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Immigrant Files Suit Against US Claiming Citizenship Oath Violates Religious Freedom

There are ways to make sure you blend in quite well with your new surroundings, and there are ways not to. Filing suit against your new surroundings on questionable grounds falls into the latter category.

Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo, an atheist French national and green-card holder, has been living in Massachusetts since 2000. She really wants to become a US citizen, but she claims that she can’t. So what’s the holdup?

The citizenship oath contains the phrase ‘so help me God,’ and this is apparently too much for her to bear. She’s gone ahead and filed a lawsuit that claims the citizenship oath violates her religious freedom.

So wasn’t there some kind of workaround before this became such a thing? There was, but the woman felt the need to make it into one anyway.

As the Independent Journal Review shares, Perrier-Bilbo was given the opportunity to use a modified oath or participate in a private citizenship ceremony. For most folks, that would seem to be a fantastic solution, and they would proceed to be quite thankful that such accommodations were granted to them.

That wasn’t the case for Perrier-Bilbo, as she decided she needed to file a lawsuit anyway.

“By its very nature, an oath that concludes 'so help me God' is asserting that God exists,” the lawsuit reads in part.

“Accordingly, the current oath violates the first ten words of the Bill of Rights, and to participate in a ceremony which violates that key portion of the United States Constitution is not supporting or defending the Constitution as the oath demands.”

Alright. To recap, we have a woman that desires US citizenship, but she has a problem with some phrasing that would allow her to achieve that goal.

Rather than accepting the more than accommodating workaround that has been offered up to her, she has chosen to take the case to court on the grounds that the Constitution is somehow being used haphazardly because there’s a word that she doesn’t want to say in the oath. Makes perfect sense.

The woman’s lawyer, Michael Newdow, is also an atheist, and he’s noted for having a predilection towards cases that involve God, including his attempts to have the Pledge of Allegiance rewritten.

“The 'In G-d We Trust' phrase has continued to be a tool used to perpetuate favoritism for (Christian) Monotheism,” that suit read in part. “It has also continued to perpetuate anti-Atheistic bias.”

While that sounds laughable as well, he was able to drag that one all the way to the US Supreme Court before it was finally thrown out. It’s unclear if this one will make it anywhere near that far, but Newdow has plenty of arguments designed to waste time at the ready.

For his current client's case, he’s quick to point out that the phrase “sends the ancillary message to members of the audience that disbelieve in God that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to those that believe in God that they are insiders, favored members of the political community.”

Source: Independent Journal Review
Photo: YouTube

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