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Rev. Dr. Michael Newdow, Esq., whose lawsuit to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance was dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2004 for a "lack of standing," has joined two anonymous parents to file a new lawsuit on the same matter in New Hampshire.

The Oct. 31, 2007 lawsuit (PDF 666KB), officially called The Freedom From Religion Foundation; Jan Doe and Pat Doe, Parents; Doechild-1, Doechild-2 and Doechild-3, Minor Children; v. U.S. Congress, U.S.A, Hanovers School District, The Dresden School District, and School Admin Unit 70, stated:

"By placing the religious words 'under God' into the Pledge, Congress not only interfered with the patriotism and national unity the Pledge was meant to engender, but it actually fostered divisiveness ... in a manner expressly forbidden by the Constitution ...

[E]ndorsing the religious notion that God exists [creates a] societal environment where prejudice against atheists -- is perpetuated ...

Plaintiffs, generally, deny that God exists, and maintain that their constitutional and statutory rights are abridged when the school district defendants participate in making the purely religious, monotheistic claim that the United States is 'one nation under God'...

By endorsing the religious notion that God exists, the now-religious Pledge creates a societal environment where prejudice against atheists – and, thus, against Plaintiffs here – is perpetuated ...

The rights of the Doe Plaintiff parents to instill in their children the religious beliefs they find persuasive – free from governmental influence – has been abridged by Defendants' practices....

It should be noted that Plaintiffs are making no objection to the recitation of a patriotic Pledge of Allegiance. The government is certainly within its right to foster patriotism, and it may certainly make the determination that recitation of a Pledge of Allegiance serves that purpose. However, government may not employ or include sectarian religious dogma towards this end....

By placing the religious words 'under God' into the Pledge, Congress not only interfered with the patriotism and national unity the Pledge was meant to engender, but it actually fostered divisiveness . . . in a manner expressly forbidden by the Constitution."
Oct. 31, 2007 Freedom From Religion Foundation, et al., vs. U.S.A., et al. (PDF 666KB)

 

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