First, read this excerpt from a story about a person becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen:
Dozens of local residents were sworn in Friday as naturalized U.S. citizens, but one of the new Americans insisted on taking a special oath, one that removed all references to God.
Thomas Kaenzig says he left his native Switzerland because of religious persecution. He had to file a lawsuit in federal court to get the attention of immigration officials concerning the oath new citizens must take.
Federal officials agreed to change the oath to accommodate his beliefs. Kaenzig knows his decision will tick off a lot of people but he thinks it shouldn’t.
And this one:
Believe it or not, Kaenzig isn’t a “pure” atheist (not by my standards, anyway). He’s a Raelian. (Raelians = Cult folk who years ago said they cloned a human.)
“The rules say people can modify the oath, especially the ‘bearing arms’ or ‘so help me God’ parts,” Kaenzig explained. “But to my knowledge, I’m the first to refuse taking part in the public ceremony because the religious reference made by the judge violates separation of church and state. They approved my personal oath change. But I still didn’t want to take part in a ceremony where a public official makes a religious reference. Finally, they offered to let me take my oath in the judge’s office, with just me, the judge, the court clerk and a representative from immigration services present — and with no religious reference made by the judge. I said OK.”
That is, he doesn’t believe in God, but he does believe that life was created by a race of extraterrestrials.
(Which, when you think about it, makes as much sense as the Christian Creation myth.)
Good for him for following through on getting a special oath, though.
He was assisted in the case by Michael Newdow, the atheist famous for trying to get “Under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance.