Lawsuit seeks to take 'so help me God' out of inaugural


Tyr
Free Thinker
#1
I wonder if Obama will "stay the course" and keep the refernece in. He's already thrown a "fob" to the far right bible thumpers by having Warren do the swearing in...


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A number of atheists and non-religious organizations want Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony to leave out all references to God and religion.
President-elect Barack Obama will use the Bible Abraham Lincoln used for his inauguration.





In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Washington, the plaintiffs demand that the words "so help me God" not be added to the end of the president's oath of office.
In addition, the lawsuit objects to plans for ministers to deliver an invocation and a benediction in which they may discuss God and religion.
An advance copy of the lawsuit was posted online by Michael Newdow, a California doctor and lawyer who has filed similar and unsuccessful suits over inauguration ceremonies in 2001 and 2005.
Joining Newdow in the suit are groups advocating religious freedom or atheism, including the American Humanist Association, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and atheist groups from Minnesota; Seattle, Washington; and Florida.
The new lawsuit says in part, "There can be no purpose for placing 'so help me God' in an oath or sponsoring prayers to God, other than promoting the particular point of view that God exists."
Newdow said references to God during inauguration ceremonies violate the Constitution's ban on the establishment of religion.
Newdow and other plaintiffs say they want to watch the inaugural either in person or on television. As atheists, they contend, having to watch a ceremony with religious components will make them feel excluded and stigmatized.
"Plaintiffs are placed in the untenable position of having to choose between not watching the presidential inauguration or being forced to countenance endorsements of purely religious notions that they expressly deny," according to the lawsuit.

Among those named in the lawsuit are Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, who is expected to swear in the new president; the Presidential Inauguration Committee; the Joint Congressional Committee on Inauguration Ceremonies and its chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California; and the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee and its commander, Maj. Gen. Richard Rowe Jr.
The two ministers scheduled to participate in the ceremony also are named: the Rev. Rick Warren and the Rev. Joseph Lowery. The document includes a quotation from Warren on atheists: "I could not vote for an atheist because an atheist says, 'I don't need God.' "
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#2
This will get the religious loonies all riled up like a hornet's nest. It is time to remove god from all government buildings and written documents, the law and anything else. There is supposed to be separation of state and religion so I fail to see why this nonsense continues in the US or Canada.
 
Tyr
Free Thinker
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

This will get the religious loonies all riled up like a hornet's nest. It is time to remove god from all government buildings and written documents, the law and anything else. There is supposed to be separation of state and religion so I fail to see why this nonsense continues in the US or Canada.

ibid.

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separtion between church and State."
- Thomas Jefferson,
in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association

"The number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state."
- James Madison, in Boston, 1819

and lastly.....

"The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based on bad history."
- Justice William H. Rehnquist

Obviously Reagan appointed Supreme Court Justices weren't too familiar with Jefferson and Madison
 
talloola
No Party Affiliation
#4
If we were starting from the beginning, I would agree, but things have been mixed
with sayings that include 'god' for hundreds of years, so I, as a non believer, just
accept that, it's heavy in tradition, but doesn't mean it is heavy with followers, and
believers, all of the reference to god from the traditional political ceremonies mean nothing to me, and that takes time for others to feel the same, or not. If
there was no reference to god in those speeches, then the believers would be
whining and complaining, so, it can never be perfect.
As long as religious 'decisions' are not made from a religious president, congress etc., like
iraq or iran etc., then we have to be flexible and accept the mixed feelings, as
we are all so mixed in north america, we can't all have what 'we' want.
Bush said at one time that god told him to do 'certain' things, now that, to me
is sad and a mistake to have a president who spouts such things, but I think he
probably experienced no such thing, and just said that to gain political points
from the religious right, who knows.
 
karrie
No Party Affiliation
#5
If a man believes in a god, I expect him to vow before that god in anything that matters to him as much as a presidency should matter to a leader. There is a huge significance in doing so. Now, the day that you ever get an atheist president running the US, it would make total sense to not have him say such a thing. But until then, you can't change the fact that a government will reflect the people it represents, and who make it up.
 
normbc9
Conservative
#6
Newdow is a local to our area. He is noted for things of this nature and he seems to have substantial finding available to continue his quest. But if my memory serves me correctly that phrase has been in the swearing in ceremonial language since the days of George Washington. He sued to have his daughters school change the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag have the term "Under God" removed. It didn't succeed. This may get interesting. The local lawyers love him and his money.
 
L Gilbert
No Party Affiliation
#7
lol I will swear to any god anyone wants me to. However, it would mean as much to me as reciting an oath consisting of a MacD's menu.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#8
When I went to court to get a divorce back in '75, they wanted me to swear on the bible. I refused and said I would swear on my mother's grave instead, as it had more meaning to me. They accepted that. What I didn't tell them was that my mother was still alive at the time.
 
china
Conservative
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

When I went to court to get a divorce back in '75, they wanted me to swear on the bible. I refused and said I would swear on my mother's grave instead, as it had more meaning to me. They accepted that. What I didn't tell them was that my mother was still alive at the time.

But isn't it the very Bible that warns us not to swear on any thing .....if accused?
...it is somewhere here ; need a Bible thumper.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#10
china,

They wanted me to swear I would never marry her again. I thought that was strange.

Why do you need a bible thumper? So you can beat the answer out of them?
 
Liberalman
Free Thinker
#11
These atheists and anti-religious groups will lose because the first question the government lawyer will ask is if they used American money to pay their lawyers they will say yes.
Then the judge will say Case Dismissed

American money has “In God We Trust” by using that money they are supporting the concept of God.

These groups will have to burn their American money but if they do that then no lawsuit because they won’t have American money to pay the lawyers and God wins again.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

If a man believes in a god, I expect him to vow before that god in anything that matters to him as much as a presidency should matter to a leader. There is a huge significance in doing so. Now, the day that you ever get an atheist president running the US, it would make total sense to not have him say such a thing. But until then, you can't change the fact that a government will reflect the people it represents, and who make it up.

I say if it ain't doing us any harm don't try to fix it. Years ago they took God out of the schools and now look at the little hellians (not saying that, that is the reason exactly, but it didn't do any harm when we had to recite the Lord's Prayer every morning- should have just left well enough alone)
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

I say if it ain't doing us any harm don't try to fix it. Years ago they took God out of the schools and now look at the little hellians (not saying that, that is the reason exactly, but it didn't do any harm when we had to recite the Lord's Prayer every morning- should have just left well enough alone)

JLM,

It ain't the lack of the lords prayer that causes little hellions, it is the lack of discipline (ie: corporal punishment) and respect for their elders. We could say our kids are suffering from political correctness.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

JLM,

It ain't the lack of the lords prayer that causes little hellions, it is the lack of discipline (ie: corporal punishment) and respect for their elders. We could say our kids are suffering from political correctness.

You're dead right there, but also I also thought a little religion never did any harm- I'm just against those who try to ram their own brand down your throats, but things like the Lord's prayer, and the Golden Rule are just good moral teachings, religion aside.

 
Colpy
Conservative
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Tyr View Post

ibid.

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separtion between church and State."
- Thomas Jefferson,
in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association

"The number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state."
- James Madison, in Boston, 1819

and lastly.....

"The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based on bad history."
- Justice William H. Rehnquist

Obviously Reagan appointed Supreme Court Justices weren't too familiar with Jefferson and Madison

A common misconception.

There is no "wall" between church and state mandated in the US Constitution.......the only thing addressed by that document is the "establishment of religion", which means the institutionalization of a state religion, such as the Church of England (in which the Monarch is head of the religion, and appoints the Archbishop of Canterbury).

The Church of England, as the state religion of the colonies, had great power and was granted huge tracts of land..........this is what the Constitution warns against, NOT the practise of religion by their leaders, nor school prayer, nor the use of religious dogma in state ceremony.......ONLY the establishment of a specific institutionalized church as a part of the state is banned.

Mr. Rehnquist is quite correct.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by JLM View Post

You're dead right there, but also I also thought a little religion never did any harm- I'm just against those who try to ram their own brand down your throats, but things like the Lord's prayer, and the Golden Rule are just good moral teachings, religion aside.

A little religion would not be a problem if we could all agree on which religion and which denomination. I can't help but think of Matthew 6 when the issue of public or school prayer rises....

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him."

If Obama thinks his cat is an all-knowing, all-seeing omnipotent being and wants to reference that in his speech I wouldn't care...as long as his views were known to the electorate before the election
 
Nuggler
#17
.....I slalomingly swear to
bla bla bla
insofar as bla bla bla
and inasmuch as bla bla bla
forsaking whomever to bla bla bla
promising not to bla bla bla
and to uphold the orifice of bla bla bla
to the best of my ability bla bla bla
so help me Bugs Bunny.

Makes as much sense.

 
Tyr
Free Thinker
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

A common misconception.

There is no "wall" between church and state mandated in the US Constitution.......the only thing addressed by that document is the "establishment of religion", which means the institutionalization of a state religion, such as the Church of England (in which the Monarch is head of the religion, and appoints the Archbishop of Canterbury).

The Church of England, as the state religion of the colonies, had great power and was granted huge tracts of land..........this is what the Constitution warns against, NOT the practise of religion by their leaders, nor school prayer, nor the use of religious dogma in state ceremony.......ONLY the establishment of a specific institutionalized church as a part of the state is banned.

Mr. Rehnquist is quite correct.

I guess the ideas and thoughts of the greatest theorists in US politics are for naught if a totally biased SCJ can fluff the moff so cavalierly.

Myself, I'd put alot more faith in Madison than Rehnquist's far right religious dogma (remember they are suppossed to be impartial)
 
talloola
No Party Affiliation
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Tyr View Post

I guess the ideas and thoughts of the greatest theorists in US politics are for naught if a totally biased SCJ can fluff the moff so cavalierly.

Myself, I'd put alot more faith in Madison than Rehnquist's far right religious dogma (remember they are suppossed to be impartial)

When it comes to the 'very' religious, I don't think there is 'ever' impartiality.
I can do that as an atheist, and I stated that in my earlier post, don't think
it comes the other way. If the supreme court individuals are very religious
that will enter into their decisions, as well as their political belief.
If the supreme court individuals are not religious, I think they will have
a more flexible thought process on 'most' things, as well as following the law.
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

When I went to court to get a divorce back in '75, they wanted me to swear on the bible. I refused and said I would swear on my mother's grave instead, as it had more meaning to me. They accepted that. What I didn't tell them was that my mother was still alive at the time.

Like the lawyer said. "A lie is as good as the truth if you can get someone to believe it."
As a none believer I have trouble with the idea of swearing to god or on a bible in a society where we supposedly have separation of church and state. And then they make it even more difficult by not telling you whose god you are to swear at or to or whatever.
 
gopher
No Party Affiliation
+1
#21  Top Rated Post
We've discussed on this forum several times before that our Founding Fathers intended to separate church from state:




Read McGarvie's excellent book on the subject.
 

Similar Threads

8
Obama's Inaugural Speech was wrong??
by dancing-loon | Jan 24th, 2009
2
Update Sux Imam Lawsuit
by Curiosity | Nov 29th, 2006
0
Carving of 'northern god' found.
by Blackleaf | Mar 13th, 2006