Before we dive into the story of how a New Jersey high school student claimed a victory in the fight to keep “under God” in the Pledge, I think an update is in order to a story I wrote several weeks ago. In What does NBC have against God?, I noted that the trailer for NBC’s new show “Allegiance” features a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, except that the words “under God” were left out. You can view that trailer here:
However, the other day when I was flipping channels, I saw the trailer again, and this time, the words “under God” were included. Imagine that! The correction to the trailer was also noted by NewsBusters.org in the update to their story. Perhaps NBC got the message?
Now for the story of Samantha Jones. As Fox News reports, Jones stood up for what she believes in and took the atheist group known as the American Humanist Association to court.
The legal battle first began when an unnamed New Jersey family from Monmouth County, identified in court papers as John and Jane Doe and their child, sued the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in February 2014, alleging the phrase “under God” in the pledge is discriminatory. The case was filed by the American Humanist Association, which claimed the recitation of the pledge violates Article 1 of the state’s constitution.
Jones, who was attending another school, fought back, telling Fox News last November that the phrase “acknowledges that our rights don’t come from the government but from a higher power, so they can’t take away the rights.”
She described America as a country of many beliefs and claimed all of those beliefs – including those of atheists – are protected by “one nation under God.”
In a story on The Blaze, Jones comments on how she felt when the judge sided with her and dismissed the case.
I’m so grateful the court decided that kids like me shouldn’t be silenced just because some people object to timeless American values,” she said in a statement distributed through her attorneys at the Becket Fund.
Jones continued,”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.”
And so we have another victory, but this will surely be a long battle. With each passing day, there are more and more efforts to remove any and all references to God from our daily life. Whether it’s our Pledge, our holidays, or public events and displays, we must continue to stand up for the core principle that we are “endowed by our Creator.”