Skip to comments.Atheists Exempt From Reciting Pledge of Allegiance Still Seek to Stop it at Schools
Posted on 09/04/2013 7:46:55 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Alliance Defending Freedom and the Massachusetts Family Institute have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in response to a lawsuit from atheist students and parents who want to stop the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools even though they are not required to participate.
"The Pledge of Allegiance shouldn't be banned merely because someone who is not even required to recite it feels offended," said MFI Executive Vice President Andrew Beckwith. "The Pledge unites Americans. The court should uphold the lower court's ruling and refuse to divide Americans by silencing a voluntary exercise of patriotism just because a few people don't like it."
Students and parents from the Acton - Boxborough Regional School District have expressed their objection to the Pledge, which includes the phrase "under God," even though they do not have to participate in it. A state court earlier ruled in favor of the district, arguing that the phrase serves as a clear "acknowledgment of the Founding Fathers political philosophy, and the historical and religious traditions of the United States," but the atheist parents and students have decided to appeal against the decision.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to hear oral arguments on the case on Wednesday.
"Simply being offended by something does not make it a violation of the Massachusetts Constitution," added ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. "As the lower court found, the recitation is completely voluntary, and listening to the words 'under God' does not violate anyone's constitutional freedoms."
Earlier in August, Roy Speckhardt, executive director for the American Humanist Association, which filed the lawsuit, told The Christian Post that the focus on this issue contrasts with previous suits filed.
"Instead of focusing on the pledge as being a violation of the First Amendment guarantee of no government establishment of religion, we are primarily arguing that the pledge violates our right to equal protection under the law," said Speckhardt.
"It makes us appear as second class citizens just because we believe something different from the majority," he added.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the defendants, argued that "members of the American Humanist Association have the right to remain silent if they want to, but they don't have the right to silence everyone else."
In an Action Fact Sheet, ADF suggested that what's at stake in the case is whether simply hearing religious language constitutes as a violation of state Constitution. The court decision might also decide whether religious references, even those grounded in American history, would be prohibited from the public square if they cause offense.
If the atheists prevail here, eventually churches will be declared “unconstitutional” because they offend some reprobate.
The under God part is fine with me. But I’m not crazy about pleding allegiance to this new Amerika anymore.
THE TOLERANT LEFT, in full review.. Think my way, or else..
I’m sorry to tell you this, but I kicked a chair out from under a punk that wouldn’t stand during the Pledge in the Owners Clubhouse at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans..
I didn’t even hesitate and he couldn’t believe what happened until he heard the applause from the crowd.. His father finally found his manhood when he turned to me and said “Thank You, I should have done that years ago”
If being offended is the key criterion, then we conservatives should have a field day in court and in the media. Not a day goes by that we’re not offended by something said or done by liberals.
But we have learned that being offended only goes one way. If liberals are offended, then we have to file lawsuits and change society to suit them. But if conservatives are offended, it doesn’t count, because conservative offense is due to not being liberal.
No doubt. However, in America you have the right to pursue happiness. You do NOT have the right not to be offended.
How I LOATHE the left.
If you don’t believe in it (or just say you don’t), should you be exempted from English, math, or history lessons?
And then...should these things not be taught to anyone?
How about report cards, and grades? I don’t believe in them! Waaaaah!
I don’t like the speed limit on the local highway either. Or the mandatory insurance thing.
Sorry,you are still a jerk ,too. If the person had fallen and been hurt it would have been entirely your fault.And you could have been charged with assault ,and rightfully so.You don’t have a right not to be offended by someone’s quiet refusal to participate in a ceremonial act.
The pledge of allegiance didn’t appear until ,what, 1866? after the federal government for the first time forcibly drafted formerly free citizens into the army. The 1860s were when all the citizens of the states lost much of their freedom as part of giving that newly restricted freedom to the slaves of the southern states.
Living up to the nation’s ideals and living in accordance with lawful freedom and responsibilities is enough.
A forced pledge is no better than the oath impressed sailors were forced to swear to the King ,after finding themselves on a ship miles from home.
The oath or affirmation that means something is the one all officials and employees of government should take and be held to,the oath of preserving,protecting, and defending the Constitution.
As long as the recital is voluntary and those who choose not to participate remain quiet and non-disruptive, both factions have nothing to complain about.
I see no justice in preventing those who wish to pledge because it offends someone,nor justice in forcing anyone to pledge under threat of any sanction.
Atheists consider themselves free thinkers and liberated from the follies of the benighted rest of us but they are some of the most insecure groups I’ve seen. If one can’t even stand the mere mention of something with which they disagree, then that person has no confidence in his or herr own opinion. I disagree with flat earthers and think they are benighted, but I would never attempt to shut them down. Their belief does not threaten mine in the least.
In fact, my disdain for militant atheists and homosexuals, and for fundamentalist Muslims mostly stems from their extreme attempts to censor any opinions that disagree with theirs.
Why can’t a judge throw out these lawsuits stating that there has been no true ‘injury’ to the plaintiff and the intent of the suit is simply to remove a rule or tradition that the plaintiff disagrees with?
Make them go through the political system to change things like this
I’m not sure that I understand what they want. Do they want “under God” removed, or do they want the entire recitation of the Pledge scrapped - for everybody?
How can I best describe my gratitude for your insightful comments based on my behavior.. BUT.. Thanks for your thoughtful advise.. I’ll way it, before I’m confronted with another set of circumstances that may inspire my spirit..
However, I still carry the scares of my service to our country, so I’m willing to face the penalties of the defense of my principles..
I told him to call the police, and threw the money to do it.. Pity I wasn’t punished enough to suit everyone and learn my lesson, so if you are planning to test it, in my presence, I would have a speed-dial number to your lawyer, on your cellphone.. jus sayin..
Bravo to you, sir for teaching that kid an important lesson. And thank you for your service to our country.
He was making a statement with his nonparticipation. And so were you, FRiend.