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December 30, 2008

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Comments

SCook

Ridiculous. I'm an athiest; I sing sacred music in a church; I say, "Thank God" now and then, and I live what I consider to be a moral life. What harm does it do to the constitution or the law if Chief Justice Roberts prompts Mr. Obama to use a word that Mr. Obama has uttered thousands of times in his life. Someone explain to me why an important ceremony like this needs to be manicured to suit one of my fellow athiests.

Johnzo

Arguing with a hyper-religious person is like arguing with a 6 year old. It is a waste of time. I am not an atheist but most of the pro-religious posts here are pathetically childish.

tom

is it right if you don't beleive in something to keep pushing your beliebe on others.why do anti christ people got attack god and other people faiths,you do not make the major of america who has some sort of faith,so why do you try to tell other what worlds to use ,where and when.america is a very reilious country that has many differnt faith but none come close to the hilter mentaliy that atheists does,if you do not like god GOD then leave are god fearing land!!!!!

Remus

Forcing religion upon your children before they are able to fathom spirituality is tantamount to child abuse.

pastorcheryl

Only a fool has said in his heart there is no God!!!!!!!!!!!! PSALMS 14:1

hokulele

"I'm the one who's going to die when it's time for me to die. So let me live my life the way I want to." Barring knowingly bringing harm to other living things, this has always said enough for me.

Most of my friends, relatives and acquaintances can't accept the fact that I am an Atheist. "Oh, c'mon now. Really, you don't mean that." Look, I say, one's creation beliefs and moral guidance system is their own business as long as their intentions can be written in the Book of Love.

If it's no big deal.

If it's not such a big deal, why do Christians make such a stink and scream like crazy if people try to take the phrase out?

Movie fan

Don't get rid of the Chaplin!

Those old movies are treasures that should be preserved for future generations!

Just yankin' your chain a bit there "Village Green" - I agree fundamentally with your position on separtation of church and state. That "under God" bit wasn't in the original anyway.

1984

A secular world is a sane world
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXzladhscMQ

Blotto

If we don't have "So help me God" as part of the oath of office God will smite us with a hurricane that looks like a fetus. I know this.

ddc2008

How does the Plaintiff think he has standing to sue on this issue? The Chief Justice, if he prompts PE Obama to say "so help me God", would not be seeking to have the Plaintiff or any person other than PE Obama say those words, make that pledge, and take that oath. I think that only PE Obama would have standing to sue and since he believes in God, that's not going to happen. This lawsuit is such a waste of the court's time. I hope Newdow pulled Judge Collyer. She always includes such nice zingers in her opinions dismissing these types of frivolous lawsuits.

Arcturus

Same with our motto - "In God We Trust" only became our "official" motto in 1956 as a knee-jerk reaction to the threat of communism... This reminds me of all those idiot congressmen who ran out onto the steps of the capitol to recite the pledge of Allegiance and yell the words "under God" into the cameras when the 9th circuit tried to get rid of that a few years ago. I suggest we may as well use the phrase "Logic Does Not Affect Us" instead of "In God We Trust".

bob

we are free to worship whomever or whatever we want, and that worship should be private, and does not be a qualifier for fitness to old public office or to serve the country in any capacity. that's what freedom of religion means, and that's also what the separation of church and state means. personally i won't bother me if obama says "so help me god" or "so help me shiva" or "so help me allah" or "so help me gandalf" or "so help me zeta reticulans" when he is sworn in. now, i'm an avowed atheist, i have a very high iq, am a professional who excels in my field, behave ethically without any guidance from some silly book, etc. i do appreciate the role that the religious sentiment has played--it helps make sense of our individuation and our feeling of universality--but am horrified by what the institutional religion has done to mankind's progress, spiritual and otherwise. the proof for this is the comment, earlier, that if i don't believe in god, i've somehow demonstrated my ignorance, a sentiment that basically sums up what's wrong with institutional religion (you're either with us, or we will kill you). this is precisely the fault that the american founders wished to avoid, which is why they wanted to keep institutional religion separate from the public square. throughout this century, that barrier has been breaking down, and a certain form of institutional religion has been creeping into the public space. "in god we trust," and "one nation under god," etc., are phrases added to the american vocabulary in the last 70 years, largely as a response to contrast america with "godless communism." it's time to reestablish that barrier and take such phrases out of our dicta, not only because communism is dead, but also because america is famously *self*-reliant, not reliant on some abstraction (we can do it ourselves without god's help, and besides god is busy doing other stuff, like cheering on the brazilian soccer team). if you want to believe in god, that's fine; if you want to share your belief with me, that's fine too (i may not listen); but do not insist that your belief be a matter of public policy (surely your belief is not so feeble that you must be reminded of it by looking at money), and especially do not insist that just because i don't share your belief (at all, in any way), that i am somehow lesser a human being or unqualified to serve in this grand democratic republic of ours. herein lies the real problem with the atheist position, politically speaking : we could probably fight, successfully, to have references to god removed from the money and the pledge of allegiance and the oath of office, and we would win that fight on well-reasoned legal and constitutional grounds. but then the irrational prejudice which already exists against atheists would be magnified a thousandfold. the real problem for us is the herd-like acceptance of what the minister says. self-reliance, that great american virtue, starts with critical self-inspection, an evaluation of beliefs, and most importantly, a cultivation of the ability to think for oneself. these are virtues that institutional religion simply cannot afford to see propagated as it threatens their absolute authority over their flock. atheists embody the virtue of self-reliance and free thinking, and hence a "danger." i think we should continue to be "dangerous" by communicating these virtues to others, freeing them of the chains of oppression, and not be engaging in legal battles which will send fox news into overdrive. and finally, what are we to conclude from all this? first, institutionalized religion is anti-american. second, atheism is an american virtue par excellence. qed.

TiaLee

Newdow is doing us all a favor and taking the heat for it. He is a hero.

It is exactly these insidious encroachments of religion into secular government that is destroying this country-and this world. He is simply shedding light on this stain on reason.

I would bet that over 90% of atheists in this country were raised with some sort of religious fables. They simply were thoughtful enough to discover the lies in them.

If you believe in gods, you are practicing magical thinking. If you kept it to yourselves, that would be annoying, but perfectly within your rights. (sort of like an eighth grader who just can't get how to read)

Forcing the rest of us to have to live by the "rules" of your religion, however, is totally arrogant and illegal. You know why so many "christians" hate Muslims? Because they don't want to see Muslims forcing their "rules" on everyone else. That's the christian's market!

Have you ever seen a store for "jewish supplies" or "hindu supplies" or "muslim supplies"? Enough said.

liberal_patriot

"let them decide for themselves"... exactly, which is exactly why the Framers didn't put God in the Constitution and insisted that government have no say on the matter whatsoever.

Otherwise, you'd have to think that those men of faith merely forgot to put God in there

Valkyrie607

Freedom FROM religion is important too--the only people who can't see that are those whose religion is the most popular one.

Or are you arguing that all Americans have the freedom to choose any religion, as long as they are not atheists? Somehow I think the founding fathers would not agree.

Village Green

Let's get rid of the Chaplin too. And one nation under "god" etc. Looking forward to the day when separation of church and state is an actuality.

LeslieJDC

I am amazed at how people who don't want other's beliefs imposed on them are willing to impose theirs on others. Get a life and find something really worthwhile to make a stink over.

Ed in C-Ville

Belief in "God" is a personal choice. Supporting the Constitution is mandatory for anyone entering public service. The "Swearing In" must be restricted to the Constitution and the laws of the land. Bush and Cheney proved without any question that swearing to "God" is pointless. They failed to swear that they would uphold the Constitution, and thus they felt free to shred it.

sllwisc

Wow, Ohio Biker hit a ton right on the head! It truly is amazing what many people fight for and/or fight against. With so many issues that can truly better our world unresolved...selfish and mere opinion ideals should never take precedence over those. And I agree...let our world & let our children make their own choices, or should I say, let them form their own opinions about whether they "think" God exists or not and let's teach them that loving other people and caring about things that matter most and affect us most are the things worth fighting for. Not mere opinions. Opinions are what they are. Nothing more and do not contribute much to the world besides arguments and worthless fighting. Let's show the world that we Americans are not the idiots they all think we are. Let's get real and save the ridiculous drama for high schoolers.

KatOfCarmel -- when you suggest that people who do not believe in "any God" are unintelligent, you do nothing but display your own stupidity and arrogance. Because it takes much more considered thought to decide on the non-existence of god then it does to follow blindly what others tell you to believe. Besides, its not a matter of what anyone believes or doesn't believe, its a matter of what the government can FORCE people to say or do or think or believe. If you want to add SHMG, then you are free to do so, but people should not be forced to say it.

To all those who say that the law calls for freedom of religion and not freedom from religion, maybe you should all actually read the first amendment before speaking because it actually says that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." In other words, the people shall be free FROM religion (no establishment) and shall also have freedom OF religion (free exercise).

ohio biker

The USA was founded for

freedom of religion

and not for

freedom from religion.

Mike M

I thought it was odd that the controversy was that Obama selected Rick Warren for an official prayer, rather than that there is an "official" prayer at all.

I'm glad that at least one person agrees.

godless

Separation of church and state! If you want an example of what happens when there is no separation between church and state, take a look at the mideast countries.
Some polls have shown that 25% of Americans do not believe in god. I suspect the figure is higher than that. For politicians to play politics with this separation of church and state by adding religious wording to the oath in order to pander to their religious supporters is downright irresponsible. No to religion in government!!!!

CXD

Amen!

KatOfCarmel

It is "freedom of religion" NOT "freedom from religion"

If you don't believe in any God, then you have proven how low your IQ is.

junglejim123

This is ridiculous. Why change it now ? The more we take God out of our daily lives the more disasters that will befall us. Wake up you stupid atheists.!!! Take back America from these radicals who seek to destroy it.

Vommacs

Is this it? Is this all the atheists have to honestly show for themselves? Is there NO greater injunction against the followers of reason and science than four small words?

How about you guys start fighting for increased funding for math and science programs in schools, and let atheism dawn on kids themselves. Prevent the teaching of scripture in science classes, so that way they don't grow up thinking the earth is 6,000 years old. The more you harp on traditions, and language, the more petty the whole movement becomes. Why doesn't anyone take you seriously? Because you don't act seriously.

Don't Drink the King's Wine

I should add that Newdow, et al. would benefit from perusing the U.S. Code, specifically Title 36. There we find...

-SECTION 119 (National Day of Prayer: “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”);

-SECTION 301 (National anthem: Star Spangled Banner, the fourth stanza of which is as follows, in part: Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us as a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”);

-SECTION 302 (National Motto: “‘In God we trust’ is the national motto.”)

One last thing: We have a Chaplain of the House of Representatives open each session in prayer and "Unnamed Children" might be watching C-SPAN at the time (see Newdow Complaint p.9, para.51)...So how is that any different than what is happening here with the inauguration?

Anyhow, sorry so verbose. Stopping now. :o)

Don't Drink the King's Wine

This seems like a perfect example of ceremonial deism, doesn't it? Or am I missing something here?

Also, does Newdow have standing?

This is great, Newdow makes life much more interesting. He is right of course, I had always thought the President inserted these words, not the CJ. SPW

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