Another Michael Newdow Lawsuit Rejected

I somehow missed that Michael Newdow’s lawsuit to remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. coinage and money got smacked down back in June by U.S. District Judge Frank Damrell Jr. who noted the 9th Circuit Court had previously ruled that the phrase has “nothing to do with the establishment of religion.”

“In God We Trust” was always something that Madalyn Murray O’Hair and the American Atheists complained and filed lawsuits about.

The article linked to above actually makes some fairly decent points, but the presence of “In God We Trust” on coins is such a minor affair that litigating over it is silly. It is one of those issues that marginalizes organized atheist groups as being unserious.


Judge Rejects Atheist’s Lawsuit. June 12, 2006.

David Silverman Is No Michael Newdow — Atheist Smacks Down Sean Hannity

For the most part, I’ve never been impressed by the American Atheists (and I am an atheist), but AA’s David Silverman really made Sean Hannity look like the idiot he is on Hannity & Colmes. The topic was the Easter Bunny — apparently some shopping malls in Florida are doing away with the “Easter” part of the Easter Bunny, and going to either Peter Rabbit or “Garden Bunny” (which makes no sense). Hannity, of course, sees this is as yet another attack from those evil leftists.

Before going to the transcript, if Hannity would use his brain for a second he might stop to wonder why a rabbit is symbolized with Easter. What the hell does a rabbit have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? Nothing, of course — its a pagan fertility symbol people. If anything, Hannity should be glad that people are starting to dissociate this pagan fertility symbol from Easter.

Anyway, Silverman is brilliant, noting that what is driving the bunny changes is pure capitalism which, the last time I checked, Hannity supported,

DAVID SILVERMAN, AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Hey, thanks for having me back on the show.

You know, first of all, I want to say that this is about private property and this is about private enterprise. And they can name their bunnies anything they want. They can name them Peter Rabbit or they can name them the Jesus Bunny for all we care. They are private enterprises, and they can do what we wish — or what they wish, I should say.

BOB BECKEL, GUEST HOST: But why do they wish to do that?

SILVERMAN: Because it’s capitalism. They’re living in a place that is growing more and more diverse. And they’re recognizing the fact that Easter is only Christian. And even though it doesn’t have Christian roots, they’re recognizing that is more than Christian, and they want to play on the safe side. They want to sell more stuff. When it comes right down to it, these malls want to sell more stuff. They don’t want to…

Hannity simply ignores this, claiming its leftist intolerance,

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: You know something, David? Look, where is the tolerance on the left anymore? I mean, this is the Easter Bunny. This is about Bob’s kids and my kids going to the mall. Are you really going to be hurt, are you really going to be offended by a mall identifying a bunny as the Easter Bunny? Is your faith shaken that deeply?

But as Silverman notes — and Hannity continues to ignore — atheists aren’t agitating for this change; its something the malls did on their own.

Silverman apparently flustered Hannity by not coming out and being a typical atheist freak (Hannity probably wishes he’d booked Michael Newdow), leading Hannity to this bizarre exchange,

HANNITY: Because of guys like you, because you’re demanding it, because of the frivolous lawsuits…

SILVERMAN: How can you blame me when we’re not doing anything? This is something — no, no, no, Sean. We’re not doing anything. You’re going a little too far here because…

HANNITY: No, I’m not. Why is it happening then?

SILVERMAN: Because of capitalism. They’re going to sell more stuff.

HANNITY: All right. It’s all happening because of capitalism.


SILVERMAN: They’re not doing it because of the atheists. We don’t have anything to do with it.

HANNITY: Why are the Boy Scouts under attack by atheist groups, by girls that want to be in the Boy Scouts, by gay and lesbian groups that don’t like their values?

SILVERMAN: You want to talk about the Boy Scouts?

HANNITY: No, what it is an assault on the very people in the society that lecture us about tolerance. You guys on the left, you are the most intolerant people on the face of the Earth to the point now that the Easter Bunny cannot be named the Easter Bunny without offending somebody in your side.

Hannity’s just an embarassment with his one-size-fits-all ranting — confronted by Silverman’s reasonable position, Hannity blathers on about Boy Scouts and lesbians and then says he doesn’t actually want to talk about the Boy Scouts after all.

Fox would do well to ditch both Hannity and Bill O’Reilly. Unfortunately since so many people inexpliably watch these goofballs, that isn’t likely to happen.


Transcript: The Easter Bunny Under Attack. Hannity & Colmes, March 16, 2005.

Michael Newdow Back With Lawsuit Over Bush’s Bible

Michael Newdow — who seems to want to take up the helm of the deceased Madalyn Murray O’Hair as the most annoying atheist in America — is back with a lawsuit seeking to prevent Bush from placing his hand on a Bible while he is sworn in as president on January 20.

The Washington Times quotes Newdow as saying,

It is an offense of the highest magnitude that the leader of our nation — while swearing to uphold the Constitution — publicly violates that very document upon taking his oath of office. The demands of strict scrutiny have not been met, and defendants must be enjoined from their planned religious activities.

Ugh. You can just see this guy in colonial America crying to the heavens that Jefferson’s justification of the revolution based on the claim that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” is just one step from a theocracy.

According to the Washington Times, Newdow is so offended he might not go to the Inaguration even though he has a ticket,

The presence of Christian influence and prayer, Mr. Newdow said, have forced him to contemplate not using his ticket to the inauguration because he does not want to feel like “an outsider.”

Yeah, I’m sure he’ll be sorely missed if he doesn’t go.

The other funny feature of Newdow’s lawsuit is all of the right wing Christian types using him as proof that Christianity is under assault by an irrational, creeping secularism. Riiigghhhttt. Look, if Newdow is the best that we atheists can come up with, Christianity is safe in this country pretty much forever.

Newdow is a walking, talking advertisement against atheism. If the right wingers were smart, they’d find a way to fund him.


Atheist sues to ban hand on Bible. Jon Ward, Washington Times, January 8, 2005.