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Old 01-19-2005, 08:40 AM   #1
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Atheist asks high court to ban inauguration prayer

Atheist asks high court to ban inauguration prayer
Filing demands chief justice's recusal from case

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The atheist who tried to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to bar the saying of a prayer at President Bush's inauguration.

In an emergency filing, Michael Newdow argued that a prayer at Thursday's ceremony would violate the Constitution by forcing him to accept unwanted religious beliefs.

His request has been rejected by two lower courts. (Most recent ruling)

Newdow also asked that Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who is designated as the justice to hear emergency appeals for the D.C. Circuit, recuse himself because he is scheduled to swear in Bush and thus has a conflict of interest.

Rehnquist previously has sworn in four presidents since becoming chief justice in 1986.

"He has become a fixture in a governmental ceremony that has become infused with sectarian Christian religion and not once -- as far as can be determined -- has he made the slightest attempt to end that ... violation," Newdow wrote.

If Rehnquist does remove himself, the case will go to the next senior justice, John Paul Stevens, who has the option to refer the appeal to the full court for consideration.

Two lower courts have rejected Newdow's request to ban the prayer, suggesting he couldn't show actual injury in hearing it. In his ruling last week, U.S. District Judge John Bates also said the court did not have authority to stop the president from inviting clergy to give a religious prayer at the ceremony.

Attorneys representing Bush and his inaugural committee have argued that prayers have been widely accepted at inaugurals for more than 200 years and that Bush's decision to have a minister recite the invocation was a personal choice the court had no power to prevent.

Newdow gained widespread publicity two years ago after winning his pledge case before the San-Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which ruled that public schools violated the separation of church and state by having students mention God.

The Supreme Court later threw out the ruling, saying Newdow could not lawfully sue because he did not have custody of his elementary school-age daughter, on whose behalf he sued. Newdow refiled the pledge suit in Sacramento federal court this month, naming eight other parents and children.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/18/sc....ap/index.html
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Sounds like a historical whiner to me. Nobody is forcing him to accept anything except freedom of speech.
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:40 AM   #2
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i saw that.
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:42 AM   #3
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Well... what do you think of it.
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:44 AM   #4
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oh whatever. i personally could do without the prayer, but so long as it is very universalized, i won't complain too much.

i could do without "under God" as well as it's a relic of the Cold War, but i'd rather pick and choose my battles.
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:50 AM   #5
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Does this guy even have a case? Where was he during the 1997 inauguration? Picking and choosing indeedy-roody.

"So help me God."
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:51 AM   #6
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This guy is wasting his life.
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Old 01-19-2005, 08:59 AM   #7
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I would repeat what Irvine said. You've got to pick and choose your battles. This isn't worth being fought. So what if it is or isn't said?
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:12 AM   #8
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I would repeat what Irvine said. You've got to pick and choose your battles. This isn't worth being fought. So what if it is or isn't said?
none of us seem to complain if we're handed too many documents with the words "in God we trust" on them, in fact, we are happy when we are given them, aren't we ?
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:33 AM   #9
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There are more pressing "problems" on the planet than a prayer at a government ceremony. This is a waste of time and resources.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:49 AM   #10
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none of us seem to complain if we're handed too many documents with the words "in God we trust" on them, in fact, we are happy when we are given them, aren't we ?

because of what they're worth, and what they can buy me (i need new shoes), not because of what they say. they could say "in Cardosino we trust" and i'd still be happy.

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Old 01-19-2005, 09:57 AM   #11
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Originally posted by verte76
There are more pressing "problems" on the planet than a prayer at a government ceremony. This is a waste of time and resources.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:59 AM   #12
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Originally posted by cardosino
none of us seem to complain if we're handed too many documents with the words "in God we trust" on them, in fact, we are happy when we are given them, aren't we ?
Of course credit cards are an alternative for those who are horrified by those words.
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Old 01-19-2005, 11:58 AM   #13
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"The devil will find work for idle hands to do"
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:26 PM   #14
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Originally posted by Irvine511



because of what they're worth, and what they can buy me (i need new shoes), not because of what they say. they could say "in Cardosino we trust" and i'd still be happy.

So it's OK to go with having God and State intertwined as long as there's something in it for you ? Got it.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.........
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:31 PM   #15
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So it's OK to go with having God and State intertwined as long as there's something in it for you ? Got it.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.........

no. i just don't care what it says.

and please don't put words in my mouth or draw inferences from my comments that 1) aren't there, and 2) serve whatever agenda you've got (you've made this argument before).

the "intertwining" of God and State on coins is utterly meaningless to me, as is the "under God" part of the pledge and the whole "may God bless America" that presidents end their speeches with. these are all empty, meaningless phrases to me, and i don't feel the need (nor have the energy) to battle them like this little atheist Napoleon in California. i agree with him on a philosophical level, but, really, whatever.
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