Michael Newdow, perhaps America’s best known atheist, has a new target in his personal war against God in the public domain: “In God We Trust” on U.S. money.
“I am about to file to get ‘In God We Trust’ off the front of our currency,” he told the Oklahoman. “I plan to do that this week.”
Newdow, of Sacramento, Calif., made the remarks Saturday night shortly before addressing the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Foundation Bill of Rights Celebration.
“The key principle is that we’re supposed to treat everybody equally especially in terms of religious belief,” Newdow told KWTV in Oklahoma City. “Clearly it’s not treating atheists equal with people who believe in God when you say ‘In God We Trust’ or we are a ‘nation under God.’”
“People say, ‘Are you an atheist activist?’ And I’m not,” he continued. “I couldn’t care less what anyone believes. I just care that our government treats everybody equally.”
In September, a federal judge in Sacramento ruled the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional.
The pledge’s reference to one nation “under God” violates school children’s right to be “free from a coercive requirement to affirm God,” said U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton.
Karlton granted legal standing to two families represented by Newdow, who lost his previous battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The judge, nominated to his seat by President Carter in 1979, said he was bound by the precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ in 2002, which favored Newdow.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Newdow’s case 8-0 because he did not have legal standing to represent his daughter, who is under sole custody of her mother.
In January, however, Newdow filed a complaint in federal court in Sacramento, Calif., with eight new co-plaintiffs, seeking to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance on the grounds it violates the so-called “separation of church and state.”
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