Attorney Michael Newdow tried to get “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. He lost. Lately, he’s been trying to have “In God, We Trust” removed from U.S. currency. Today, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota ruled against his claim, again. Newdow contended that his atheist clients’ First Amendment free speech and religious rights were violated because the money they use has “In God, We Trust” printed on it.
I’m not a legal scholar, but suffice it to say, freedom of speech is within reason, a principle that supports the freedom to communicate ideas and opinions without fear of being silenced, harmed, or punished. Freedom of religion is, within reason, the lack of a national religion while allowing the citizens to practice whatever religion they choose.
The evidence overwhelming supports the idea that our Founding Fathers were deeply influenced by Christian ideas. This is precisely the reason why our nation is “under God” and why our motto is “In God We Trust” neither of which imposes on one’s right to exercise the religion of their choice, disbelieve it all together, or impinge on one’s right to free speech.
The gross failing in Newdow’s argument is his lack of recognition that these references to God do not compel anyone at any time to agree or force action on their part. They are free to agree, disagree, or ignore it. What the Newdow’s of our country would do well to understand is that in their effort to protect their own rights, they impose the removal of the rights of others. In this respect, to rule in their favor would be to rule against the very rights they use to defend their argument.