Saturday, August 02, 2008

Pledge of Allegiance news

A new documentary has been completed on the Michael Newdow case in which he challenged the words “under God” being in the Pledge of Allegiance. The documentary follows Newdow, starting after he won in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It also touches on other recent cases concerning the separation of church and state.

Pledge of Allegiance Blues is the filmmaking effort of writer/producer/director Lisa Seidenberg. Her non-confrontational style is perfect for getting her subjects to simply be themselves and give her statements from the heart, rather than the political talking points you might expect with such controversial material.

This is a movie that any atheist or secularist will probably be glad they saw, though it leaves one with a distinct sense of the enormity of trying to push America back towards the more secular beginnings that the Founders had envisioned. Clearly the vast majority favors keeping their Lord close to their politics. One thing is quite obvious – those who want America to become the secular nation it was meant to be are completely at the mercy of the Supreme Court, as the will of the popular majority is impossible to overcome in the near future.

Michael Newdow comes off as a bit of a narcissist, but in an endearing sense. He has the requisite self deprecation to pull it off. And there is no question that he is a deeply intelligent man, even while clowning for the camera. The title of the movie comes from one of the many songs Newdow wrote and sings. Questioned on his motivations, he wonders – who cares? The issue is clear, whatever anyone wants to think of his personal agenda. Having the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance is contrary to the Constitution.

Interviews with Alan Dershowitz, Larry Flynt, Sandy Rios, Rob Schenck and many others give insights to the thoughts of all sides. It’s difficult to watch Seidenberg’s documentary without concluding that Newdow is right, even if he went about it the wrong way. Ultimately, the Supreme Court left the case without a ruling. They determined that as the non-custodial parent of the daughter who Newdow filed suit on behalf of, he lacked legal standing. It’s curious that the Court allowed the case to go as far as it did before annulling standing for Newdow. If there was lack of standing, couldn’t this have been determined prior to arguments? In any case, this leaves the issue to be revisited in the future. The news is that the future is upon us, as Newdow is now representing several parents in a similar suit and they do indeed have standing.

(Distributed by Alive Minds Media)

14 comments:

The Exterminator said...

How did you get to see the film? More important, how can we get to see the film? This doesn't sound like the type of movie shown in my local theaters -- unless it has a car chase in it, which I doubt.

John Evo said...

Ex, I received a request from the distributors to watch and review the video . I imagine that they will do some sort of limited distribution, maybe in art house theaters. I'm guessing that it would then go into general video release. Or maybe they will just go straight to video. If nothing else it should be available on Netflix, Blockbuster, etc. before long. There were no car chases, but did I mention the part where Scalia was MIA? He recused himself from the case. Apparently he is so close to the lord that he knew it was a conflict of interest. Either that or the Scalia Family has major flag dealership.

PhillyChief said...

I think I'm more interested in the sequel.

the chaplain said...

I think I'm more interested in the sequel.

Nah. Sequels almost always suck.

PhillyChief said...

Empire Strikes Back

Prash said...

I wish I could see this movie. The part of the world where I live, I doubt such movies will ever be released.

John Evo said...

Prash - don't you live in Hong Kong? I thought they were fairly westernized in their thinking?

Anyway, all parts of the world can change. It's going to take a lot more time in fundamentalist countries though.

DB said...

Perhaps if those "clinging to their religion" (tm barakobama.com) would realize the reasons "Under God" was added to the pledge they might even agree that the motto is rather petty and silly. Anyone who knows the history understands that is was a classic case of "proving how Christian we are"? in Congress when there was many questions about communists on Congress. Much like pinning the "unpatriotic" slogan on liberals, this was a quite simlar attempt to demonize dissent. But you guys all know this. But the point is that maybe we don't point this out enough.

John Evo said...

DB - I think you're right. I still meet and argue with people who honestly think that taking "god" out of the Pledge would be to change the original Pledge! Many are unaware of the "communist link" and that we have only had "god" in the Pledge for a little over 50 years.

PhillyChief said...

And since doing so, we haven't won a war. Share that with those morons. We defeated those occult/christian fascists in Europe and those heretical Japanese without god on our money or in our Pledge. Stick god in and we can't even defeat some people scurrying around in the jungle and through tunnels in their pajamas AND we can't catch some guy with questionable grooming standards who lives in caves wearing a bathrobe. Yeah, that god sure is reigning down his grace, huh?

Brendan said...

And speaking of fetishizing the flag, have you all seen Pledge of a Lesion?

Courtney said...

Hi Everyone,

I'm glad to hear that you guys are interested in this film.

It is not available in retail but if you would like to get your own copy you can purchase it (and learn more) at...
Pledge of Allegiance Blues on Alive Mind
or at...
Pledge of Allegiance Blues On Secular Philosophy

Hope you enjoy it, I know I certainly did!

EnoNomi said...

John Evo said...
Ex, I received a request from the distributors to watch and review the video..

How in the hell do you get that gig? I want that!

John Evo said...

@ Eno - I wish it were a gig! I could do this once a week.

I have occasionally used the blog to review movies and books. I guess I got on a list somewhere. I have no idea otherwise why they would have contacted me.