That’s right… the small percentage of those who don’t believe in God are on the attack against the vast majority who do. This time, the target is the Pledge of Allegiance which is being recited by students in the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in New Jersey. I guess it doesn’t matter that reciting the pledge is optional, because these folks want it gone… for everyone.
As reported by the Asbury Park Press, “A family is suing the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District and its superintendent, seeking to have the phrase “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance that students recite every day.”
The family, with the help of the American Humanist Association is actually claiming that the pledge is discriminatory. That’s right. The optional Pledge of Allegiance discriminates against atheists… according to them.
But the school district’s attorney says the district is simply following a state law that requires pupils to recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily.
“All we are doing is abiding by requirements of state law, we and approximately 590 other school districts in the state,” said the attorney, David Rubin, to whom Schools Superintendent David M. Healy referred questions about the lawsuit.
“If the group who’s brought this lawsuit questions the wisdom of that policy or the legality of it, we believe their arguments are much better directed to the state Legislature who’s imposed this requirement on us, rather than suing an individual school district on this matter,” Rubin said.
News 12 in New Jersey talked more with Rubin, who represents the school district in this case.
“We are disappointed that this national organization has targeted Matawan-Aberdeen for merely obeying the law as it stands,” he says. “Instead of directing their arguments to the state, which has imposed this statutory requirement on all 590 school districts … they are forcing one district to divert time, energy and resources from the education of its students to defend this case.”
Rubin says individual students do not have to participate.
The report brings up a point that seems to be forgotten each time one of these ridiculous lawsuits is brought forward: over and over again, “federal courts have upheld the constitutionality of reciting the pledge, as long as non-believers can ‘opt out.'”
USA Today delves into the complaint that was filed against the school district.
But the lawsuit alleges that the daily recitation of the pledge in the school district “publicly disparages plaintiffs’ religious beliefs, calls plaintiffs’ patriotism into question, portrays plaintiffs as outsiders and second-class citizens, and forces (the child) to choose between nonparticipation in a patriotic exercise or participation in a patriotic exercise that is invidious to him and his religious class.”
The daily affirmation of God in public schools reinforces a prejudice against atheists and Humanists, the suit said. The suit claims that studies show atheists are the most disliked and distrusted minority group in the country, ranking below recent immigrants, Muslims and gays.
And so the battle goes on. The problem is that too many times, people just roll over and let the other side win. It’s time we all stood up for what we believe in and not let some fringe group push us around.