AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC.
For more information, please contact:
Ellen Johnson, President (973)691-1808
Dave Silverman, Communications Director (732)648-9333
HOUSE VOTE ON PLEDGE WORDING IS VOTE PANDERING, "CHEAP SHOT" AT OUR CONSTITUTION
A vote yesterday in the House of Representatives to insulate the words "under God" in the Pledge of
Allegiance from judicial review not only attempts to subvert the constitution, but amounts to "election
grandstanding," according to an Atheist First Amendment watchdog group.
Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists, said that the measure (HR 2028) stands little chance of passing
in the Senate, and would likely be declared unconstitutional if elected officials tried to have the bill
Nevertheless, the proposal passed 247-173.
Either the overwhelming majority of the House of Representatives is unfamiliar with the separation of powers
doctrine, and the First Amendment, or they are turning the floor of Congress into a cheap political theater,"
"Most of those who voted for this bizarre and un-American proposal know it won't survive; they're trying
to whip up public sympathy by demonizing our judiciary, and the constitutional separation of church and state."
Dave Silverman, Communications Director for American Atheists, praised members of Congress who had the courage
to vote against HR 2028.
"One hundred and seventy-three of our representatives chose the moral and political high road over the passions
of the moment," said Mr. Silverman. He singled out Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) who warned fellow lawmakers,
"We're playing with fire here, we are playing with the national unity of this country" by trying to
reverse and subvert over two centuries of judicial review.
Silverman added, "Fortunately, we have a Constitution which hopefully checks political demagoguery, especially
when it is sugarcoated in the rhetoric of religious belief."
(AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for nonbelievers; works for the total separation
of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.)