San Antonio Man Sues Government to Give Women Back Their First Amendment Rights

According to an interview in the San Antonio Current, resident David Dornak is filing a lawsuit against the U.S. District Court, the state of Texas, and Bexar County in order to remove references of God in a "public context." The lawsuit brings back the long debated argument of religion in government; it follows the 2011 resolution of "In God We Trust" as the national motto.

Dornak says of the issue, "I don't care what you believe, as long as you keep it out of our government, you keep it out of our courts, you keep it off our money." 

He cites that to do any differently is a violation of the First Amendment. The amendment itself begins by stating, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ...." Things get a little sticky when resolutions (not laws) are passed that establish a national motto that is definitely religious (even though it does not specify exactly which religion and which God is the one in which we trust).

According to the Huffington Post Obama was quick to chasten Congress on the frivolity of the 'In God We Trust' resolution passed by the House last year saying, "In the House of Representatives, what have you guys been doing, John? ... I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work." With respect to all of the other problems the country is currently facing, the God debate can seem frivolous;  it isn't going to do much for job creation or to help the economy. But in light of Dornak's suit and the seeming religious-based attacks on women's healthcare, the old conversation is worth revisiting.

Earlier this month, ThinkProgress documented a spending bill released by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) that would allow "any issuer or sponsor of a group health insurance plan to refuse to cover any health care service on the basis of religious beliefs or moral convictions.” There has been ample push back from groups like Planned Parenthood against this type of legislation, but the sheer volume of these sorts of bills presented in recent months is worrisome. Many cite "moral" or "religious" reasons for inhibiting health care offered to women, and are met with praise from organizations like Kansans for Life on the passage of H Sub 62.

With the new-found push for legislation that uncharacteristically brings religion into the lives of United States citizens (most notably in the form of health care restrictions), isn't it worth reconsidering how much we allow our government to be dominated by religious discourse? With this in mind, Dornak's goals seem a little more important; especially in the wake that this year's election news cycle leaves behind.