Lynn v. Sekulow

Lynn v. Sekulow


‘Green Light’ for Inaugural Prayer

posted by Jay Sekulow

Barry, the federal district court in Washington reached the only conclusion it could:  the court decided it could not step in and stop the prayers scheduled for the Presidential inauguration next week and cannot prevent President-elect Obama from ending his oath with the phrase, “so help me God.”

 

In a decision issued last night, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton concluded he did not have the authority to order Obama not to say those words, saying the President had a right to free speech.  The Judge also questioned whether he could order Chief Justice Roberts, who administers the oath of office, what to say or what not to say.

 

At the same time, Judge Walton also said he didn’t think the prayer at the inaugural ceremony “is somehow going to give the impression that the government is endorsing religion.”  That’s exactly what we argued in our amicus brief filed with the court.  

This is the correct decision, and while you may not be surprised by the outcome Barry, an attorney with the American Humanist Association, which filed the suit in conjunction with California atheist Michael Newdow, called the decision “profoundly disappointing.”

 

The attorney told a reporter after the decision that this case is not about atheists merely “feeling offended. There is real harm,” Bob Ritter said. “First, all Americans will be injured on January 20 by the Chief Justice, the Presidential Inaugural Committee and other defendants violating the principle of separation of church and state . . .”

 

The court disagreed saying the plaintiffs lacked legal standing and failed to show any concrete “harm” that would result from the prayers and phrase being used.

 

The court got it right and it’s a decision that should stand even if it is appealed.



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DSJulian

posted January 16, 2009 at 7:37 pm


The last time Nudow sued he was also told he did not have legal standing to do so — and in the process disenfranchising every noncustodial parent in America from the ability to sue on their own child’s behalf. It is time to pay attention people: the entire Judiciary is slanted by a 3 to 1 majority on the side of the “Conservatives”. Every American citizen should automatically have the legal standing to complain about this blatantly unconstitutional melding of religion and politics.



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Bart Batten

posted January 16, 2009 at 8:22 pm


I am offended by the fact that the secular commumnity is offended by the existence of God. The apostle Paul said “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first,and also to the Greek.Romans 1:16.Our great nation was founded on the principles of God and His word!! When you visit Washington be it the capital or the white house passages of scripture is carved in all monuments.As an american we have the God given right to worship as WE choose,or not choose. In our congress when key issue come to vote the majority rules…not the minority!! If people don’t believe God exist that is their right…but it is not right for the minority to dictate to the majority, which statistics show are Christian believers,to take God and His principals out of America’s government and laws just because it offends the minority!!!! HELLO!! If the atheist and the minority secular community are offended…..DEAL WITH IT!!! Nobody is forcing you to believe or worship God and you do not have the right to change the laws and principals Our great country was founded on!!! WHO GIVES YOU THAT RIGHT!!



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Lyle

posted January 16, 2009 at 9:11 pm


Chief Justice Roberts should administer the oath of office EXACTLY as it is stated in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution does NOT call for the phrase “So help me God”, Roberts should not add it. If President Obama wants to add the phrase (or some other phrase) after completing the oath, that should be his option, but Roberts has no right to change the oath as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.



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Boris

posted January 16, 2009 at 9:15 pm


Our nation was not founded on a belief in God, Christianity or the Bible. The Constitution mentions NONE of these things. There isn’t one example of a democracy in the Bible. Christians who get their history from Christian historical revisionist liars like Gary DeMar and the Rconstructionists should trot down to the public library and check out a REAL history book or two.



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Your Name

posted January 16, 2009 at 11:55 pm


Boris,
I think you need to look again at the Constitution. It makes reference to God several times even in the date, “In the year of our Lord”.



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Nicholas

posted January 17, 2009 at 12:05 am


Bart, HI! Our great nation was founded not on God but on democratic principles. The Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights were written to protect the rights of the minority. No body wants to be dictated to. I’m not ready to live in a Theocracy because the majority of Americans are supposedly Christian. I’m not sure there is a secular community but please note than many level headed religious persons and clergy also support the strict separation of church and state .There is a time and place for all things. I thank God for the all those secular citizens who diligently strive to uphold the First Amendment which I firmly believe is the main reason the US has been such a long running success.



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Nicholas

posted January 17, 2009 at 12:09 am


So help me God



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Coffeecake

posted January 17, 2009 at 12:16 am


No, Lyle, although the Constitution does not specifically say the words “so help me God”, it does however, say in Article VI, Section IV of the US Constitution which states;
“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and ALL EXECUTIVE and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by OATH or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
The Executive brank is the President. So, therefore, what is the reference to the Oath? The Oath, in this case, refers to an oath by swearing to God that as an elected representative they agree to support and uphold the Constitution.
The words Affirmation in the this case simply gives the opportunity for people who will not swear an Oath to God (such as the Quakers when the Constitution was written because of religious conviction) that they they however, AFFIRM to uphold and support the Constitution. Ironically, by today’s standards, this also provides individuals who are not Christian the ability to run for public office by giving an Affirmation statement that they swear to uphold the Constitution.
Therefore, the debate over Obama saying the words “so help me God” is pointless as it is along the same vein as an Oath and would not be improper or illegal as it is not, in any way, against the Constitution. It surprises me that the Federal Court bothered to review the case and didn’t throw it out immediately. What a massive waste of time!



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Greg

posted January 17, 2009 at 9:48 am


Removing the oath “so help me God” would not be an unbiased decision. Athiests tend to cloak their intentions as unbiased, yet if the oath is removed permanently, it insinuates the nonexistence of our God. Think of it. Political athiests are not only reckless in usurping the nation’s majority believers, but they are trying to dismantle the moral underpinnings that are derived from the holy bible. The reason that that this is inconsequential to these individuals is that they view their own opinions and life experiences as authoritative, which is absurd at best.
As a true athiest, one cannot derive his moral compass from the bible, the quran, Buddhist teachings, or spiritists (right or wrong), as it would be inconsistent with their ideology. Hence, morals must be strained from their personal experience, the notions of unbelieving scholars, and natural inclinations in order to justify what is right and what is wrong. Even by merely following their conscience, they are in danger of violating their core belief system, which demands physical evidence.
Christians live to “love thy God with all of their heart, soul, and mind and to love others as themselves”. Athiests live to deny the existence of the very Lord that breathed life into them, and to further their belief that their idealogy rises above the masses of “ignorance”.
These points are relevant to the topic because we are debating from two completely different foundations of reference. The faithful are comforted that our Lord is recognized and that our leaders are vowing an oath to the Lord Almight in one of the most profound events in our country. Athiests will only see violations of individual rights and the dangers of a theocracy (even though there is no High Chancellor in the US).
Having said all of that, I do feel that it would be appropriate that it not be required of an elected athiest to swear an oath to almighty God, given the chance (what would be the benefit?). And I even feel that a Muslim should have the right to swear on the Quran if elected. This is only consistent with the statutes set forth by the constitution.
“The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and ALL EXECUTIVE and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by OATH or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
The religious test refers to just that, a test or trial that validates a certain belief. This would be unconstitutional. But swearing an oath is appropriate and respectful.



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Your Name

posted January 17, 2009 at 11:17 am


Seperation of church and state isn’t in the constitution. Our founding fathers were mostly religious and if they saw how people were reacting to issues like abortion, same sex marriage, and the defeat of democracy through liberal politicians and thei laws, they would be dissappointed. There is no theocracy. Christianity isn’t imposed on people through saying “In God We Trust” or “One Nation Under God”. No one forces anyone to say that, but i personally believe the founding fathers included it because they believe in one God who is the Creator and Sustainer of our great nation. They made the first ammendment to enable any person to practice any beliefs they may have. If you don’t believe in God thats fine who is attacking you? Who is making your democratic rights lessen? If you ask me, the people taking away from democracy voted for state controlled health care, abortion freedom, and gun ownership restrictions via Obama.



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Your Name

posted January 17, 2009 at 3:05 pm


Your Name,Before you go citing history you really should STUDY history. The founding fathers did not add “In God we Trust” or One Nation “under God”. Look it up son. And I am quite positive the founding fathers would be more than dissapointed at both of those additions, one to our pledge, one to our money. Abortion and same sex marriage? Drug legality? I tend to think they would support the right of the individuals privacy in all cases.



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Nicholas

posted January 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm


Oh, and gun ownership. You are correct though, the words “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. The concept however is.



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Mary

posted January 18, 2009 at 7:31 pm


I see the Constitution being destroyed with 31 law suits to produce Obama’s COLB and the courts keep dismissing them shows “We the People” don’t have any rights anymore.
The Republicans are either spineless or they have become democrats along with the Judges. Very sickening our forefathers wouldn’t put up with this.
Everyone wants to play the race card when it has nothing to do with race. I would loved to have seen a black man like Alan Keyes become President who stands by the Constitution instead of destroying it.



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Your Name

posted January 18, 2009 at 7:48 pm


I think some people seem to miss the point of our founding fathers. They came, mostly, from England where the Church of England was the only allowable church which was established by the government. They didn’t want our government doing the same thing. The freedom of religion clause in the constitution does not mean religion, Christian or otherwise, can’t be discussed, used or mentioned anywhere.



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Phillip Gaskinas

posted January 18, 2009 at 11:03 pm


What the idiots like Newdow and the ACLU don’t realize is that when any reference to God is taken out of the public arena they will suffer the same consequences as the Christian and all other persons in this country. TYRANNY! Plain and simpley that we will loose our God given freedoms and be under ungodly dictator thugs just like in communist Russia in their heyday. When America goes the way of all other empires throughout history then goes the whole world, New World Order anyone. We are the only ones left willing to fight for the rest of the world’s freedoms. Europe as we see today isn’t willing to help fight terrorism. As God exsplicitly tells us in His infalible Word, we will fall as a nation. Hey MR. NEWDOW, you too will be emslaved and put before kangaroo courts tossed into prison possibly even executed in front of firing sqwuads. People like you, thugs don’t have any more mercy on than the rest of us.



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Phillip Gaskinas

posted January 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm


Our founding fathers came from England, Holland, etc. that all believed in the God of the Bible, no other religion. And in their writtings they told America what would happen if we turned our backs on their God. Don’t study history that is written by athiests. Go directly to the source and read what our forefathers had to say. Thomas Jefferson is a good source who wrote more than anyone on what was the right way to interpret the Constitution as well as religion.



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Boris

posted January 18, 2009 at 11:49 pm


Phillip Gaskins,
I agree that Thomas Jefferson is a good source on how to interpret religion. Read ‘em and weep:
Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
“The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious… One only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.” – Thomas Jefferson.
Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787
I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789
The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814
If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? …Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814
As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurian. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, Oct. 31, 1819
Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820
To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Aug. 15, 1820
And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors. -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams. -Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825
Still want us to use Jefferson as a good source on how to interpret religion there Phillip Gaskins? I didn’t think so. Perhaps you should read what our founders had to say about the religion of Christianity before you start telling us what they said. Can anyone say oops?



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Your Name

posted January 19, 2009 at 10:41 am


I have a short statement to all of those who TRY to erase the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ or our Father in Heaven from everything. (some of you may erase Him from your hearts because you have not heart) Jesus is my big Brother who mediates on my behalf before God! Some of you do not believe in eternal damnation, but Jesus said “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. In essence, you better not die, if you don’t believe in Christ, you will be eternally damned!! Eternal has no end!! GET THE PICTURE!!



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HaHaHaHa

posted January 19, 2009 at 6:31 pm


Oh no, I went and died laughing!!!



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My Name

posted January 28, 2009 at 12:55 am


The separation of church and state was conceived and made policy to keep the state out of religious matters. Poorly written it was/is miss-interpreted and miss-used.
BTW HaHaHaHA, can a ghost type? And if you are a ghost is not that proof of an after life?



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Boris

posted January 28, 2009 at 9:47 am


Your Name
Anyone who threatens another person with eternal damnation should be arrested for verbal assault and given a stiff jail sentence. Telling a child that there is such a place as hell is child abuse and should carry an automatic 30 year sentence in maximum security with no chance of parole. There is no such place as hell and Jesus Christ never existed and the Christian God and the Christian religion are nothing more than hoaxes believed by the ignorant.



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Your Name

posted February 3, 2009 at 9:24 pm


Wow, Boris! And liberals run around scaring everyone with the idea that conservatives are fascists! Have you ever heard of freedom? Free speech, freedom of religion, etc.? You would jail someone for believing there is a hell, and warning others about it because they don’t want them to end up there? If you don’t believe in hell, why are you offended when someone warns you that you might end up there? And since when is being offended a reason enough to put someone in jail? How is that you speak so authoritatively that there is no hell. Did the devil tell you that? Jesus said there is a hell, and he rose from the dead proving he knew what he was talking about. Why should anyone believe you, over Jesus. What have you done to prove your authority when you speak of such matters?



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Boris

posted February 4, 2009 at 1:50 am


Your Name,
You said: Jesus said there is a hell, and he rose from the dead proving he knew what he was talking about. Why should anyone believe you, over Jesus.
There’s a circular argument for sure. A mythical figure claims a mythical place is real. First prove Jesus actually existed and that he rose from the dead. Your argument assumes its premise is true from the beginning. Therefore it is meaningless.



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N. Lindzee Lindholm

posted October 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm


The key points to the decision are that: 1) the Inaugural Prayer didn’t violate the Establishment Clause, 2) the President has the right of free speech, 3) there was no concrete harm suffered, and 4) that the Plaintiffs lacked legal standing. I’d be thrilled if this decision stayed forever.



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Previous Posts

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Thank you for visiting LynnvSekulow. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Jay Sekulow: Faith and Justice  Happy Reading!

posted 11:26:38am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

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posted 10:36:04am Jul. 06, 2012 | read full post »

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