Americans United for Separation of Church and State

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Church State Issues

Suit to purge 'under God' from pledge is over

Apr 15, 2015

Arizona Republic

Sounds like the 1st Amendment is just a worthless piece of paper to be used as toilet paper by our govenrment masters.

How would Christians feel if they had to recite a pledge that said "One nation under Allah", "One nation under Buddha", "One nation under Krishna", "One nation under Zeus" or "One atheist nation with no gods"

The 'under God' in the pledge is clearly designed to force the Christian God on Americans and should be removed.

Personally I refuse to say the pledge or even stand for it. I am not going swear loyalty to any govenrment.

On the other hand on a daily basis our government masters should be forced to swear to obey both the US Constitution and the Arizona Constitution. Something they just don't seem to get.


Suit to purge 'under God' from pledge is over

Kathleen Hopkins, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press 10 a.m. MST April 14, 2015

FREEHOLD, N.J. — The failed legal battle to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily in the Matawan-Aberdeen, N.J., school district is over, the district's attorney said.

The 45-day time frame for the American Humanist Association to file an appeal of a Monmouth County Superior Court judge's decision dismissing the association's lawsuit has expired without an appeal being filed, said David Rubin, the school district's attorney.

"The time for the filing of an appeal has passed, and no appeal has been filed, so this case is over," said Rubin, who defended the school district's right to keep the words "under God" in the pledge recited daily in its middle school, high school and five elementary schools.

Merrill Miller, spokeswoman for the American Humanist Association, confirmed that.

"No, we are not filing an appeal," she said.

The American Humanist Association, an organization that works to protect the rights of atheists and other non-religious groups, filed the lawsuit last year on behalf of an unnamed family with a child in the school system. The lawsuit claimed that the practice of acknowledging God in the pledge discriminated against atheists, in violation of New Jersey's constitution. Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman in February ruled that it did not, after the school district went to court to get the lawsuit dismissed.

Rubin said he had expected an appeal of Bauman's decision.

"We are pleasantly surprised," he said. "We had anticipated this group intended to make a test case out of this and send it up the appellate ladder."

Rubin had argued in court last year that the school district was merely following a state law that requires recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the state's public schools. He also argued the law does not violate the constitution because it does not require individual students to participate in reciting the pledge.

The American Humanist Association's attorney, David Niose, argued that the requirement to recite the pledge is "divisive" in that it paints those who choose not to participate or say the words "under God" as second-class citizens.

Bauman, in his written opinion, noted the nation was founded on a belief in God.

"The words 'under God' are now as interwoven through the fabric of the Pledge of Allegiance as the threads of red, white and blue into the fabric of the flag to which the pledge is recited," Bauman wrote. "As a matter of historical tradition, the words 'under God' can no more be expunged from the national consciousness than the words, 'In God We Trust' from every coin in the land, than the words 'so help me God' from every presidential oath since 1789, or than the prayer that has opened every congressional session of legislative business since 1787."

He said the pledge, in its historical context, has never been viewed as a religious exercise, but one that transmits "core values of duty, honor, pride and fidelity to country."

The American Humanist Association had noted in its suit that the pledge did not always contain the words "under God," and that the words were added during the McCarthy era.

Bauman's ruling represented the second time a state court thwarted the American Humanist Association's attempts to remove "under God" from the pledge. The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled last year that recitation of the pledge is not discriminatory because it is voluntary.

Miller referred questions about why the American Humanist Association opted not to file an appeal in the New Jersey case to Niose. Attempts to reach Niose on Monday were unsuccessful.