God Wins Victory In Massachusetts Public Schools
Lost in the happenings at The Galleria Mall this week was a very important decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court as it relates to God in public schools here.
The state's high court has decided that it is not against the Constitution for Massachusetts public school children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "under God" included. The SJC rejected claims from atheists who said they were being discriminated against by the pledge as written. Attempts elsewhere to have the words removed have failed but the seven member Massachusetts panel agreed to consider whether in fact the atheists were being discriminated against.
The case against the pledge was argued by an attorney for a family in the Boston area who claimed it violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution. The court disagreed saying the pledge is voluntary and a "fundamentally patriotic exercise, not a religious one." The ruling also states, "The plaintiffs did not successfully allege that their children receive negative treatment because they opt not to recite the words 'under God,' or that the inclusion of that phrase in the pledge has occasioned 'the creation of second class citizens."
The American Humanist Association, in a statement, called the decision "a setback," and is hoping to prevail in a similar case that was recently filed in New Jersey.
The SJC got this one right. As long as an opt out is provided to students who choose not to participate in reciting the pledge there is no issue. The atheists who say they are being discriminated against wish to discriminate against those who wish to recite the pledge. The logic is twisted.
Score one for the Supreme Judicial Court and one for the Supreme Being too!