The Garden State has apparently become “ground zero” for devout, angry atheists intent on imposing their beliefs on Americans of all religious stripes.
On Monday, the American Humanist Association announced that it has filed a lawsuit in state court challenging the famous phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance on the premise that those two words discriminate against atheist children.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are an anonymous family, CBS New York reports. The defendant is the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District.
The suit, which was actually filed last month, was announced just after the filing of a federal lawsuit alleging that state’s Motor Vehicle Commission violated a New Jersey woman’s constitutional rights by preventing her from having a vanity license plate reading “8THEIST.” (RELATED: Devout, angry atheist finds new thing to sue angrily about: VANITY PLATES)
The American Humanist Association asserts that the offensive phrase “marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots.”
The phrase “under God” was officially added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. (The oath itself was penned by socialist minister Francis Bellamy in 1892.)
The anonymous plaintiffs say the phrase violates New Jersey’s Constitution whenever it is uttered in a public-school setting. They want to force public schools and all children who attend those schools to return to the pre-1954 wording of the pledge, which doesn’t contain the phrase.