Michael Newdow's daughter "loves the Lord," says pastor Chuck Smith
Conservative online media are abuzz this week with word that the second-grade daughter of atheist Michael Newdow, who sued a California school district over the Pledge of Allegiance on her behalf, wasn't troubled by the words "Under God" in the Pledge at all. "The little girl, over whom the suit was filed, happens to attend Calvary Chapel, in Elk Grove," Pastor Chuck Smith told his congregation at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. "She is Christian, her mother is a Christian . …This whole suit was filed on a totally false premise." (Audio of many of Smith's sermons are available here, but Sunday night's sermon hasn't been posted yet.)

The story was apparently first reported by CPINews.net, then picked up by WorldNetDaily. It doesn't appear to have hit the mainstream media yet, though the child's mother, Sandra Banning, was reportedly scheduled for an appearance on CBS's Early Show.

"[Newdow] lied to the court under oath. This is a crime," Austin Miles says in an Assist News Service commentary. "The public must demand that The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco charge Michael Newdow with perjury and punish him to the full extent of the law."

Perjury charges or not, legal scholars were already doubting whether Newdow had sufficient standing to file the suit. This development increases the chances the appeal will be decided on standing rather than on the merits of the case. The full 9th Circuit or the Supreme Court wouldn't have to decide whether "Under God" violates the First Amendment's prohibition on establishing religion. It could just say that Newdow didn't have the right to file the suit.

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