New Jersey teenager Samantha Jones loves the Pledge of Allegiance, particularly, the phrase "under God." So when a group of parents challenged the phrase in court, arguing that it's discriminatory, Samantha went to work. Recruiting some help from a couple of conservative and Christian organizations, she fought the challenge, and she won. Friday, a New Jersey judge dismissed the lawsuit that challenged the phrase "under God," Fox News is reporting.
The legal challenge to the Pledge of Allegiance's phrasing began in February 2014, when two parents, identified in court papers only as John and Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District, alleging that the phrase "under God" violated Article 1 of New Jersey's constitution. The American Humanist Association represented the unnamed family.
Samantha Jones, who didn't attend any school in the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District, was having none of that.
"Ever since I was little, I've recited the Pledge of Allegiance because it sums up the values that make our country great. The phrase 'under God' protects all Americans -- including atheists --because it reminds the government that it can't take away basic human rights because it didn't create them."
With help from the Becket Fund For Religious Liberty, the Knights of Columbus, and the American Legion, the New Jersey teen mounted her own challenge to the lawsuit, saying that she refused to be "silenced" by atheists.
"By suing to censor ideas they don't like in the classroom, the American Humanist Association moved from dissent to hostile bullying."
On Friday, State Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman dismissed the lawsuit, giving a victory to the teenager who challenged it. In his ruling, via USA Today, Bauman wrote that the phrase "Under God" is an integral part of the Pledge.
"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."
Samantha was overjoyed by the ruling.
"I'm so grateful the court decided that kids like me shouldn't be silenced just because some people object to timeless American values."
The phrase "under God" was not originally a part of the Pledge of Allegiance, according to this Inquisitr report. While the Pledge itself dates to 1892, the words "under God" weren't officially added until 1954, at the height of the Red Scare, as part of an effort to differentiate God-fearing Americans from their atheist, Communist enemies in Russia.
Do you believe the words "under God" should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Community Table]