The Pledge of Allegiance is recited in classrooms across the country every morning — and because of the words “under God,” it is heard in courtrooms across the country seemingly just as often these days.
Every attempt to eliminate the mention of God has thus far failed, but the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts will hear arguments on Wednesday seeking removal of the two words for a new reason: discrimination.
“This is the first challenge of its kind” said 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.”
That case, which was brought by an unidentified family of a student at a school in suburban Boston, will be argued on the premise that the pledge violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution. It is the first such case to be tried on the state level: 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.
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