Robert Meyer
March 28, 2004
Michael Newdow: I pledge allegience to my ego
By Robert Meyer

Examining the circumstances surrounding the preposterous ninth circuit court decision on our Pledge of Allegiance reveal that plaintiff Michael Newdow is little more than a First Amendment ambulance chaser. But like it or not, Newdow's petition was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court this past week.

I have been told that some years ago, Mr. Newdow filed a similar suit in a different federal circuit court. After his complaint was tossed out, he gained inspiration from the 19th-century pioneer slogan, often attributed to Horace Greely, "Go west, young man," and went panning for sympathy from a more liberal court on the left coast. There he found a black-robed oligarchy more than willing to pontificate from the bench. It seems that "manifest destiny" had smiled on Newdow.

Newdow also attempted to sue President Bush because the Rev. Franklin Graham made supplication in "the name of Jesus Christ," during the inaugural invocation. In addition, Mr. Newdow has publicly challenged the institution of congressional chaplains, and has stated a goal of removing the motto "In God we trust" off U.S. currency. A full docket even for someone with a super-sized ego like Newdow.

He seems to believe his own liberty of conscience justifies abridging the freedom of speech and free exercise of religion for the majority. The problem is that he needed an agrieved party to bring forth the lawsuit, since Newdow himself is never confronted with an occasion to say the pledge of allegiance in the course of his own life. Enter Newdow's young daughter.

But now it gets strange. Newdow claims his suit was to defend the rights of his young daughter. His daughter's mother states that both she and the young girl attend an Evangelical Christian Church. Furthermore, Newdow has no physical custody over his daughter. It would seem that if one is so concerned about what influences his child, he might have been more active in her life to begin with. Of course none of the people supporting this man, ever seem to be concerned about the terrible epitome of fatherhood that is Michael Newdow. His supporters and reporters never seem to highlight this important aspect.

Frequently, atheists complain that being exposed to hear or observe public religious expressions can be emotionally traumatic. Yet, Newdow seems completely unconcerned with the potential harm of deceitfully using his child to propel his egotistical excursion. Nor is Newdow taking into account the wishes of Sandra Banning, the mother of the girl.

And what about all the scorn and blame that will be focused undeserved upon the youngster? You know: "there goes that atheist kid who caused all this trouble." Will Newdow be there to offer comfort and support when she is impugned by the public, being the object of all this infamy?

But switching gears, we might also question whether Newdow has a constitutional argument in any case. As I said earlier, a different court once threw-out Newdow's complaint. He says that we must get the government out of the religion business. But can Mr. Newdow present even one framer of our Constitution or Declaration of Indepedence, who believed his governance was to be removed from the auspices of God's providence? Must there be a separation of God and Government according to the First Amendment?

Only weeks after the framing of the First Amendment, Congress recommended a Day of Thanksgiving be proclaimed. The draft read by President George Washington began in the opening paragraph as such. "...it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will...." Does Newdow suppose that Washington never understood the meaning and intend of the First Amendment? How can his radical views be recognized as competent, when held up to the light of history? If logic is of any value, and if words in the english lauguage are to have any value in communication, I would say say that "MD" is more than a mad dog skating on thin constitutional ice; he's trying to walk on water, being a non-believer to boot! Then again, where there's a will there's a court.

It is clear that Mr. Newdow has faith in the rule of law: He who interprets the law shall rule.

© Robert Meyer

 

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Robert Meyer

Robert Meyer is a hardy soul who hails from the Cheesehead country of the upper midwest... (more)

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