For those of you don't know, before Obama's inauguration, Mike Newdow (and 39 others), joined with the AHA
, and filed a lawsuit to exclude the religious elements of the inauguration. You can read the complaint: Here
According to the US Constitution, Article II, Section I
, each President must recite the following oath:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
It is a common misconception that the tradition of adding the words, "So help me God," were started by George Washington. However this is not the case
. Thus, Newdow's lawsuit charges that Chief Justices do not have the right to add religious phrases when administering that oath.
It should not be a surprise that the preliminary injunction was denied, but the fight goes on. Newdow is now looking for 1,000 for individuals to join him as plaintiffs.
Mike has asked that the members of Atheist Nexus please consider joining him.
Below is an excerpt from an email he sent me:
We are trying to enlarge the list of plaintiffs in the lawsuit. We want to counter the notion that only a few people care about the fact that the Chief Justice of the United States, without any authority whatsoever, alters the text as it is prescribed in the Constitution when he adds "so help me God" to the presidential oath of office. Especially when done in a ceremony where multiple (Christian) clergy lead the audience in prayers to God, we think these practices should stop.
Such activities violate the first ten words of the Bill of Rights. They send the message to the godless community that they are political outsiders, and further the sense of superiority of the monotheistic majority. They result in the prejudices that always stem from such governmental favoritism. More than 30% of the American public thinks Atheists are immoral! Does anyone really believe that the constant governmental reminders that we are "one Nation under God" and that "In God We Trust" have nothing to do with the perpetuation of that bias?
If anyone wishes to join in this quest for equality, simply go to
and follow the instructions. Though there is still time, you will need to hurry - the deadline is Sunday, February 22.
We have spent a lot of time on this site discussing and debating whether Atheist Nexus could make a difference. Here is an opportunity.