The lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District was filed in state court last month and announced Monday by the American Humanist Association. The group says the phrase, added in 1954, “marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots.”
“The lawsuit is an equal protection suit seeking to declare unconstitutional the New Jersey state law requiring daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag in public schools,” David Niose, legal director of the American Humanist Association, told WCBS 880 Radio in New York.
“Children are taught that patriotism is defined a certain way. They’re taught to associate belief in God with patriot feelings. Certainly, with that being taught, the atheists look like an outsider. The atheist is stigmatized,” he said.