Michael Newdow, physician and non-practicing attorney, was so eloquent before the U.S. Supreme Court that the New York Times front page’s (alleged) news coverage went absolutely editorial in “reporting” the following:
“No one who managed to get a seat in the courtroom is likely to forget his spell-binding performance.”
What is more important to remember than this person’s alleged “spell-binding” is the absolute outrage of this man’s case.
For Newdow is attempting – aided by the long notorious Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – to deny the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion to the mother of his 9-year-old child.
This strongly self-described atheist Newdow conceived his daughter out of wedlock. The daughter is in the custody of her mother – as she surely ought to be. This mother, whose name is Sandra Benning, told the Supreme Court, in a briefing filed by her attorney, Kenneth Starr, that she is giving her 9-year-old daughter a religious upbringing and wants her to say the Pledge of Allegiance with the words “under God.”
Why on earth did the Supreme Court fail to simply overturn the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ absolutely incredible support of this atheist, who is trying to suppress the free exercise of religion of the mother of a child that he conceived but who is in the mother’s custody?
Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist asked Dr. Newdow what the vote in Congress had been 60 years ago when they inserted “under God” into the Pledge to the flag.
Newdow replied that the congressional vote was unanimous.
“Well, that doesn’t sound divisive,” the chief justice observed.
Dr. Newdow “shot back” (as the New York Times described it):
“That’s only because no atheist can get elected to public office.”
The courtroom audience broke into applause, an exceedingly rare event that left the chief justice temporarily nonplussed. He appeared to collect himself for a moment, and then sternly warned the audience that the courtroom would be cleared “if there’s any more clapping.”
This is what the chief justice should have said to this astounding audience who so misbehaved in applauding Dr. Newdow’s incredible claim.
- How many atheists have run for public office?
- How many atheists have been defeated?
- Should there be some kind of affirmative action to ensure a proportionate electorate of atheists?
- Have such atheistic governments as the one-time Soviet Union and present-day mainland China allowed any Christians or observant Jews into their governments?
- Therefore, who is more tolerant – the pro-theistic government of the United States, or the atheistic governments in Beijing and once in Moscow?
In 1943, eleven years before Congress voted unanimously to add the two words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that no one may be compelled to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
That was a right won by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
But that right is not enough for militant atheist Newdow.
He wants the Supreme Court of the United States to eliminate the right of the Congress to vote to include the two words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
His demand in court, which was affirmed by California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, is an attempt to censor the majority’s free exercise of both the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and freedom of religious expression.
That this affirmation “under God” is by no means worship – any more that it is compulsory for all to say it – makes no difference to this militant atheist.
It can be wondered, seriously, how plaintiff Newdow was able – without any protest by him, or any expression of his angst – to appear in any court that began its session that day with a prayer:
“God save the United States and this honorable Court.”
How could Dr. Newdow have endured one of those friezes in the courtroom showing Moses holding the Ten Commandments? Or the gate of the Supreme Court where there is yet another reference to the Ten Commandments, which, in Holy Writ, are introduced by “God spake these words and said …”?
Reuters news agency reports that federal Judge Henry Kennedy dismissed another lawsuit by Newdow challenging the right of the chaplains of the House and Senate to offer prayers.
Newdow said he would probably appeal.
But in his 18-page ruling, Judge Kennedy noted that in 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Nebraska legislature’s opening each session with prayer by a chaplain paid by the state does not violate church-state separation.
Newdow also lost another legal challenge when he filed suit against the prayer at President Bush’s inauguration in 2001.
When will the courts stop giving their valuable time to this legal-harassment eccentric?
Now, astoundingly, the New York Times has actually published an op-ed article headlined: JEFFERSON, MADISON, NEWDOW? by one Kenneth Davis, author of the book “Don’t Know Much About History: Everything You Need to Know About American History but Never Learned.”
Mr. Davis wrote that Newdow’s “quixotic crusade is a peculiarly American act of courage. And somewhere the spirits of Jefferson, Madison and Franklin may well be smiling.”
The reference to a possible after life is liable to offend Quixotic Crusader Newdow.
Then there is Mr. Davis’ incredible contention that because George Washington often left church before Holy Communion he was a deist – and because Jefferson and Madison wrote and supported the Statute For Religious Freedom, they meant that religion was “tyranny over the mind of man.”
Neither Jefferson, who served on the vestry of an Episcopal Church with my great great grandfather, nor Madison ever moved to outlaw all religion. They moved to restrict that part of religion which was tyrannical, or which was financially supported through taxation of all citizens.
Mr. Davis contends: “Madison, Jefferson and Franklin would cheer, and every American can celebrate” the “the sight of one man standing up to challenge God and country.”
But this one man, Newdow, isn’t challenging God. He denies the existence of God. How can one challenge the non-existent?
And how can the New York Times publish such utterly illogical, pseudo-historical foolishness?