Posted on December 29, 2010 by

Imagine you are a child attending one of our public schools, being raised as a Humanist,within a family which does not believe in the existence of a God. Each morning, you are required to recite or remain silent while everyone recites the pledge of allegiance including the words “One nation under God…” A friend of mine, David Niose is President of the American Humanist Association with over 20,000 members worldwide. Humanists emphasize rational analysis, logic and empiricism as the primary means of attaining truth and an affirmative recognition of ethical duties and strong commitment to human rights. Dave told me something I did not know, but which I should have known as a good American. The words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance was not contained in the original pledge written in 1892. Indeed the words Under God were added in 1954 at the height of the McCarthy era during the Red Scare after strong lobbying by religious groups. Before then the language, as drafted by our forefathers was “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This was what the forefathers wrote and what they wanted. Humanists and atheists have a right under law to be treated as equals, just as Protestants, Catholics, Muslims and Jews or any other religious group. Why should a child raised in an atheist home have to tolerate the discrimination of being singled out in a classroom by their non-participation in this public pledge. They should not. Interestingly, there is a case in the Middlesex Superior Court that will test the issue under Massachusetts laws. It is Middlesex Superior Court Civil Action 10-4261 and it is worth reading. I append it here.Pledge Complaint – 11-9 (2)

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