— by Brittany Meyer
Another day, yet another “God” lawsuit thrown out due to lack of standing.
Recently, The Freedom from Religion Foundation sued the Architect of the Capitol in federal court to get the “In God We Trust” and Pledge of Allegiance engravings removed from the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C.
Like my last article on Newdow’s struggle to get “so help me God” taken out of the presidential oath, this case was thrown out on an unfortunate, though needed, procedural technicality. Last week, the case was tossed for lack of standing -– because providing the taxes to pay for the building isn’t enough — FFRF had failed to show that it had been or would be injured by the existence of the engravings.
The judge in this case didn’t rule on the merits, but I will.
At the moment, this lawsuit is premature. Say what you want about references to God in our nation’s government documents, but at issue in this case is a depiction of an established (though, yes, extremely offensive) mainstay of America. The engravings reflect the current state of our national motto, our money and our pledge. FFRF and others should wait until they have successfully eliminated God from the pledge and money before going after the folks who chiseled it into a wall.
And while it doesn’t seem like lawsuits that get to the root of the problem ever do any good, there are victories. One success I know of — because my mother was directly involved with the issue — happened in 2004 when the Los Angeles County seal was redesigned to remove a cross representing LA’s history with Catholic missionaries. They also removed a depiction of a pagan goddess. You can read about that here and here.
Keep up the fight, FFRF, just keep your priorities in order.