Perhaps this news will lower the temperature of the controversy surrounding the President-elect’s invitation to Pastor Rick Warren to give the Invocation at his Inaugural celebration. A group of atheists have filed to block the ceremony from including any prayers at all.
Michael Newdow, along with 17 other individuals and 10 groups representing atheists, named Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., officials in charge of inaugural festivities, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery and pastor Rick Warren in their complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Washington Tuesday, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Roberts will administer the oath of office to Obama at the Jan. 20 event. Warren and Lowery are scheduled to deliver the invocation and benediction, respectively.
The lawsuit says the prayers are exclusionary, “showing absolute disrespect to plaintiffs and others of similar religious views … .”
Newdow and others also said the phrase “so help me God” should be stricken because it is not part of the oath as specified in the Constitution.