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Old 07-17-2002, 06:03 PM   #1
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Lawsuit-Happy Atheist Boy (TM) Strikes Again.

From Yahoo! News:


Pledge Plaintiff Files Lawsuit Appeal
Tue Jul 16, 1:09 PM ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The man who challenged the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is also pushing to end references to God at presidential inaugurations.

Michael Newdow is appealing the dismissal in May of a lawsuit in which he claims it was wrong for President Bush's 2001 inauguration to include a prayer.

In his Pledge of Allegiance lawsuit, he claimed the phrase "one nation under God" violates the Constitution's separation of church and state. On June 26, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed at least temporarily and ruled the pledge unconstitutional.


Okay, a few questions for you guys who agree with the 9th Circuit Court's decision of a few weeks ago:

1) I'm still harping on this, but how exactly IS the pledge unconstitutional?

2) How was President Bush's inauguration wrong to include a prayer?

3) How in the holy hell was THAT unconstitutional?

Beyond this, it's fairly clear that Michael Newdow is doing the most political damage to the cause of a secular government in a VERY long time.

Shouldn't those who agree with him, having noticed the train wreck he caused with the pledge, simply tell him to shut the hell up?
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Old 07-17-2002, 09:09 PM   #2
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What's next?? Is he gonna try to get GOD taken out of the Bible??

wackos
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:19 AM   #3
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Remember, this was the same guy who claimed that saying the pledge harmed his daughter, when his daugther lives with her mother separately and they're both (the mother and daughter) active Christians! He exploited his daughter to get media attention so he could go on a series of talk shows and shine in the limelight. Pretty sad.
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:26 AM   #4
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Apparently he has asked Ima Jerkoff (the guy who claims the Constitution is unconstitutional because it says "Blessings") to write an amicus curiae brief.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:02 AM   #5
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What an ass.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:40 AM   #6
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I'd like to see where this will end.
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:50 AM   #7
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I'm not that familiar with the U.S gov. but I'll give this a try.

1. The pledge is unconstitutional because it violates the Constitutions separation of church and state.

2. The prayer was not wrong, I didnt see it but I think he must think that violates the separation of church and state. In a way it does.

3. violates separation of church and state.

I think the thing with his daughter is stupid. Unless of course she was forced into being Christian. How old is she? By now she is probably old enough to decide what she believes in.
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Old 07-18-2002, 12:00 PM   #8
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The notion that Congress (and by extension via later amendments, the states) cannot enact a law that establishes a religion does not prohibit the government and people in government from exhibiting religious opinions from time to time.
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Old 07-18-2002, 12:16 PM   #9
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But, Raven, the Constitution doesn't specifically use the phrase, "separation of church and state." The closest it comes is the first clause in the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

In order for both the Pledge of Allegiance and the inaugurational prayer to be unconstitutional, this clause has to say that the government MUST be secular.

It doesn't say that explicitly, so we must somehow interpret it, and I think we must interpret according to what we think the authors intended with that clause. And if we look at what the authors of the Constitution and the First Amendment did as the first presidents and congressmen, there's simply NO way we can find an intent to force the government to be secular.

In fact, we find the opposite: both the early Congress and President George Washington went out of their ways to mention the Creator and the virtues of religion.

I mean, we CAN have the discussion about whether the Pledge should include the "under God" clause, and we can try to pursuade Congress to change the Pledge. But bringing the courts into this is to say that the pledge violates the Constitution, and I simply don't see it.


Either way, I believe this latest effort will backfire for Newdow and his supporters even worse than the Pledge fiasco.

In the Pledge case, we had a father supposedly suing out of a concern of his daughter - though that's now being called into question, and the pledge was made voluntary BEFORE the "under God" clause was added.

With this inaugural prayer, there's no concern for schoolchildren, just an elected official choosing to express his religious beliefs (remember, the First Amendment also PROTECTS free expression). This Newdow guy has quickly gone from a concerned father to a guy who simply wants to see unpopular ideas forced through the government via the judicial system.

(To be honest, I have a problem with people, both liberal AND conservative, who try to abuse the judicial system in this manner; it certainly doesn't help one of the government's most egregious problems - that the judicial branch has probably become far too powerful.)

I just think that those that agree with Newdow's opinions would want him to settle down: his tactics are SEVERELY hurting his own cause.
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Old 07-18-2002, 01:20 PM   #10
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Well in that case(I told you I'm not familiar with stuff like that),
The Pledge of Allegance would only be unconstututional if you were required by law to say it.
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Old 07-18-2002, 01:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
Well in that case(I told you I'm not familiar with stuff like that),
The Pledge of Allegance would only be unconstututional if you were required by law to say it.
I agree 100% - for a slightly different reason. I think it would be a violation of free speech, which is why I believe a mandantory pledge would be unconstitutional, "under God" or otherwise.

The only exception I can think of where mandantory pledge recitation would be okay would be if someone is applying for citizenship. In such a case, the pledge would be an oath, much like the oath to tell the truth in a trial. AND, in such a case, it would probably be okay for the applicant to choose to drop the "under God" clause, just like a witness can choose to "affirm" to tell the truth rather than "swear... so help me God."
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Old 07-18-2002, 01:41 PM   #12
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I wonder if this guy curses by saying "Goddamnit" or "my God!" or "Jesus"
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Old 07-18-2002, 01:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
Well in that case(I told you I'm not familiar with stuff like that),
The Pledge of Allegance would only be unconstututional if you were required by law to say it.
Exactly.

And it is entirely optional.

Here's my very unprofessional take on what the anti-establishment clause means. I have always been taught in school that the intent of it was to avoid the establishment of a single Christian denomination as the national church. This was in direct reaction to the Church of England being the official church of Great Britain. Of course the practice was quite prevalent at the time in Europe so I believe all the other european nations had simliar arrangements with an official taxpayer supported church. The writers of the Bill of Rights were, I've been told, addressing a very specific issue to avoid the other Christian denominations from being "officially" left out in the cold.

Personally I think its great that this clause has been proven elastic enough to extend protection and rights to non-Christians. But I also agree with Bubba that the effort to accomodate everyone can be taken too far. It already has gone too far and all the thanks for this comes from the intention of this clause being so commonly misinterpreted.
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
This was in direct reaction to the Church of England being the official church of Great Britain. Of course the practice was quite prevalent at the time in Europe so I believe all the other european nations had simliar arrangements with an official taxpayer supported church.
As far as I am aware, the leadership of the Church of England is STILL under the authority of the Queen, the Prime Minister, and Parliament.

Either way, the state-controlled church is PRECISELY the sort of thing the First Amendment prohibits.
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Old 07-21-2002, 03:05 PM   #15
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I support Newdow. That's all I'm saying.
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