Jewish World Review July 8, 2002 / 28 Tamuz, 5762

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reiley
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Believe it or not

Jewish Law prohibits the writing of the Creator's name out in full. The spelling below is not intended to be disrespectful, particulary given this column's topic --- editor. | One of the best things about my job as a journalist is that I get to meet many of the world's most compelling newsmakers. And so it was a few days ago when Dr. Mike Newdow walked into the "No Spin Zone," brimming with confidence and bravado. Newdow, you may know, is the guy who won a lawsuit (temporarily) to remove the words "under G-d" from the Pledge of Allegiance.

While he may be the most despised man in America right now, the doctor is no fool. He's also a lawyer and an activist. His goal is to remove all traces of theism from American public life. Newdow is an atheist and says any mention of a deity makes him feel "left out."

After years of trying to get the Pledge changed, Newdow finally met his soulmates, pardon the expression, on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Widely considered the most liberal federal court in the country, the Ninth has been reversed by the Supreme Court in about 80 percent of the cases that the Supremes have accepted from this wild bunch. Clearly, the Ninth has a vision of America that doesn't quite jibe with the big outfit in Washington. Thank G-d (sorry again) for checks and balances.

My interview with Dr. Newdow was fascinating. First of all, I told him that he was violating my rights by trying to rewrite the history of my country. I told him that his hatred of religion was fine with me, but that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and the Founders framed the Constitution around G-d-given rights. Newdow told me I was full of it, but then I let him have it -- with the facts.

Fact 1: The Declaration of Independence clearly states the premise of the Constitution: "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights."

Newdow replied that the Declaration was not the Constitution and that the Founders did not want any trace of G-d in the public discourse.

This, of course, is fallacious. The author of the Constitution, James Madison, joined with the first Congress to pass a law paying chaplains for the House and the Senate with public monies . So, not only did the boys want a guy to lead them in prayer -- they wanted guys like Newdow to pay for it.

I also explained to the good doctor that the Supreme Court would overturn this foolish decision by the Ninth because the issue had already been decided in 1983. In a 6-to-3 decision, the Court ruled in Marsh vs. Chambers that the state of Nebraska could open its legislative session with a prayer paid for by public funds (that chaplain again).

Said Chief Justice Warren Burger: "The use of prayer is embedded in the nation's history and tradition ... the Establishment Clause (in the Constitution) does not always bar a state from regulating conduct simply because it harmonizes with religious concerns."

Newdow, no slouch in the research department, shot back that Marsh vs. Chambers had been overturned by the Supreme Court in the 1992 case of Lemon vs. Kurtzman. But that is not true. The Supremes simply decided to use other standards in deciding that imposed prayers during public graduation invocations, a completely different set of circumstances, were unconstitutional. They are still praying in Nebraska.

And I hope some of those prayers are for Dr. Michael Newdow and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. These people are not looking out for their country, they are trying to impose a narrow set of secular standards on a nation that was founded on principles that are much greater.

There is no question that America was set up to allow its citizens to be free because the Framers of the Constitution believed that was why G-d created man -- to exercise free will. It is simply unconscionable for activist judges and fanatical atheists to intrude on the history of the United States.

In the end, the Pledge of Allegiance will be restored, the senior judge in the case has already stayed his own order, and Americans will be allowed to follow traditional values if they so choose. Christmas will remain a public holiday, "In G-d We Trust" will remain on the currency, and "so help me G-d" will stay as a legal guardian of truth in court.

But the anti-G-d squad will also remain with us, fighting like hell (uh-oh) to eliminate any spiritual references in public. It is what these people do. But it is not who we are.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate