Tags: Religion | lawsuit | pledge | under god | tossed | judge

NJ Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against 'Under God' in Pledge

By    |   Saturday, 07 Feb 2015 02:47 PM

A New Jersey school district that was sued by atheists who objected to the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance can keep the reference to the almighty in place now that a state judge has thrown out the case, the Asbury Park Press reports.

The lawsuit filed last March by the American Humanist Association on behalf of an anonymous plaintiff was dismissed in a ruling made public on Friday by a New Jersey Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman.

The lawsuit demanded that Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District officials delete "under God" from the Pledge because it "marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots."

Bauman ruled the wording does not violate individuals' rights under the New Jersey Constitution and, in his written decision, "noted that the nation was founded on a belief in God," the Asbury Park Press reports.

"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 also wrote that the daily Pledge is "entirely voluntary," and that the unnamed child who was the plaintiff did not appear to be under pressure by the school to recite it or explain the objection.

The school district's attorney, David Rubin, applauded the decision as "an affirmation of our current practices, which we feel [are] adequate to protect the rights of all students, including those who choose not to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance."

But Rubin also told the Park Press that he is bracing for an appeal, although the American Humanist Association did not disclose its intentions in a press release criticizing the decision.

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A New Jersey school district that was sued by atheists who objected to the phrase under God in the Pledge of Allegiance can keep the reference to the almighty in place now that a state judge has thrown out the case, the Asbury Park Press reports.
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2015-47-07
Saturday, 07 Feb 2015 02:47 PM
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