The Goal of the Pledge Suit
The Pledge of Allegiance plaintiff explains he is contesting 'Under God' to raise awareness of the 'plight of atheists.'
BY: Michael Newdow
Could my quest for equality backfire? Absolutely. I have little doubt that the coffers of the pro-God activists have been significantly enriched as a result of the Pledge litigation, and we've already heard calls to place God into our Constitution. Yes, the official antipathy towards atheistic Americans may grow to even greater levels, and even more blatant discrimination may ensue.
But the same possibility of failure was present in the past civil rights campaigns. Thus I'm optimistic and planning on ultimate success. As Americans now opposed to these changes start to appreciate the plight of atheists, I hope they will increase their understanding of religious freedom. As we've seen with Brown v. Board of Education, the Nineteenth Amendment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, when government no longer supports a pervasive personal prejudice, that personal prejudice becomes less pervasive. When our laws recognize that atheists can be role models as positive and strong as Americans of any other life stance, we will further promote the diversity that has so benefited our society. The possibility of an African-American, female, or disabled individual being elected president is no longer remote. The same can be, should be--and, I hope, soon will be--the case for one who is atheistic.