Judge Not - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Judge Not

Should the people who believe the least define the most about America’s public life? Yes, says the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Its 2-1 ruling against the Pledge of Allegiance is a stunning victory for a minority of malcontents determined to create a nation under nothing.

“This is more about me than her,” said Michael Newdow, the Sacramento atheist who brought the lawsuit against the Pledge of Allegiance on behalf of his daughter. “Newdow acknowledged that he is, in effect, using his daughter to support his cause,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “He said as far as he knows, she stands to recite the pledge along with her classmates in school.”

Newdow, an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church (ordination takes “less than three minutes,” reports the Times), says that he had to pursue his cause through his child because the courts didn’t listen to his earlier lawsuits against America’s currency (“In God We Trust” annoys him) and George Bush’s inauguration (Jesus Christ was mentioned). Newdow certainly landed his latest suit in the right court.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is always happy to use a Constitution written by theists to undo the values of theism. The last thinkers that jurists like Stephen Reinhardt would consult about the Constitution’s meaning are the men who wrote it. Would the Constitution’s crafters find the Pledge of Allegiance “unconstitutional”? Of course not. But since liberals cannot get a majority of Americans to approve an atheistic Constitution, they must mangle the old theistic one, twisting it to justify the total separation of God from government. American school children, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals tells us, enjoy an inalienable right to not hear God mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance. Where does this right originate? In nature and nature’s God? No, it originates in liberal jurists’ own minds and wills. In others words, it rests not on God’s authority, but their own. But since they didn’t author the universe, their authority is meaningless. The chutzpah they display would be comic were it not so destructive.

Americans like Newdow — with the help of a judicial system that specializes in breeding its own destroyers — are creating a nation of nihilism from which the American founders would have fled. Had they known the First Amendment would result in the suppression, not the spread, of religion in public, they wouldn’t have written it. And the states wouldn’t have signed it. The First Amendment was written, after all, to protect their state religions against any federal religion that could swoop down and crush them. The First Amendment is now used not to protect the religious, but to persecute them. In the hands of judicial activists, it establishes, in effect, a federal religion of atheism which banishes from the states any public expression of God. Atheism is welcome in public schools. But God isn’t. This is as perverse as a parent who uses his child as a battering ram against the Constitution. Most parents don’t view God as a corrupting influence on their child. Mr. Newdow does. His atheism is quite scrupulous. To hear God’s name in the public square is a sin so serious he cannot let his daughter indulge it.

Apparently she doesn’t mind the Pledge of Allegiance, and her school never demanded she say it. But no matter: public schools have no business potentially marginalizing her when her father can marginalize her himself. Such is enlightened modern parenting. Atheists complain about the tyranny of the majority. But they are doing a pretty good impersonation of tyrants themselves. When the only word forbidden in public schools is God’s name, it’s clear that they define America far more than the theists who founded it.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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