On September 4th the Massachusetts Supreme Court will hear arguments in a suit that seeks to remove the phrase “under God” from the Pledge Of Allegiance. The case was brought on behalf of a Massachusetts family with children enrolled in public schools. The Christian Post reports:
Brought by the American Humanist Association, the suit alleges that the pledge’s “Under God” phrase excludes non-theists and violates their equal protection under law. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing the defendants, as they have in previous lawsuits against the “under God” phrase. Roy Speckhardt, executive director for the American Humanist Association, told The Christian Post that the focus of the lawsuit on this issue contrasts with previous suits filed.
“Instead of focusing on the pledge as being a violation of the First Amendment guarantee of no government establishment of religion, we are primarily arguing that the pledge violates our right to equal protection under the law,” said Speckhardt. “It makes us appear as second class citizens just because we believe something different from the majority.” The case is being handled by the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, which is the legal arm of the American Humanist Association.
“Under God” was added to the Pledge during the Cold War in 1954 as a statement against the officially atheist Soviet Union. Previous suits to remove the phrase have all failed.