Michael Newdow hopes lightning strikes twice
Californian Michael Newdow is clearly trying to become the next Madalyn Murray O'Hair. The emergency room doctor who famously sued over the Pledge of Allegiance has now filed suit in federal district court charging that government funding of chaplains in the U.S. Congress is unconstitutional. "If congressmen want to go to church, [then] walk down the block like other Americans do and go to church,'' Newdow told The Washington Post. "Don't get my government engaged in it." He also claims he was discriminated against when he applied for the jobs of House and Senate chaplains because he's an atheist.
There's no way this case is going anywhere—the Supreme Court has already ruled that state-funded chaplains are constitutional. "In light of the history, there can be no doubt that the practice of opening legislative sessions with prayer has become part of the fabric of our society," Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote in the 1983 case Marsh v. Chambers. "To invoke divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making the laws is not, in these circumstances, a violation of the Establishment Clause; it is simply a tolerable acknowledgment of beliefs widely held among the people of this country."
But Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott warns Newdow's crusade is no joke. "We should not look upon this as a frivolous case but as another attack on religious liberty," he tells the Post.
Bruce Springsteen, Messiah There are fans, and then there are fans. Steve Gushee, religion writer for the Palm Beach Post and Cox News Service is apparently a superfan of Bruce Springsteen. "The Boss is an unlikely candidate for sainthood in most religious traditions," Gushee writes. "Still, [his latest album] The ...1