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Pledge of Allegiance Faces Another Legal Challenge

Atheist couple claims "Under God" invocation makes them second-class citizens


For the fourth time in the past decade, the Pledge of Allegiance will be before an appellate court on Wednesday, and the phrase "under God" is again at the heart of the challenge.

But the hearing before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has a different twist. Instead of a making a First Amendment religious violation claim, an anonymous atheist couple says the compulsory recitation of the pledge violates the state's equal protection laws, reports the Christian Post.

"It makes us appear as second class citizens just because we believe something different from the majority," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director for the American Humanist Association, which filed the lawsuit.

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  1. Compulsory recitation of the pledge (or anything) violates freedom of speech for everyone. No need to bring out separation of church and state or equal protection.

    Unless they’re the sort of atheists who have no problem with forcing people to say things in general, so long as it’s the kind of thing they happen to agree with.

    1. I’m an atheist. I came here to say pretty much the same thing.

      I was also going to say I’m not aware of the Pledge being compulsory.

      1. The case in question involves the state law requiring public schools to say the pledge everyday. Individual students are allowed to opt out, but there’s it’s a Casstein style “nudge” situation. Is it still truly voluntary if opting-out requires you to be publically seen to be going out of your way to not comply with the state’s demands?

  2. I could never get down with the “under god” thing, and “indivisible”. Are we not a collection of states?

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