Atheist parents sue school for ‘under God’ pledge ‘discrimination’

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Atheist parents upset children are exposed to "under God" phrase during pledge of allegiance. Photo By USAG- Humphreys via StockPholio.com

Atheist parents upset children are exposed to “under God” phrase during pledge of allegiance. Photo By USAG- Humphreys via StockPholio.com

An Atheist family in New Jersey is suing the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District because they feel their Atheist children’s rights are being trampled upon because they’re exposed to the phrase “under God” during the pledge of allegiance, according to KSDK on Tuesday.

The anonymous plaintiffs claim their Atheist children are being discriminated against when reciting the pledge of alliance, during the point in which the class recites the phrase “under God.”

The plaintiff’s lawsuit claims the “under God” phrase “marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots.”

David Noise, legal director of the American Humanist Association (a secular organization) criticized the pledge of allegiance saying, “Children are taught that patriotism is defined a certain way. They’re taught to associate belief in God with patriot feelings. Certainly, with that being taught, the atheists look like an outsider. The atheist is stigmatized.”

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Lawyer David Rubin, who represents the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in New Jersey, says that kids are not forced to recite any of the pledge of allegiance, either in part or in whole, although New Jersey law requires schools to recite the pledge each morning. Rubin says individuals can opt out.

A similar case is currently being litigated in Massachusetts. The American Humanist Association says the outcome of that case will determine how they proceed in other cases throughout the U.S..

 

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  • frankyburns

    The Christian Golden rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Too bad they don’t apply it. If they did, 99% of the comments I see from them would be eliminated. They don’t stop to think, “supposed it was a group of people or lawmakers who inserted a religious phrase into the pledge that my conscience would not allow me to recite? Would I stand reverently and just not say those few words, “pretending” to follow along? Is it fair for them to make me abstain from a national pledge, because they want their religious content in there? Government should be about inclusion and working together for earthly causes. It is not about religious division into factions. The very fact that you are taking sides shows that you don’t get this concept. A loss from the get go. The best thing is to eliminate all religious content, and if you want to be religious do it on your own time, it is not something to mandate through your government. I’m sure your God would agree — he said “Do not take my name in vain.” And here you are working hard to foster precisely that.