Michael Newdow says he is an atheist, but what he best exemplifies is Oscar Wilde’s definition of a cynic: A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Truth is that, more than an atheist, Newdow seems to be a secular fundamentalist–someone intent on ridding American public life of anything he perceives as even vaguely religious. He’s a secularist Savonarola.
The problem with that is that “isms” have a way of blinding their adherents to other important realities–and to the larger effects of their battles. That looks to be what happened with Michael Newdow in this case.
He saw the “price” that his daughter was forced to pay–a trivial one to everybody but him. He failed to appreciate the value of a serious, sincere separation of church and state, and how it might be diminished by the backlash to his frivolity.
My brother noted in blog that the first ammendment prohibits the ‘establishment’ of religion, not the exposure of religion. It’s so sad that people like him don’t see the ‘price’ they make other people pay for their frivolous actions.