The Pledge of Allegiance is recited in classrooms across the nation every morning, and now its being put under review in the Massachusetts Supreme Court because of the words “Under God.”
According to CNN, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts will hear arguments on Wednesday seeking removal of the two words for a new reason: discrimination.
Fox News reported that a Massachusetts atheist couple have challenged the required recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in school – specifically the phrase, “under God.”
CNN continues on to say that the case will be argued on the premise that the pledge violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution.
This is the first such case to be tried on the state level, CNN noting that all previous attempts have been argued in federal court on the grounds that “under God” was an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state.
“They’re grasping at straws” said Eric Rassbach of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the attorney arguing to leave the pledge as it is. “They know they would lose again if they tried it under the First Amendment, so now they are trying a new tack.”
Roy Speckhardt, the executive director of the American Humanist Association, an atheist group arguing for the plaintiffs. “We feel very confident that we have a strong case.”
Speckhardt continues on to say, “The opt-out itself is exclusionary and unpleasant” he said. “Children are left with a bad choice: either stand up and recite something against your beliefs, or opt out and be ostracized.”
Will this new route lead to changes and remove “under god” from being said in Massachusetts school rooms? Rassbach doesn’t think so.
“I think there is a reason why they chose this court” Rassbach said. “But the law is the law, and I think the court will decide that this is not discrimination, but a disagreement.”