A court in New Jersey heard arguments Wednesday on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that wants to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance after parents complained that their child's public school was reciting the phrase.
Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David Bauman heard arguments on the motion to dismiss the atheist group's lawsuit, which was filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of New Jersey high school student Samantha Jones.
In April, the legal arm of the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District and its superintendent, David M. Healy, in the Superior Court of New Jersey on behalf of the family that took issue with the phrase.
"Public schools should not engage in an exercise that tells students that patriotism is tied to a belief in God," David Niose, legal director of AHA's Appignani Humanist Legal Center, stated in April. "Such a daily exercise portrays atheist and humanist children as second-class citizens, and certainly contributes to anti-atheist prejudices."