News Articles

Pledge plaintiff accused of perjury

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The California plaintiff who filed suit against the Pledge of Allegiance committed perjury, according to reports in several media outlets.

Michael A. Newdow “lied to the court under oath,” Austin Miles, a chaplain and college instructor in northern California wrote in a column carried by ASSIST News Service and Crosswalk.com.

According to Miles and reports carried on the websites of WorldNetDaily, the homeschool news site www.cpinews.net and Christianity Today and over the Fox News channel, Newdow was untruthful in alleging that his 8-year-old daughter had been “injured” by Pledge of Allegiance recitations in her elementary school declaring that the United States is “one nation under God.”

Newdow’s daughter and ex-wife, in actuality, are members of an evangelical church in California, Calvary Chapel of Laguna Creek in Elk Grove — and they have no objection to the Pledge of Allegiance, according to the news reports.

Chuck Smith, leader of the Calvary Chapel movement in Santa Ana, Calif., told a Sunday night congregation there June 30 that Newdow’s claims of harm to his daughter are “totally false. She loves the Lord,” cpinews.net reported July 1.

Smith noted “that this whole suit was filed on a totally false premise.”

The pastor also stated, “The little girl, over whom the suit was filed, happens to attend Calvary Chapel in Elk Grove. She is Christian, her mother is a Christian.”

Baptist Press confirmed Smith’s comments in a call to the Santa Ana church July 9.

The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit apparently accepted Newdow’s allegations without questioning their validity.

In their June 26 ruling against the Pledge of Allegiance, the three federal judges stated that Newdow “claims that his daughter is injured when she is compelled to ‘watch and listen as her state-employed teacher in her state-run school leads her classmates in a ritual proclaiming that there is a God, and that our’s [sic] is ‘one nation under God.'”

After that quotation, the panel proceeded to spin out its stance against the pledge in 30 pages of legal argumentation. Facing a nationwide firestorm of protest, the court blocked its ruling the next day, June 27, to permit the full court’s 28 judges to weigh in on the matter.

The mother and daughter pleaded with Newdow, a 49-year-old emergency room physician and lawyer in Sacramento, not to file the suit against the Pledge of Allegiance, cpinews.net and WorldNetDaily reported.

Newdow, in an interview with Fox News, acknowledged that his daughter had been voluntarily saying the Pledge of Allegiance in her second-grade class in the Elk Grove (Calif.) school district. “This is more about me than her,” he told Fox. “I’d like to keep her out of this.”

To the Associated Press, Newdow asserted, “It’s my parental right to keep the government off my child.”

In a June 27 USA Today article, Newdow asserted that his daughter and other family members had faced threats because of his suit, but he declined to talk further about his daughter, except that she was “in a safe place.”

A July 1 New York Times feature about Newdow did not explore his daughter’s stance. The article, however, described Newdow as an atheist and the “founding minister” of “the First Amendment Church of True Science.”

The Times article dealt at length with Newdow’s anger over divorce cases involving custody and child support focusing on “the best interests of the child.” He told The Times, “I could go on about family law for days. … You want to do a real story? Do it on the family courts. They steal people’s children based on absolutely nothing. They take the most important people in a child’s life and make them go away. …”

Austin Miles, in his column, wrote, “The public must demand that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco charge Michael Newdow with perjury and punish him to the full extent of the law. The law applies to everyone, even liberals.”

Perjury statutes are necessary, Miles noted, “to keep our legal system workable.”

Newdow’s daughter “was not emotionally injured or damaged in any way as falsely claimed by her absent father, Michael Newdow, in order to deceive the court into making this insane ruling,” Miles wrote. “Furthermore, Newdow stated this over CNN: ‘The only way I could file this case was to use my daughter as a hook.'” Miles noted the 8-year-old is “a daughter [Newdow] was separated from, and a daughter who, with her mother, disagrees with her father’s actions and atheism.”

“The courts of America have been swift to apply the laws of perjury,” Miles stated. “This infamous case, which has outraged most Americans — even more so due to the fraudulent manner in which this case was brought to the court — dictates that perjury charges be filed against Newdow.”

The text of the Ninth Circuit’s Pledge of Allegiance ruling can be accessed on the Internet at http://news.findlaw.com/usatoday/docs/conlaw/newdowus62602opn.pdf.