Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Under God" In Pledge Questioned Under State Constitution

Yesterday's Boston Herald reports on the lawsuit under way in state court in Massachusetts challenging the inclusion of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Unlike previous challenges, this one relies on the equal protection clause of the Massachusetts state constitution.  The lawsuit argues that atheist children are made to feel marginalized when the Acton, Massachusetts schools recite the pledge that includes the reference to God, even though any child may be excused from joining in the pledge. Last October, other parents as well as the Knights of Columbus filed a motion to intervene in the case to support the constitutionality of the Pledge (full text of memo in support). A hearing in the case was held yesterday. WCVB-TV reports that attorneys for the plaintiff argued: "This is a daily exercise that favors a particular religious view and defines patriotism according to a particular religious belief."