Thursday, January 1, 2009

Michael Newdow, can you please stop?

Sometimes, I wish that certain people wouldn't be on my side. A recent example of this would have to be Michael Newdow, the rather litigious atheist who created the whole controversy over the Pledge of Allegiance, saying that it violated the First Ammendment due to the statement "under God". Now, he's trying to get the phrase "so help me God" out of the Presidential oath.

The thing is, I basically agree with him. After all, he is right - both of those things do violate the Establishment Clause. However, I must say - come on, dude. Is this really a battle we need to fight? Will this do anything to further logical thought, critical thinking, and the absence of superstition?

Personally, I think that the Pledge is pretty meaningless for starters. People recite it without even thinking about what they're saying. You pledge allegiance to a flag? Really? And what if the flag, the Republic, the nation etcetera starts to head down a dangerous and evil path? Should you really continue to be loyal to it? Whatever, it doesn't even mean anything, and when you have little kids say it over and over again, they're just doing it because that's what they were told to do. I remember when I was in middle school, this one guy and I would always try and add in all sorts of silly words and phrases - and I'm sure that we weren't the only ones. I doubt that we would have done that if we only said the Pledge a few times a year, but saying it every day just becomes drudgery, and we were both far too young to even contemplate what it even meant. (It's like when people talk about little kids getting "saved". Yeah, they understand what they're doing.)

As for the Presidential oath - ho hum. I mean, I'm an atheist, and I find myself saying "Oh God!" all the time. What does it mean? Nothing. And the same goes for that oath. It's an expression, and it doesn't take away anybody's rights. Now, if a President would dare to say that he didn't want to make that part of his oath, then he should have that right. However, I don't really have a problem with somebody who believes in God saying that he would like the help of Him. Would I prefer to live in a world where people didn't call upon fictional characters to assist them with real problems? Yeah. But that's not happening in my lifetime.

The worst part about all of this is that when they interview people on the street about this, I'm quickly reminded as to just how ignorant people can be. On the news last night, one woman was criticizing him and her reasoning was that God was written on our money. Ummm...okay. I mean, that doesn't belong there either. (But again - who cares?) No doubt, you'll also have to hear stupid comments like how we were founded as a Christian nation (tell that to the fella who wrote the Declaration of Independece - Tommy Jeff, as I like to call him).

Basically, all this does is get people upset and accomplishes nothing. The thing is, I really would like to see everybody in this world come over to atheism. However, it's one of those things where if it is going to happen, it's going to have to happen naturally. People are going to have to see the virtue of it for themselves. If we try and force it, then we'll just wind up with what they had in the communist countries - a phony atheism where superstition and noncritical thinking prevailed. Now, I'm not saying that Newdow's struggle is up there with what Stalin was doing, but trivial little battles like this only hurt the cause.

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