Cartoon Confab: Atheist Who Tried to Change Pledge Addresses Meeting

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By: Dave Astor

Michael Newdow, who unsuccessfully tried to get the words “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, may have received a little more support from cartoonists than he did from elected officials.

“No politician will ever come to my side,” Newdow told attendees at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention. “You can’t go against God in this country.”

After he spoke Thursday, Newdow was asked by E&P how cartoonists treated his efforts. The physician/lawyer replied that he only saw a few cartoons about his Pledge of Allegiance case, with about half of them showing at least some sympathy for his cause.

During his talk, Newdow spoke about how the United States was founded with the idea that it “should stay out of the religion business.” For instance, he said George Washington never said “so help me God” when he took the oath of office as the nation’s first president. That was first done by Warren Harding in 1921, Newdow noted.

Newdow was introduced by Steve Benson of The Arizona Republic in Phoenix and United Media. The editorial cartoonist described the speaker as a “pain in the backside of the fundamentalist fringe.”

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