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 Post subject: Court backs atheist who fought pledge
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:20 am 
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Court backs atheist who fought pledge : SF Chron 10/25

Bob Egelko
San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

An atheist who challenged the phrase "under God'' in the Pledge of Allegiance can proceed with a libel suit against a minister who claimed he lied under oath, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Michael Newdow of Sacramento sued the Rev. Austin Miles after Miles, who described himself as an interdenominational chaplain in Contra Costa County, wrote an Internet article about Newdow's case in July 2002. The article quoted Newdow as telling the court that his daughter, an elementary school student, suffered emotional damage because she was required to recite the pledge with the words "under God.'' That statement was a lie under oath and should be prosecuted as perjury, Miles wrote.

Newdow's lawsuit, filed in 2003, said the quote was a fabrication and had been widely circulated, damaging his reputation. When Miles failed to respond, a judge awarded Newdow $1 million in damages in 2004, but the award was thrown out last year by the appeals court, which said Miles was entitled to defend himself.

Miles then sought to dismiss the suit as an interference with his freedom of speech. But the Court of Appeal in San Francisco, upholding a judge's ruling, noted that libel is not constitutionally protected and said Miles' article was potentially libelous because it accused Newdow of a crime.

Miles wrote his article shortly after a federal appeals court ruled that mandatory recitation of "under God'' was an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The Supreme Court overturned the ruling in 2004, saying Newdow was not entitled to sue on his daughter's behalf because her mother had full custody of the child. Newdow, a lawyer and physician, has filed a new suit on behalf of other parents and children and won an initial ruling from a federal judge, which is now on appeal.


http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f ... IGEST2.DTL
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:11 am 
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Miles then sought to dismiss the suit as an interference with his freedom of speech. But the Court of Appeal in San Francisco, upholding a judge's ruling, noted that libel is not constitutionally protected and said Miles' article was potentially libelous because it accused Newdow of a crime.

a little lesson in law and "free speech". note the difference.

good post, catherine.

many people are not aware that "under god" was added during the communist hype years as an affirmation against communism. it was not intended to have any link whatsoever towards god and government. had people been wiser back then, it should have been challenged immediately as being unconstitutional, and the supreme courts would have undoubtedly ruled it as being so.

in today's america, people are so hell bent on their religion, they have lost what the true constitution stands for. these are the people who are (unwittingly) destroying america by trying to make the US a religious state, much like many islamic countries.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:34 pm 
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I also believe that religious people have lost what the true constitution stands for. ...On that note, though, I also believe that since the religious crap is what they believe in, they're not even willing to think about the fact that involving religion in the gov/state/law/whatever, is unconstitutional.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:46 pm 
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no, jobot, they don't. in fact, it's the goal of many of them to get "their own" elected into all levels of government, from simple town counselmembers on up to the supreme court and president. they figure when they have enough in there, they can now change or enact laws according to the bible or god. they feel that god's laws...whatever they are, are much better than man's laws.

now, isn't this exactly how the muslim nations think? scary, ain't it?

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Last edited by mga on Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:01 pm 
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I was thinking more about normal religous people, supporting and not thinking about involving church and state, more so than political religious people. ..Does that make sense or ring true?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:27 pm 
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seems to me that many organized religions have been teaching that the constitution is the enemy of the church. i mean, they don't publicly state that, but many preach things that rub our constitution the wrong way, and they turn things around so that one is torn between their faith and the constitution.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:33 pm 
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One more reason not to be religous and part of a stupid church, eh?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:42 pm 
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i gave up many years ago. it just stopped making sense to me. i have no problem with people believing in a god, or whatever they feel is out there, i just don't like it when they try to force it upon me.

as i've said many times, i'm very comfortable being an atheist and admittedly, it's really a peaceful feeling. hard to explain i guess, but i don't have to worry about answering to anyone about the things in my life.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:23 pm 
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I am also comfortable with my decision.
..I think the reason why I have harsh feelings towards religion sometimes is because of how my family lives. My immediate family (mom, step-dad, and older sister) are all Christian Scientists. I was raised in that, too, but can never once remember believing in anything....now, the thing that gets me is that they believe that "man is not material, he is spiritual," and therefore do not rely on material forms of medicine for remedies. They don't go to doctors, take tylenol or any medications, they rely on prayer to heal injuries, etc. However, they love to contradict themselves by going to the doctor for glasses, dental surgery, etc. (I never could get anyone from the church to explain that for me.?)
Anyways, what's been getting to me lately is how scared I've been. ..I've seen my mom about once a year for the past three years, and each year she's had this huge mole on her back just getting bigger and bigger. I've asked her a few times to go to the doctor just to have it checked out, for me, and she refuses. Then, this past summer when I was at her place she gave me a list of her possessions so I could tell her which ones I'd like her to give to me...in her will! arh. It's just frustrating, and makes me ten times pissier about religions.
..Now, I know most religions don't do the 'no doctors' thing, but it's all the organized religion, everyone following specific guidelines, believing in the bible, being a good person (but not really), etc. It's not for me.
...I'm smarter than that.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:32 pm 
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Ok, I have to speak up here. How many churches have you attended lately mga, and jobot? I'm slapping both your hands because you are being prejudice. There are a lot of christians in this country and a lot of churches. I personally don't think, and this is only from my own personal experience attending a christian church, or speaking with other christians, that what you are saying is 100 % accurate. Yes it is true in SOME cases, but it is not in all. Please quit lumping all christians or religious people into a sterotypical group.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:56 pm 
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Nina, how many religious people fight, or even say it's wrong, to include the phrase "under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance? From every single religious person I've spoken with about this, their response is simply that "people are being overly sensitive." It's what they believe in, so why fight against it, despite the fact that it's wrong to force 'god' on people.

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"How many churches have you attended lately mga, and jobot? I'm slapping both your hands because you are being prejudice."


None, thank 'god.' I attended church twice a week until I was 18. When I go to visit family now, they always go to church, and I choose not to go. Why? I had my fair dose of church and religion, and know that I don't believe in any of that. I have every right to give my opinion from my own personal experiences without being accused of being prejudiced. I've been on both sides. In my experience, church members preach one thing and do another, no matter what religion they are.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:33 pm 
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Nina wrote:
Ok, I have to speak up here. How many churches have you attended lately mga, and jobot? I'm slapping both your hands because you are being prejudice. There are a lot of christians in this country and a lot of churches. I personally don't think, and this is only from my own personal experience attending a christian church, or speaking with other christians, that what you are saying is 100 % accurate. Yes it is true in SOME cases, but it is not in all. Please quit lumping all christians or religious people into a sterotypical group.


see....my point has been proven: christian people don't allow or believe in "freedom of speech". sheesh...you say one little thing about how wrong christians are, and they come out swinging and want to throw you in jail or something like that.

so, in your church, nina, you can honestly say that your minister or rabbi or whatever you call him, has never, ever talked about politics in any sermons? (remember, you're a christian and christians can't lie) LOL

and, besides, why should americans be forced to say "under god"? did you not read why they put that in the pledge of alegiance? it wasn't anything to do with god directly, but it was about communism and some groups fearful hatred of communists back in the 50's. no american has to pledge alegiance to the US "under god"....if he existed, he would have nothing to do with america, contrary to the conceited beliefs of many chrisitians.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:11 pm 
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mga wrote:

see....my point has been proven: christian people don't allow or believe in "freedom of speech". sheesh...you say one little thing about how wrong christians are, and they come out swinging and want to throw you in jail or something like that.
So people not wanting to be insulted and steretpyed is an attack on your freedom of speech? Give me a break. You did make a broad generalization, that isnt true, which ill explain in a second.

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so, in your church, nina, you can honestly say that your minister or rabbi or whatever you call him, has never, ever talked about politics in any sermons? (remember, you're a christian and christians can't lie) LOL
mine NEVER did. EVER. We never talked about the government or politics, this disproves your entire theory that christian people want to force their views.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:25 pm 
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I'll agree that, when I did attend church, the 'minister' didn't speak about politics while preaching. But, it was discussed by everyone once church let out for a good hour or so.
...That was only one thing mentioned on the "theory that christian people want to force their views" though. Like I asked before, what about the fact that they don't fight or even disagree with religion being incorporated into everything, like the pledge? Is that not at least assisting in forcing religion onto people?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:59 pm 
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jobot wrote:
I'll agree that, when I did attend church, the 'minister' didn't speak about politics while preaching. But, it was discussed by everyone once church let out for a good hour or so.
...That was only one thing mentioned on the "theory that christian people want to force their views" though. Like I asked before, what about the fact that they don't fight or even disagree with religion being incorporated into everything, like the pledge? Is that not at least assisting in forcing religion onto people?

Do some christian groups do that? Yes. I used to be a jw and they wanted god and government TOTALLY separated. They wanted religion to be 100% absent in the schools, every government building, and anything to do with the government. We believed that the government has no right to teach our kids, or even influence our kids on matters of religion. We believed it was to only be taught in our own community by our parents.

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