President Elect, Barak Obama initiated Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback megachurch to make the official prayer during his inauguration ceremony on January 20th, 2009. Not surprisingly, a group of atheists are miffed.
These atheists are concerned that the use of traditional phrases such as "so help me God" misrepresent the concerns and ideologies of those that don't believe in God.
"'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," the lawsuit states, according to CNN.'"
Yes, that's right. It seems that these purpose driven atheists have enough insight to recognize the biases of people who don't believe like them. Not a revolutionary insight, to be sure, but one that sparks a small hope that perhaps they might catch on to a certain corollery: the president elect, and the people officiating the ceremonies believe differently from atheists.
At the same time, these atheists lack the savvy to manage a new tactic in meeting their aims. Apparently, this isn't the first time this group of atheists, headed by Michael A. Newdow, have sought to delete metaphysical derogatories from presidential inaugurations.
"Newdow made similar attempts to take out God from inauguration ceremonies in 2001 and 2005 and was unsuccessful. This time, he believes he'll lose again but hopes to eventually succeed."
There probably isn't any coincidence that those just happen to be the years that Mr. Bush -- professor of war-mongering, ill-gotten gain, and religious hypocrisy -- gained his ascendency to the presidential seat. Again, no surprise that the same atheists would boast a little foresight: perhaps Bush isn't the best person to be including clauses like "so help me God", and thereby subjecting well-meaning Christians everywhere to his cloak of deceit. In those cases, I can agree with Newdow's bias that I don't want to fall under the same umbrella, and all 'in the name of God.'
Nevertheless, I'm unaware of any reason to extend such a forceful negation of "so help me God" to Obama's ceremonies. Unlike Bush Jr., Obama doesn't have a Bush Sr. to sully his history, or inspire any omens of war-mongering in a religiously hypocritical fashion. Playing pattern recognition with Dubbya because of H. Dubbya doesn't apply to Obama. So why take up verbal arms against a man with a fresh start? And, more importantly, why impose one bias over another bias? As if negating another's bias will effect any actual change in the presidential agenda!
And speaking of agendas, Newdow clearly has one, though it may be a little less noble than simply a linguistic overhaul in the inauguration ceremony. Apparently, Newdow is happy to take up his differences with the people using the phrase "so help me God", but doesn't consider it wise to foist his upset on the president himself.
"If he (Obama) chooses to ask for God's help, I'm not going to challenge him," Newdow said, according to CNN. "I think it's unwise."
Doesn't this remind you a little of the bullying tactics so common to playgrounds? I'll make sure to go after the weaker guys, but leave the big guys alone. You could get hurt.
Piffle, and twaddle.
Newdow is just barking because he's too afraid to bite. God help him.