To the Editor:
Michael A. Newdow may well be right that Congress’ insertion of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional (“New Challenge to Pledge in Schools Filed,” Jan. 12, 2005), but his quixotic lawsuit challenging it may be less a kamikaze mission than a Götterdämmerung. If he wins, the country will surely face an unstoppable constitutional amendment that would likely shred the First Amendment. If he loses, the language of the ruling could be equally damaging to church-state separation. As in every struggle, strategy is all-important.
I pointed this out in a debate with him at an American Civil Liberties Union-sponsored affair at the University of Maryland last spring.
Defenders of religious freedom would more usefully spend their time and effort working to stop the diversion of public funds to faith-based nonpublic schools and obtain more adequate funding for our public schools.
Americans for Religious Liberty
A version of this article appeared in the February 02, 2005 edition of Education Week as Pledge Lawsuit Seen as ‘Quixotic’ Diversion