DYSPEPSIA GENERATION

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Atheist Group Files Lawsuit Against Prayer at Presidential Inauguration

31st December 2008

Read it.

I guess the President’s every move, gesture, and thought is subject to legal regulation. Hope he’s down with that.

Were I ever to be elected President (in some alternate universe), I’d be tempted to recite the Nicene Creed at the beginning of every public appearance. No doubt that would cause a number of heads to explode and raise the average IQ in the country by a significant amount.

5 Responses to “Atheist Group Files Lawsuit Against Prayer at Presidential Inauguration”

  1. Brian Westley Says:

    The president’s (and all other government agents) ARE subject to legal regulation, of course. They can’t act outside their legal powers, for example.

    The lawsuit is over whether the federal government can hold religious ceremonies as part of the inauguration, and whether the chief justice of the supreme court can add words to the oath of office that don’t appear in the constitution.

  2. Tim of Angle Says:

    To a considerable degree this depends on how one defines “religious ceremonies”. By it’s nature an oath is, and has always been, a “religious ceremony” insofar as the oath-taker voluntarily subjects himself to divine retribution if his statements under oath are false. The reason why office-holders take “oaths of office” is to bind them by the tightest possible bonds to virtuous action; as Thomas More said in his trial, “Were I a man who minded not an oath, I would not be here.”

    The question of “whether the chief justice of the supreme court can add words to the oath of office that don’t appear in the constitution” is a red herring — he most certainly can, although whether he ought to is certainly subject to debate, and I would be prepared to argue that the President is most certainly not obliged to follow him no matter what the Chief Justice might do. The point being asserted, however, goes beyond that; it assumes that anything beyond the constitutionally-specified wording is somehow illegitimate, which is nonsense.

    The whole point of the objectors’ suit is to drag our public institutions another step, however small, along the path toward their ultimate objective: the complete and total exclusion from public life of any reference to religion. Fortunately for them, Christians aren’t Muslims, and so they aren’t in any personal danger as a result of these shenanigans.

  3. Brian Westley Says:

    By it’s nature an oath is, and has always been, a “religious ceremony” insofar as the oath-taker voluntarily subjects himself to divine retribution if his statements under oath are false.

    The president takes an oath or affirmation. An affirmation isn’t a religious ceremony. Besides, the lawsuit doesn’t object to Obama adding words.

    The question of “whether the chief justice of the supreme court can add words to the oath of office that don’t appear in the constitution” is a red herring — he most certainly can

    He can? What court rulings support you?

    Can Roberts add, say, “I swear I am not a Freemason”?

    although whether he ought to is certainly subject to debate, and I would be prepared to argue that the President is most certainly not obliged to follow him no matter what the Chief Justice might do.

    If Roberts (or whoever is administering the oath) doesn’t follow the wording of the constitution, they aren’t fulfilling their duty to administer it.

    The whole point of the objectors’ suit is to drag our public institutions another step, however small, along the path toward their ultimate objective: the complete and total exclusion from public life of any reference to religion.

    Wrong, but I doubt I can convince you.

  4. SocraticGadfly Says:

    Ahh, Brian, Brian.

    First, the burden of finding court rulings in support is Newdows. And, since you’re as cavillating with words as a Scholastic from about 1300, I won’t say the burdon is “yours.”

    So, under your nonsense idea, Obama should get whom? a robot? to swear him in?

    I’ve already been through this with you on my blog. The choice is Obama’s; if he wanted to say “so help me doorknob,” or “so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster,” he could do that, too. And, he could ask Roberts, or any judge he wanted, or, any PERSON he wanted, to swear him in. (The Constitution doesn’t even require a judge.)

    Next time somebody like Newdow files a suit on a First Amendment issue, he should actually read the constitution first. And, unless you want to continue to be tarred with the same brush of illogic, you should try reading the constitution before the next time you offer vacuous support for such a suit.

  5. Brian Westley Says:

    So, under your nonsense idea, Obama should get whom? a robot? to swear him in?

    No. He should be sworn in as the constitution says. The oath of office for the president is spelled out.

    I’ve already been through this with you on my blog. The choice is Obama’s; if he wanted to say “so help me doorknob,” or “so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster,” he could do that, too.

    Yes. And Newdow’s lawsuit doesn’t challenge that. But you can’t understand that.

    And, he could ask Roberts, or any judge he wanted, or, any PERSON he wanted, to swear him in. (The Constitution doesn’t even require a judge.)

    And Newdow’s lawsuit doesn’t challenge that, either. But you can’t understand that, either.

    You’re really good at replying to straw arguments and bringing up red herrings.