could be perceived as “anti-religious” by those children.
[/quote]

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,and to the republic for which it stands,one nation indivisible,with liberty and justice for all.(unless you believe in God)Don’t forget the rest,the un written clause. If you don’t believe in God fine I will be sure to pray for you, but to act like your persecuted for having to say God in the pledge is rediculous:rolleyes: Can you not just pause while its being said?Yes,you can.If atheists are so offended why not start atheist run schools,so you can make sure your children don’t have to even hear the word God.You might want to make sure History isn’t taught,though, that would offend,and don’t forget you can’t tell them how this country started and who started it.God Bless

[quote=Lisa N]No, you know what they say about ASSUMing anything.
[/quote]

Then it seems to me you’re being inconsistent. When Newdow brings the issue before the court you say it’s a trivial issue that’s a waste of everyone’s time but when Bush brings the issue before the court suddenly it’s an important issue.

[quote=Lisa N]The plaintiff claimed he (a concerned parent) was ‘protecting’ the rights of his daughter. Problem with that is the daughter neither thought her rights were being violated nor did she object to ‘under God’ in the pledge.
[/quote]

Actually, the case was about Newdow’s right as a parent to not have a government employee tell his daughter every day that her father is wrong about God.

[quote=Lisa N]This is a case that should never have been brought in the first place…Waste of EVERYONE’S time…Who gives a rat’s patooty about a word in the pledge when anyone can simple not say it?

Lisa N

Lisa N
[/quote]

I wholeheartedly disagree.

First, I very much support tort reform for the usual reasons. However, on fundamental issues of constitutional law, I have no problem with anyone suing to protect his son or daughter from state sponsorship of a religion that he disagrees with. I would have some serious reservations about my kid having to sit through daily recitations of “one nation, under Allah” or “under David Koresh” or whatever. I know, if she doesn’t believe David Koresh is God, she doesn’t have to recite those words.:rolleyes:

Sorry, it smells to me too much like the government supporting a religion. But maybe I’m wrong, and this is an allowable exception that doesn’t really fall under the establishment clause. We won’t know until the courts rule on it. As I recall, SCOTUS didn’t rule that his case had no merit, but simply that he had no standing to bring the case. Now this group should have standing, so we can find out how the merits of the case stack up.

Remember that it was through a lawsuit that the Scouts were spared any further tedious and costly battles over whether they had the right to exclude openly gay members/leaders. That’s the purpose of the courts, to clarify law so that society can go on smoothly with an understanding of where the boundaries are.

[quote=Drew98]Then it seems to me you’re being inconsistent. When Newdow brings the issue before the court you say it’s a trivial issue that’s a waste of everyone’s time but when Bush brings the issue before the court suddenly it’s an important issue.

Actually, the case was about Newdow’s right as a parent to not have a government employee tell his daughter every day that her father is wrong about God.
[/quote]

My understanding was that Bush responded to the case, he didn’t initiate it. I DONT think it’s an important issue, just as I don’t think worrying about “In God We Trust” on our currency is an important issue. I do not think this ‘establishes’ a religion. As the justice said, it’s more about a tradition than about telling people what to believe.

BAHAHAHA yeah, parents have rights don’ t they? Let’s see the parent has the right to “protect” his child from something she doesn’t want to be protected from, he is not the custodial parent, the mother of the child who wishes to raise the child as a Christian is thus denied HER rights to influence her child in her religious upbringing. While this points to yet another problem of our rampant level of divorce, there are several parties’ whose rights should be protected here. So the father’s rights override the mother’s ? The child’s?

Further parents don’t have rights to know about their child’s abortion. They don’t have the right not to have a homosexual agenda taught in school. Talk about an inconsistent position on your part…

Lisa N

Ok, so, a non-custodial parent has the right to sue the School, the Federal Govt so his child doesn’t have to say “Under God” (Although 90+% of the children in school do believe).

But I as a custodial parent does not have the right to know when my child has left school to go get an abortion. Which is a risky medical procedure that does result in one death, and possibly 2 if there are complications.

So clear to me now.

[quote=digitonomy]I wholeheartedly disagree.

First, I very much support tort reform for the usual reasons. However, on fundamental issues of constitutional law, I have no problem with anyone suing to protect his son or daughter from state sponsorship of a religion that he disagrees with. I would have some serious reservations about my kid having to sit through daily recitations of “one nation, under Allah” or “under David Koresh” or whatever. I know, if she doesn’t believe David Koresh is God, she doesn’t have to recite those words.:rolleyes:

Sorry, it smells to me too much like the government supporting a religion.

[/quote]

I don’t think there is anything about government ‘supporting’ a religion, it’s that government may not establish a religion. The reference being to the kind of state sponsered and approved religions that limited the people’s right to religious freedom. The operative word is a religion.

If the children were required to recite the Nicene Creed, the Allah Akhbar, the She’ma exclusively then yes I could see that a parent would object to the government establishing a religion because these recitations are very specific to a religion. Similarly your David Koresh example is not compelling because again it is specific and refers to a religion (albeit a rather bizarre interpretation).

While the phrase ‘under God’ does make reference to what is generally considered a religious concept, the reality is that God is far too broad a term to establish a religion. As C.S. Lewis wrote, even mother love, can be deified.

I grew up an atheist, reciting the pledge. It had no impact on my belief system and frankly if my experience was similar to most school children, no one EXPLAINED the pledge, what it said, its history, it’s meaning. For years I said one nation INVISIBLE with liberty and justice for all.

Lisa N

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