So Help Me God: NorCal Atheist Targets Inauguration

Atheist attempt to cut God from inauguration

The northern California atheist who has fought to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance has joined a lawsuit seeking to remove all religious references from President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

Michael Newdow, from Sacramento, believes government references to God or religion are unconstitutional.

He wants to remove the phrase "so help me God" from the oath of office, noting that it isn't in the oath set out in the Constitution. The lawsuit also seeks to block inaugural prayers by the Rev. Rick Warren and the Rev. Joseph Lowery.

He filed a lawsuit Tuesday in D.C.

Newdow sued to remove religion from inaugurations in 2001 and 2005 but lost both cases.

This time, he's joining 17 other plaintiffs, including atheist and humanist organizations.

"Equality is important to me," Newdow told The Examiner. "We should show equal respects for all of our citizens, regardless of their race, gender or religion."

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