A lawsuit has been filed in Washington in an effort to prevent the words “so help me God” from being used during Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony. The suit is being filed by a number of atheists and non-religious organizations, including the American Humanist Association, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and atheist groups from Minnesota; Seattle, Washington; and Florida. The claim is that references to God during inauguration ceremonies violate the Constitution’s ban on the establishment of religion, among other things.
In principle, I agree with their opinion. However, I think they’re going about this in the worst possible way. This type of thing goes a long way towards strengthening the prejudices that already exist towards atheists and agnostics. It makes them seem like an angry, bitter group of people. No doubt, there are many people who lack belief and who are angry at what they see going on around them. However…I don’t believe these people even come close to making up the majority of atheists and agnostics.
This type of action this close to the inauguration is nothing more than grandstanding. If these folks are serious…really serious about having this phrase removed from the ceremony, they should have started the process long before this.
Even though they are right…with all due respect, listening to the phrase “so help me God” isn’t going to harm them one little bit. For now, let's enjoy the inauguration of our new president. Let's enjoy the moment, and then after the ceremony, let's go after the changes that we want and need. Let’s use some common sense here people.