Michael Newdow has reared his ugly head again. Newdow is the self-avowed "savior" of American atheism who challenged the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance a couple of years ago. In December 2004, he filed a lawsuit to prevent religious references at presidential inaugurations. (He lost the case). Newdow also sued to prevent chaplains from saying prayers during Congressional sessions. (Lost again).
The assault on the Pledge was the most publicized in a litany of secular attacks against the fundamental beliefs and traditions that have sustained this country for the past 225 years. Supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, a fanatical anti-American organization that is as dangerous to our way of life as any of the groups that support Muslim terrorists, the militant atheists want to create a godless society where only government and its institutions are worshipped.
Newdow claims that the reference to "God" in the phrase "One nation under God" would do irreparable harm to his 6-year-old daughter if she was forced to utter such repugnant language. Even if she remained silent while the rest of the class recited the Pledge, the mere mention of "God" in a classroom would scar the girl for life, according to Newdow.
Newdow and his ACLU cronies are part of a new breed of militant atheists who devote their lives to attacking the very foundations that allow them to practice their brand of disbelief. Nobody is forcing Newdow to believe in God. He can worship a tree or his pet dog or Pamela Anderson. But he wants to force millions of children (and their parents) to abandon their religion. That’s how these scoundrels work. They make themselves out to be the victims when they are the fiends who work to undermine this country.
Newdow won the initial lawsuit two years ago when an activist federal appeals court in California — home of Michael Moore, Michael Jackson and Mickey Mouse — ruled that the Pledge was unconstitutional.
The battle made its way to the Supreme Court, which dismissed the case last June on a technicality. It turns out
Newdow, who is divorced, did not have custody of his daughter. Since he was not her legal guardian, he could not sue on her behalf. The ruling didn’t satisfy either side of the debate and we expected to hear from Newdow again. If you’ve ever had a vermin infestation, you know how difficult it is to get rid of the problem.
Newdow rounded up eight more clods and re-filed his lawsuit last week in California. He made sure that the eight co-plaintiffs all are custodial parents or the children themselves. The best I can say about Newdow is that he’s an intellectual moron, a person with a great deal of education (he reportedly has a medical degree and a law degree) but has no common sense whatsoever.
This country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. References to God have been part of this nation’s history from the day the Declaration of Independence was signed to Jan. 20, 2005, when George W. Bush puts his left hand on the Bible, raise his right hand and take the oath of office to the highest office in the land, concluding with the words, "so help me God."
In joining four other justices to dismiss Newdow’s case last June, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote in his opinion that the phrase "one nation under God" is more about ceremony and history than about religion. In other words, nobody is "establishing" a particular religion (which is the only thing the Constitution prohibits). Rehnquist 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."
With five conservatives on the court, it’s unlikely Newdow will succeed in banning "one nation under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. And with George W. Bush appointing the next two or three justices to vacancies on the court, Newdow’ daughter will probably graduate from high school before the high court would ban the Pledge from our schools.
Unfortunately, Newdow won’t go away. He’s turned his crusade into a cottage industry. He was a Web site and tours the country speaking to anyone who will listen. Newdow has even released a CD of original music called "Liberty and Justice for All."
It features such toe-tapping tunes as "Let 'Em Leave," "Establi-Rap," "(What's the Deal with) Church and State," "My God is in My Soul" and "Can't Sue the Congress."
Newdow brags on his Web site that he wrote all the lyrics, plays all the instruments and does all the singing. I’ll pass. You probably get more authentic music by listening to the latest CD by that lip-synching wonder, Ashlee Simpson.
E-mail Tony Phyrillas at email@example.com