New Jersey Teen Wins Court Case Against Atheists to Keep 'Under God' in Pledge of Allegiance

Samantha Jones.
Samantha Jones. | (Photo: The Becket Fund For Religious Liberty)

A New Jersey teenager who stood up against atheists seeking to legally remove the phrase "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, declared victory in court last Friday after a state judge dismissed the case.

The teenager, Samantha Jones, a senior at Highland Regional High School celebrated what she describes as the right of her fellow students to keep reciting the pledge of allegiance in its entirety according to a release from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented her.

"I'm so grateful the court decided that kids like me shouldn't be silenced just because some people object to timeless American values," said Jones, who was a defendent-intervenor in the suit.

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"Ever since I was little, I've recited the Pledge of Allegiance because it sums up the values that make our country great. The phrase 'under God' protects all Americans — including atheists — because it reminds the government that it can't take away basic human rights because it didn't create them."

A state judge dismissed the case brought by the American Humanist Association seeking to gut "one nation under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance after hearing Jones and her family's testimony against it.

This is the second time a state court has stopped the American Humanist Association from outlawing the federal pledge. Their first state-level suit, raising identical claims, was unanimously rejected by Massachusetts' highest court last year, according to the Becket Fund.

In a case filed in February 2014, the American Humanist Association, claimed the recitation of the pledge violates Article 1 of the New Jersey's constitution. The case was filed on behalf of an unnamed New Jersey family from Monmouth County against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District.

Last November, Jones told Fox News "our rights don't come from the government but from a higher power, so they can't take away the rights."

"The message today is loud and clear: "God" is not a dirty word," noted Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel for the Becket Fund in a press statement. "The Pledge of Allegiance isn't a prayer, and reciting it doesn't magically create an official state religion."

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