The Commonwealth Comment

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I understand there is a separation of church and state, and I respect the choice of some people to not believe in any religion. But I do have an issue with one vocal atheist trying to dictate what President-elect Obama can or cannot say during his Inauguration.

Michael Newdow is an atheist from California who is suing Chief Justice John Roberts in federal court in an attempt to block Obama from saying "so help me God," after he takes the oath of office. Newdow is not new to this battle. He lost similar cases during President George W. Bush's inaugurations, and he also lost a Supreme Court case to ban the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

I have serious issue with Mr. Newdow trying to prevent Barack Obama or any president from saying these words. It is a personal moment in their lives that should not be dictated by the public. Thankfully the Justice Department and attorney generals from all 50 states have asked for this lawsuit out.

The oath reads:

"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 historical fact that George Washington added "so help me God," after he was sworn in, and it has been the choice of his successors to add the phrase. It is not written in the oath and therefore Mr. Newdow has no case...unless he wants to restrict the President-elect's freedom of speech.

Throw this lawsuit out, or so help me God!


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