The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag is once again under legal threat by atheists who seem to have a phobia against the mention of God in the classroom or in public meetings.
The latest attack on the Pledge is taking place in Massachusetts. In 2010, an anonymous atheist couple sued to have “under God” removed from the Pledge because it prevented their children from saying it.
The lawsuit claims that children who don’t say the Pledge are vilified and discriminated against by the state. According to the atheists’ lawyer, the Pledge promotes the idea that patriots are only people who believe in God. The reciting of the Pledge is voluntary, but the atheists claim that their child is being treated unequally when forced to listen to the words “under God.”
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, one of the most liberal in the U.S., is deciding the case.
The words “under God” have been repeatedly attacked by atheists – and they have lost repeatedly – even at the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco.
But this case is slightly different than previous ones. It is not being argued as a church/state issue. This new case claims that the words “under God” violate “equal protection” and “non-discrimination clauses” in the Constitution. The atheists claim that their rights to equal protection are violated every time they are required to hear the words “under God.”
As David Niose, attorney for the atheists and president of the Secular Coalition of America explains it: “We have constitutional protections demanding equality. The state statute that requires daily recitation – sponsored by school, led by teacher – of the Pledge of Allegiance, obviously discriminates against atheist and humanist children. On a daily basis, you’re having patriotism defined and having children indoctrinated in way that exalts one religious group and marginalizes atheists and humanists.”
We’ll have more on this case ….
Recommended Reading: Buy a copy of The Pledge: One Nation Under God by William J. Murray to learn about the history of The Pledge of Allegiance and about the legal challenges to “under God” in past legal cases. Learn also about the history of God in America’s founding and the importance of religious liberty in American history. Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.