Have you followed the liberal circus leading up to President Bush’s second inauguration? As Rush Limbaugh has said, when the liberals are out of power, they become really funny.
Knowing that President Bush is a Christian, and knowing that his faith is more than just a Bible-toting Sunday photo op, you could easily guess the next action of the Marxist Left: people trying to stop any mention of God during the inauguration. Let’s focus on one specific atheist: Michael Newdow. I’m loath to focus on him since I feel his constant anti-God lawsuits are mainly driven by a desire to gain notoriety. But since he is making himself the godless poster boy for the nation, I must at least acknowledge him. Erg.
Well, apparently Newdow believes that God died and made him Madalyn Murray O’Hair. A bit about Newdow from a recent CNN article: “Newdow won widespread publicity two years ago when he persuaded the 9th Circuit to rule that the separation of church and state was violated when public school students pledged to God.” I’m not sure whether the nameless AP writer who penned this will ever have this error pointed out, but students don’t pledge “to God.” They “pledge allegiance to the flag … and to the Republic for which it stands.” (emphasis mine) The Pledge of Allegiance then goes on to describe the Republic, and whether the atheists like it or not, this is a nation under God. The nation has religious roots, and a majority of its people are religious. But that doesn’t matter to the professionally offended, like Newdow. I am glad the Supreme Court tossed out the 9th Court’s ruling.
Not allowing this setback to set him back, Newdow sued to stop President Bush from having any Christian prayers during the inauguration. In the same article, CNN wrote the gist of Newdow’s argument was that prayer would “would violate the Constitution by forcing him to accept unwanted religious beliefs.” I’m not really sure how listening to a prayer forces anyone to accept any religious belief, but the suit is remarkably similar to one he lost before President Bush’s first inauguration. The same 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against him in 2003, ruling that Newdow didn’t suffer “a sufficiently concrete and specific injury” from a prayer. This decision was cited by U.S. District Judge John Bates in his ruling against Newdow this month.
Newdow claimed that this time it was different, because he actually had a ticket to go to Washington D.C. for the inauguration rather than watching it on TV as he did with the last one. I assume he actually attended, and I have a mental picture of him rolling on the ground, kicking his heels and whining, “He said ‘God!’ Whaaa! He said ‘God!’” Yes, I know my view of Newdow is pretty childish, but his lawsuits are pretty childish, too.
I have a problem with Newdow because he is part of the perpetually offended and whiny minority. By virtue of his offensensitivity, he wants to be able to overthrow others’ freedom of speech. And make no mistake, denying the freedom of speech of those who pray at inaugurations is precisely what Newdow wants to do.
If I were the judge presiding over a case like the one Newdow filed, I would ask his legal counsel a single question: Since the First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” what law is Congress making–or even allowed to make–when the Chief Executive is sworn in by the Chief Justice?
Rather than answering with the only valid answer of “none,” the counsel would start spouting something about precedents and intents, and I’d rule him in contempt of court and toss him and Newdow into jail–thus proving that power corrupts, and absolute power is pretty neat!
In all seriousness, the Constitution says that Congress is prohibited from making any laws either for or against religion. But there is nothing in the Constitution that puts any similar restriction on the other two bodies of the government, the Executive and Judiciary, so there is no restriction on them. When Chief Justice Rehnquist administered the oath of office to President Bush, that was an action of the judiciary. And the pomp and ceremony surrounding the inauguration was the choice of the executive. In either case, Congress has no jurisdiction over the ceremonies of the inauguration, so Newdow’s point is entirely moot.
Not only does Michael Newdow not have a prayer of getting the inauguration changed, he also doesn’t have a clue.