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December 09, 2009




I think you are missing the point of the entire thing. I can't sue someone for telling me " jeesus is the messiah" no more than harry potter, but that doesn't give me the right to sue them.

This article is about if it is legal or not to include the Christian god ( yes, john salmons, it is the Christian god )in that sort of speech.


Atheists like me are "offended" because we still live in a society that doesn't realize god is make believe, that's the offensive part.

Louis von Wetzheim

What I understand is that if somebody during his or her oath wants to exclude “God” from the act, is up to him or to her, but nobody has the right to force others to accept his or her point of view in this matter. It is the same case what happened with a European court in Luxemburg, who demands that the Italian government should forbid the presence of a crucifix in public schools, when the Italian law and tradition allow this practice. An Italian court decided that the Luxemburg court has not jurisdiction in this matter and rejected this conclusion. There is a widespread campaign against Christianity in certain milieus not only in Europe but in other countries as well; most of the European countries had ignored the request to withdraw religious symbols in those countries, excepting certain “traditions” from the Muslim community which originated a great deal of discussion in France, Switzerland and others, such as the use of the hijab, in my opinion if that’s a choice of a woman shouldn’t be forbidden by any court, but definitely must be “her” decision, not impose by anyone else.


Freedom of Religion in the constitution does not mean freedom "from" religion, it gives everyone the "Right" to choose what type and/or whether they want to practice a religion without being persicuted for it. That judge has every right to decide how he wants to open his court as long as he is not violating a constitutional right, and including the word "God" does not violate anyones rights to anything. If you make the judge change how he chooses to open his proceedings then you therefore are violating his rights as well, and as usual it becomes a double edged sword left up to the courts to interpret which leaves "the people" voiceless only because some choose to be so petty. If a person is listening to a conversation that they do not necassarily prefer to hear, they tune it out or walk away... they do not file cases of violation of rights; unless they have nothing better to do with their time or intelligence, or in some cases lack thereof.


Oh, you poor persecuted Christians.

Those big bad atheists and gays want EQUAL rights.

Merry Christmyth, everybody!


Bob - you say you filed because you were 'offended'. So what? Constitution protects you from being offended? Grow-up.


The AHA bus ads are mere propaganda that answers to an argument that no one has made. The claim is not that atheists lack of morals but lack of moral premise, lack of ethos.

It is also a reprinting of their ads from last year:

And they are all a part of the atheist bus ads fracas:

Yet again, during a time of the year when people are generally more inclined towards charity—peace on earth and good will towards non-gender specific personages—atheists are busily collecting hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars during a time of recession not in order to help anyone in real material need but in order to purchase bill boards and bus ads whereby they seek to demonstrate, to themselves, just how clever they are—need any more be said?

Bob Ritter

Mike and I filed the emergency motion because the court's cry (or as I prefer call it the "opening prayer" asking god for the court's salvation) is offensive to us. We are both atheists and reason informs us that "god" does not exist. I would guess that all or most of our 250+ plaintiffs feel the same.

More importantly, tho, our emergency motion is based on the issue of the appearance of justice. How we can our clients expect justice in a case that challenges the infusion of religion into presidential inaugural ceremonies when the U.S. Court of Appeals is guilty of a similar constitutional violation?

While we lost the emergency appeal, Mike and I continue to explore alternatives.


Janice Rogers Brown would make an excellent pick to the Supreme Court.

Jim Murphy

If I remember right *the separation* was motivated to protect religion from the baser actions of the state. If I were religiously affiliated I would want to keep politics out of the way. Using religion as a political lever seems like it could only end bad for religion.

To the point, imagine the case passed and won. Can you imagine the political fallout around the next inauguration where the next president taking the oath opts to NOT us the God phrase?! In America political suicide. Not because everyone is a believer but because many are so used to pretending because they have to to be accepted. I know personally that many, many political figures use religion as a device. We have a "in or out" mentality in this country and to be in power means you have to put on the show - to be "in" no matter what.

This is an embarrassing charade for our leaders and even more profound, assuming you are a believer, a dangerous use of thing you hold dear.

Kevin Brown

Exactly what church do atheists think "God protect the United States...." serves to establish? There doesn't seem to be anything in such declarations that would favor one over another or necessarily exclude any religion (though polytheists my find it awkward). No one is being called upon to take any action or even hold any particular belief based on such declarations. Those who reject the notion of an authority or power "than which there is no greater" - temporal or no - are free to see it as meaningless, but they have every reason to be greatful that those who do believe in an ultimate authority so willingly leave all the possible intermediaries (everyone from their local Imam to Jesus) out of the picture.

John Salmons

It seems to me that this remains 'without standing' as there is no reference to God by name. Thus, in line with religious tolerance or neutrality. If it was "so help me Allah" or so help me "Jehovah" or even "so help me Jesus" it would seem to single out a particular faith but as it is "so help me God" it actually seems to support the constitutional intention of freedom of religion, being free to interpret the 'notion' of "God" as an individual and from an individual perspective of what God means."so help me God" does not single out any particular faith nor deny the right to freedom of religion. Maybe this Newdow character can find a more honorable way to get his name in the history books?

Nathan Andelin

Regarding the question "Why isn't the christian god as protective over his people as they are of him?", I would submit that believers in God don't protect him, but rather they try to protect themselves from false notions that others may have about Him.

Jeff Spangler

Opiate of the People?

Brian Westley

"This country has gone to such great links to make every minority (by size not ethnicity) religious group feel welcome that Christians, who are THE MAJORITY FAITH, are now treated like the minority!!"

Here's an idea, Tonya: treat others as you would have them treat you.

If the majority treats minorities as equals, then being "treated like the minority" is just the same as "being treated like the majority," as everyone is treated the same, instead of having one group treated as extra-special to the detriment of anyone not in the "special" group.

Of course, if you'd rather (mis)treat others as outsiders, don't be surprised when you are similarly mistreated.

Gruesome Rob

@Brian Levitt:

One country under God? Perhaps you should go read the Treaty of Tripoli (passed without debate): "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; "

Or Thomas Jefferson calling Christianity the worst thing to ever happen to mankind?


my first comment is not going to be posted i'm if we are not christian we have to leave our home? because only christians can live in America?


Why isn't the christian god as protective over his people as they are of him? why does he not defend himself by appearing to us all? he is all powerful all knowing everywhere just like santa.. all arguments would be over and christians could worship their fairy tale in peace. let your god save at least one innocent child from a horrible rape and murder for once..


This country has gone to such great links to make every minority (by size not ethnicity) religious group feel welcome that Christians, who are THE MAJORITY FAITH, are now treated like the minority!! Now, everyone has tolerance except us!!!! Something's wrong with that picture. And we wonder why this country is in the shape it's in!

Carl from Chicago

I have no problem with atheists or agnostics ... in fact, I am agnostic. That said, how about a little tolerance. While I wholly dislike religious people trying to tell me how to think and behave, I also dislike atheists doing the same.

Frankly ... who cares what references are, or are not, made to God (god).

At any rate, I agree to the standing issue, and would also argue that Newdow isn't harmed by the "God" reference.


Brian Levitt,

I think you are missing the point. Such a reading does violate the first amendment to a degree, as does "one nation under god" in the pledge that was added a little over 50 years ago, "in god we trust," and so forth. People in the USA also have the ability to address their grievances which is also in the first amendment, so saying that a person should for that is incorrect.

Brian Levitt

If atheist lawyer and physician Michael Newdow doen't appreciate that this is "one nation under God", he is free to leave the country. Good riddance!

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