Inaugural Prayer

Atheist sues to prevent prayer at Bush inauguration

Atheist Michael Newdow has filed a federal lawsuit to bar the saying of a prayer at President Bush's upcoming inauguration. Newdow notes that two ministers, the Reverend Franklin Graham and the Reverend Kirbyjon Caldwell, delivered Christian invocations at Bush's first inaugural ceremony in 2001. The Inaugural '05 Web site says, "A minister chosen by the President will deliver an invocation" before Bush takes the oath of office two weeks from now. Newdow says that's unconstitutional and is seeking an expedited hearing of his case. Michael Newdow also has refiled his lawsuit over the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance -- this time with co-plaintiffs whose standing won't be an issue. Newdow's case was rejected by the Supreme Court last year because he lacks custody of his daughter.