DATE: 1/14/2005 08:14:00 AM
Ban Prayer? - I guess Michael Newdow had a bit of a letdown after the Supreme Court dismissed his "under God" lawsuit on a technicality. The attention-seeking atheist is now trying to ban prayer at the presidential inauguration next Thursday. Newdow claims, predictably, that it violates the separation of chur...oh, you know the rest of the argument already. It's practically a cliche at this point.
What's next for Mr. Newdow? Will he now seek to ban saying grace at government-run cafeterias? How about closing down all chapels on military bases? I know, how about taking a sandblaster to the Lincoln Memorial? There's some pretty offensive language etched into the walls. There's quotes from the Gettysburg Address:
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.On the other wall, there's some strong stuff from the second inaugural address:
It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."Look, I know the election season was bitter and there are a lot of 'blue state' Americans who are really angry at evangelicals for actually voting, but maybe it's time for liberals and the Democrats to take the advice Lincoln gives in the next paragraph of that great speech:
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.It's good advice. If you can look past the God stuff, that is.