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Religious Tolerance logo

The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance

Appeal for contributions to fund a brief to the Supreme Court

Sponsored link.

A request for financial support from "Mister Thorne."

We received the following Email on 2004-JAN-27:

Please forward the following message to whomever you feel might be interested in contributing. Thanks.

This message concerns the case of Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael Newdow, commonly known as the "Pledge of Allegiance case," set for oral argument before the United States Supreme Court on 24 March 2004.

This is a request for assistance.

I hope to file an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in this case. The deadline for filing such a brief is 13 February 2004 (according to the docket for case #02-1624, 13 February 2004 is the deadline for submitting respondent's briefs on the merits).

The brief will raise such arguments as these:

1. The reference to divinity in the current Pledge of Allegiance does not merely recognize as historical fact that our Nation was believed to have been founded 'under God.' It is an affirmation that this IS "one nation under God." Nor is it simply an "acknowledgment of our religious heritage." It's a STATEMENT OF BELIEF: that there is a god, and that that god is, in some sense, over the United States.

2. A law that requires the current Pledge of Allegiance to be recited each day in public school is a law that requires the daily affirmation of a controversial religious belief.

3. A law that requires the current Pledge of Allegiance to be recited each day in public school exposes the State's preference for one particular religious belief over others (e.g. the belief that there are no gods, or that there are many gods).

4. A law that requires the current Pledge of Allegiance to be recited each day in public school interferes with the rights of parents to "direct the religious upbringing of their children." Specifically, it interferes with the rights of parents who wish to teach their children that there are no gods, or that there are many gods, or that the gods have no particular interest in the United States.

5. A law that requires the current Pledge of Allegiance (including the particular religious belief it proclaims) to be recited each day in public schools amounts to state-sponsored religious indoctrination of public school students in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
These arguments dispute those made by the many other amicus briefs already filed in this case.

So far, 40 amicus curiae briefs have been filed in this case, and they all oppose Newdow. Even the brief from Americans United for Separation of Church and State opposes Newdow (by asking the court not to even hear the case). The ACLU has not filed a brief and neither has American Atheists (thought AA says they plan to).

In other words, all the court is hearing are reasons why it should rule AGAINST Newdow.

My brief will argue that the court should rule IN FAVOR OF Newdow, that it should uphold the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling.

There's a hitch though. Right now, I'm two weeks shy of being out of work for two whole years. That's right! There are jobs around here, but nobody seems much inclined to hire someone who's in his 50s, try as he might.

So . . . I'm asking for your financial support. I'm asking you to donate to the cause so I can afford to have 40 copies of the brief printed (as required by the Supreme Court).

Can you help me? Can you donate $25? If I can get enough people to donate enough money fast enough, I can get this done.

NOTE: Supreme Court rule 37.6 requires that the names of those who "made a monetary contribution to the preparation or submission of the brief" be listed in the brief. In other words, if you make a donation, your name will appear in the brief. See the following for details: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/ctrules/rulesofthecourt.pdf

Please don't send nickels and dimes. I won't accept them. The brief is limited to 30 pages, and I'm not going to submit a brief that has room for nothing but names of donors. If 100 people decide to send me $25 each, then I'm going to deposit the first dozen donations, or so, and return the others.

Why sit back and let Newdow get clobbered by the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Attorney's General of 49 out of 50 states, the U.S. Solicitor General and a host of others, including the American Legion and the Rutherford Institute and the Christian Legal Society and the American Center for Law & Justice? (For a complete list of those who have weighed in AGAINST Newdow, check the docket for the case at the following link: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/docket/02-1624.htm

Get Involved! Take this opportunity so you can say that you acted in the matter; you didn't just sit by while the U.S. Supreme Court decided that it's OK for the State to train our kids in its  official religious belief.

And if this sounds like some sort of a scam to raise money, feel free to call me about this, or send me a message asking for further details. The reason I've waited so long in asking for your help is I've been trying to help myself (i.e., land a job so I don't have to beg).


BTW: It was the appeals court's decision in Newdow v. U.S. Congress (June 2002) that inspired me to start a monthly column titled Religion in the News. If you're not familiar with it, you might want to take a look at it to get a better feel for my take on this issue as well as others. Here's the link: http://www.misterthorne.org/NEWS/RIN_TOC.htm

Mister Thorne
11 Crestline Drive
San Francisco, CA  94131
(415) 285 5777

How you got here:

 Home > Christianity > Prayer > School prayer > The Pledge > here

or: Home > Law menu > The Pledge > here

Posted: 2004-JAN-27
Latest update: 2004-JAN-27

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