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Atheist Now Sues to Take Motto Off Money

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) -- An atheist who has spent four years trying to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from being recited in public schools is now challenging the motto printed on U.S. currency because it refers to God.

    Michael Newdow seeks to remove "In God We Trust" from U.S. coins and dollar bills, claiming in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday that the motto is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

    Newdow, a Sacramento doctor and lawyer, used a similar argument when he challenged the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools because it contains the words "under God."

    He took his pledge fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2004 said he lacked standing to bring the case because he did not have custody of the daughter he sued on behalf of.

    An identical lawsuit later brought by Newdow on behalf of parents with children in three Sacramento-area school districts is pending with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, after a Sacramento federal judge sided with Newdow in September. The judge stayed enforcement of the decision pending appeal, which is expected to reach the Supreme Court.

    Congress first authorized a reference to God on a two-cent piece in 1864. The action followed a request by the director of the U.S. Mint, who wrote there should be a "distinct and unequivocal national recognition of the divine sovereignty" on the nation's coins.

    In 1955, the year after Congress inserted the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, Congress required all currency to carry the motto "In God We Trust."

    "The placement of 'In God We Trust' on the coins and currency was clearly done for religious purposes and to have religious effects," Newdow wrote in the 162-page lawsuit he filed against Congress.

    Newdow's latest lawsuit came five days after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, a challenge to an inscription of "In God We Trust" on a North Carolina county government building.

    In doing so, the justices upheld the Richmond, Va.-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that "In God We Trust" appears on the nation's coins and is a national motto.

    "In this situation, the reasonable observer must be deemed aware of the patriotic uses, both historical and present, of the phrase 'In God We Trust,'" the appeals panel ruled in upholding the inscription's display.
  2. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I wonder why someone from San Francisco would Atheist?
  3. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    May God forgive him.
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Which one? There are many that are worshiped in the US, even here. While I think the reasons for and Atheists objections would differ somewhat I know that when religion mingles with politics it dose tend to make many who follow a religion other than Christianity quite nervous with good cause. In the US Christianity, in its various denominations, is the most common religion followed and history has given those of other faiths cause for concern when liveing under christian rule, the crusades, the inquisitions, and the witch trials to name a few reasons.
    Already, at least here in the mid-west the laws dont apply the same if you follow the 'wrong' religion. Im Pagan and thus that would be where the most experience I have would come from on this issue. I have known of a teacher that no one at the school even knew was Pagan untill she went to a gathering that was at a hotels banquet room and the desk clerk recognized her, contacted the media and anounced that she was Pagan. Parents pulled their kids from her classes and later that week she was fired. A group I knew who worshiped on their own land had their place of worship vandalized multiple times and were even attacked on more than one occasion while they worshiped on their own land, they reported each incedent and the police refused to so much as look into it. I myself have been thrown out of a gas station when it was realized I was a Pagan. These are just a few first hand examples of what goes on even now, to a degree such that when we worship on our holidays I feel it a true necessity even on my own property to be armed while I worship. When I refer to Pagans these are not the Hollywood version who kill children and sacrifice virgins and such, just folks who have a different understanding of the force or being that created us and all that is and see that creator in the creation and choose to follow a more nature based way of worshiping the creator.
    Im not saying those folks here or by any means all Christians would act in these ways, but if you look at things from a perspective other than that of the favored religion, then you do see that there is a considerable amount of religion involved with our government and the ONLY religion endorsed or publicly practiced by our gov is Christianity, so if you dont happen to follow that path it dose make it a bit uncomfortable to think that the government in some very clear ways profeces to be conected to a religion that considers you an enemy.
    Oh BTW, while we may not be the majority, there are FAR more of us than most people know. Due in large part to these and similar fears most Pagans hide their faith from the world, many going so far as to be active members of Christian churches so as to avoid even suspicion of being anything else.
    Ok, rant off. Just thought a different prospective might be informative to some, and EL, dont get me wrong, this isnt directed at you, just the general idea and how it caught me this evening.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    "In God We Trust." And it matters not a whit to me which one. It is a matter of belief in a power outside our knowlege. Pagans, Wiccans, Christians, Buddists and the pantheon that Hindus follow are all fair to me, along with Allah. We are in free will territory here..
  6. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Amen I was refering why anyone would want to strip or USA of its back bone.
    What would someone from San fran want to get rid of it?
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Several reasons that I can see. Craniorectitus chief among them. They seem unable to see reality thru their own tissues.
  8. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Actually, I hope he is successful in getting it to the Supreme Court. Then I hope that the justices finally rule on this church and state thingy that keeps getting shoved down our throat. The separation of church and state was used to prevent religion from dictating and governing the law, much like the muslim clerics in the middle east do. It was never designed to take god out of schools or the likes. I would like to see the Supreme Court make a ruling to that effect, and get rid of this crap that we can't even mention God or show effigies of our religion in public.
    I know I am deluded that the SC would change anything, but it is just before Christmas and I can wish.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I agree, it would be a good thing to see it settled. (As far as I'm personally concerned, it is.) But the SC won't listen to it because the guy is certifiable. Besides, have you ever seen a rendering at any level in the court system that would stay quiet once rendered? Why do you think we are revisiting Roe v. Wade at this late date, even tho' not in the court? Personally, it's pretty clear to me that the status quo is quite sufficient, and has been for what, 300 years? If he is willing to spend his own and/or other folk's time money just to get rebuffed, so be it.

    Raking leaves more than once is a PIA.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Deleted, doubled. Now why the sam hill that happened, I'll never know. (Burp --)
  11. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    ghrit, you need to worry about double posting than raking leaves :D
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I figure the seperation of church and state just means that the law isnt supposed to be ruled by religion and that government entities are not to establish or endorse a given religion. Im all for prayer in schools being allowed as long as each porson is allowed to pray in their own way and call the creator by whatever name they use as opposed to say being required to recite the lords prayer.
    While Im not a Christian I would certianly stand up for any Christians right to practice their own faith as readily as I would anyone elses, but the flip side is I would also condemn anyone of any faith imposeing it on those who dont share their views.
    The statment 'in God (capitolized G makeing it reference to the Christian god) we trust' isnt a big thing to most in its self so much as that to some it creates concerns that it is symptomatic to more religion being married to government. While the most outstanding example has been removed in the vast majority of areas, the 'blue laws' are a prime example that if it is Christian then religion in law is generaly well tolerated. For those not familiar with them the blue laws are the ones that required people to 'remember the sabath day and keep it holy' by makeing it illegal to sell alcohol on Sundays even in areas where it is just fine the other 6 days, alond with anything like tools or hardware. Im not sure about other areas of the country but I know even now the Sunday liquor sales is an issue in Kansas and the blue laws in general were in force in Missouri even about 20 years ago.
  13. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    We had blue laws in effect until the late 70's. By law, the only things which could legally be sold were those meant to sustain life (i.e. milk, bread, etc.) Jewish owned businesses could operate on Sunday but had to close on Saturday instead. In CT, all liquor sales still cease at 8 p.m. (including beer) and it it is illegal to sell any liquor on Sundays. The other side of the coin is that when the blue laws were overturned and stores were able to operate 7 days a week, as a culture, we spent less time together as a family. On Sundays, we shop instead of sharing a mid-day meal and an afternoon in family activities. All the stores are now open on holidays as well which makes me very sad. The generations within the family are losing touch with one another. Strong Canadian labor union"s have traditionally enforced a 5:30 pm daily closing and no routine commerce on Sundays. 5:30 is a little early but the concept of a family centered life is very appealing to me.
  14. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    This guy with the lawsuit has help. He is not acting alone.

    I agree completely.
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I have my religious beliefs and accept/respect all others that don't believe they need to kill me. I also feel that the separation of Church and State was to keep Religions from ruling the masses via the throne and visa versa.

    I really do not believe that the original intent was to keep the word "god" off of our money. The founders were a pretty Christian lot and I remember reading a speech on the Death of Thomas Jefferson, "Today we have lost a great Israelite"

    The problem with religions is that while they are so very alike in many ways, most of them feel the need to subjugate the others
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