Home / News / American Humanist Association plans to appeal "under God" ruling
American Humanist Association plans to appeal "under God" ruling

American Humanist Association plans to appeal "under God" ruling

The American Humanist Association (AHA) plans to appeal a judge's ruling against a Massachusetts humanist family who attempted to get the words "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Before the 1950s, the words "under God" were not in the Pledge.  The Federal government added those two words in 1954.

The lawsuit, according to the AHA, is the first of its kind, which seeks equal rights for humanists/atheists.  The suit states that the words "under God" discriminates and violates the Massachusetts state Constitution and the state statue, which prohibit discrimination based on religion.

"No child should go to school every day, from kindergarten to grade twelve, to be faced with an exercise that defines patriotism according to religious belief," said the plaintiffs' attorney David Niose, who is also AHA president. "If conducting a daily classroom exercise that marginalizes one religious group while exalting another does not violate basic principles of equal rights and nondiscrimination, then I don't know what does."

The lawsuit does not challenge the federal, but says that states have a right and duty to protect religious minorities from feeling marginalized with exclusive language.

"If the federal government decides to write a discriminatory Pledge, the Massachusetts Constitution nevertheless protects children in the Commonwealth from the discrimination that would occur from daily recitation of the Pledge in classrooms," Niose said.

According to Noise, to recite the Pledge every day, with the words "under God" is not a harmless ceremony, but an attempt to indoctrinate children.

"The flag-salute is how we define patriotism for children on a daily basis," he said. "When we define patriotism with a religious truth claim –that the nation is in fact under a god– we define nonbelievers as less patriotic."

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • Peter

    It always slays me when insurance agencies use the term "act of god" when they weasel out of paying
    after a devastating storm, or whatever. If I had a billion I'd love testing that
    in court. Like prove god.  

  • skater60

    God is not about nations or political affiliations or even Democracy, so why pretend that having the word "God" in a pledge or on the money (especially NOT on the money) is meaningful?   God stuff (Mercy, Forgiveness, Compassion, Understanding, Love) should be in your heart, the rest is irrelevant.  For instance: "Christian nation" has no meaning at all,  it's used as propaganda – usually by preachers or politicians, inadvertently or otherwise, appealing to our lesser selves.



    • Then why have propaganda everywhere? The problem is, it is not harmless propaganda. It is truly indoctrination.

  • Awesome, I was expecting to read comments that would upset me, but I guess I'm on the same page as most of your readers, I guess this shouldn't surprise me.   I'd like to see the whole pledge thrown out. But then again I would also like to see the government get out of education entirely. 

  • TinnyRay

    Everyone should stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance, because the Pledge was the origin of the Nazi salute and Nazi behavior (see the work of the historian Dr. Rex Curry). It is so funny that journalists in the USA do not have …the guts to mention the putrid history of the Pledge. Domestic news outlets definitely will never post an historic photograph or video of the early Pledge's stiff-armed salute. Atheists are also brainwashed so that they only complain about two words. The pledge is brainwashing. Articles on the Pledge of Allegiance demonstrate that reporters have been brainwashed to not address certain topics about the Pledge and its history. The pledge was written by an American National Socialist in 1892 and used for three decades before it was picked up by German National Socialists and others. It might be a great idea in that it provides students with a daily opportunity to sit out the pledge and show contempt for the USA's police state. Students can remind the adults that other Americans have given their lives and freedom and made sacrifices so that others can refuse the daily robotic brainwashing in government schools (socialist schools). The two-word deification is only a tiny part of the pledge's horrid problems. Remove the pledge from the flag. Remove the flag from schools. Remove schools from government.

    • Um… Yeah…   Sieg Heil   http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/seen-kyle  Ich denke, Sie wissen nichts über Deutschland. Ich Gott du bist nicht.  I seriously doubt the Germans are to blame for the U. S.Pledge of Allegiance.

      • TinnyRay

        You wrote "I seriously doubt the Germans are to blame for the U. S.Pledge of Allegiance." Thanks for agreeing with my earlier post. The earlier comment also explains how the opposite is what happened. Thanks for not disputing that point either. 

Scroll To Top