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Monday, February 16, 2009

Mike Newdow is Doing My Theme Song, etc.

Hello.  I would like to echo Dan's Happy Valentine's Day or Not message.  Unlike Dan, though, I didn't get to the movie theater.  Indeed, the last time I actually saw a movie in a theater was about a year ago when I saw the awful "21" in the theater on the bottom floor of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw.  I did rent Miranda July's "Me and You and Everyone We Know" and I have to say that I've since been wondering whether I want to live in a world where that movie did not get nominated for best picture.

I would also like to apologize for falling down on my guest blogging duties and being silent for a while.  I was busy giving talks on evolution-related topics at Liberty University and West Virginia University, where the faculty I must say consists of some of the friendliest and funniest people I've ever met in legal academia (or anywhere else, really).

I have an announcement regarding my book that leads to a general question.  I'm delighted to say that Mike Newdow, the guy who sued (successfully, for a time) to have "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, and who is also a musician in addition to being a lawyer and a doctor, has agreed to write and perform the theme song for my book Holy Hullabaloos.  I'm a big fan of Mike's, and I think he gets a bad rap in the media.  If you go to his website, I think you can tell that he's not interested in anything like establishing an atheist country; he simply wants the government to stop discriminating against atheists like him (and me).  You can also buy some of his very funny (to me, anyway) CDs, of which I own and enjoy two.  My question, I guess, is am I wrong about Mike?  What do people in law school and the academy think of him?  Isn't he just a guy who is standing up for the rights of a minority?  Don't we generally approve of that sort of thing?

Posted by Jay Wexler on February 16, 2009 at 10:43 AM in Jay Wexler | Permalink

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Comments

I am not an atheist. I am also a big fan of Mike Newdow. He is probably one of the smartest people I have heard speak on this issue and he presents his arguments in a logical step-by-step fashion that causes even the most ardent believer to ponder the issue.

Posted by: Jennifer | Feb 18, 2009 8:47:02 AM

You are correct in your assessment: he is an intelligent man who is doing something important, and he has a good sense of absurdity. His sense of humor and mix of serious/comedy is unsettling to law professor types, and his avowed atheism makes them uncomfortable since they hate to take stances. So that is why he is disfavored in the legal academy.

Posted by: Cynical | Feb 16, 2009 9:56:41 PM

I went to a speech he gave in college and was impressed. He seemed thoughtful as well as intelligent. Of course, I'm an atheist too.

I think we're still at a place in this country where someone who proudly and publicly states that he is an atheist is viewed as more than a little crazy, regardless of the actual substance of his views. Our tolerance for people who aren't religious tends to stop short of people who actually state that they don't believe in a god or gods and who advocate policy that is neutral towards that belief. We'll extend it to people who say "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual," and things of that nature, but not much past it. And we expect that the latter group is perfectly comfortable with ceremonial deism of the sort Newdow opposes.

Posted by: anon | Feb 16, 2009 11:56:31 AM

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