Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Here's an easy, step-by-step way to write your personal declaration...

Updated as of Mon. Feb. 23, 7:53 PM EST


STEP 1: Copy and paste the template shown immediately below onto a blank page in any major word processing program. (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf, and .txt files preferred, but use whatever you have)

(you may add more paragraphs or delete inapplicable ones, but please number the paragraphs consecutively--this is an update from earlier instructions--earlier plaintiffs, don't worry, your submissions are okay)


I, (insert your name), declare as follows:

1. I am a citizen of the United States and a resident of the State of ___________.

2. I am a member of (insert the names of any relevant national, state, or local organizations, such as Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Humanist Association, Pennsylvania Nonbelievers, Mayberry Atheists, etc. and, if applicable, any official positions you may hold in those organizations) . [If you are not a member of any organization, that's fine, just delete this paragraph!]

3. I consider myself a (insert "atheist", "humanist", whatever you use to describe your perspective).

4. I have (insert, for example, "watched the inaugurations of 1989, 1993, and 2005 on television at my home, and I watched the inauguration of 2001 in person in Washington, DC"--use your best recollection and try to mention specific years.)

5. I watched the 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama (insert, for example, "live on television at my home, and later on the Internet", or however you witnessed the event).

6. As I watched this inauguration, I (insert your personal reaction to this event--Please stay focused on the specific inauguration issues--Roberts and the oath, the clergy and the prayers--and don't stray into areas that are not the subject of this case. Since President Obama is not named in this case, please do not focus totally on what he said, but rather, on what Roberts and the clergy said. Also, please, no general rants about Faith Based Initiatives, other church/state issues, or former presidents from Texas.)

(If you didn't see or hear the inauguration, say why.)

7. Being (insert age) years old, I expect to witness (insert estimated number) future inaugurations during my lifetime. (remember--it's number of inaugurations--every 4 years, NOT the number of years you expect to live)

8. (IMPORTANT! If you have minor children and wish to mention them, their reactions, your concerns, etc., please do so and tell us if they saw the inauguration with you. Also let us know their ages and if they will be under age 18 when they view the next inauguration in 2013. In addition , insert here any thoughts about *HOW* you believe their viewing/hearing the "so help me God" and clergy-led prayer will/could adversely affect them. You do not need to name the children, but if you wish to, please email newdow.plaintiffs@verizon.net and alert us.)

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed on February (insert the date you submitted the file and signed the hard copy), 2009.

[leave space for signature on hard copy]

(Insert your typed name and address)


STEP 2: After you paste it into the word processor, insert the information requested, based on YOUR personal inauguration experiences. Feel free to add more relevant detail, if you wish, but please keep it all under one page.

STEP 3: When you are satisfied, SAVE the file to your computer, before you forget. (.doc, .rtf, .txt, and .pdf formats preferred, other formats might cause delay--especially .odt!)

Now, click HERE to find out how to print and submit your declaration.