Opinion

HS senior tells Mike Huckabee why she’s fighting to keep ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance

A New Jersey teen embroiled in a court fight to protect the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance made an appearance on the Fox News “Huckabee” program Saturday to explain in pretty simple terms why she’s battling an atheist group’s latest attempt to have the words removed.

“It does acknowledge that our rights do not come from the government but come from a higher power,” said Samantha Jones, a student in the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District.

The school district is facing a lawsuit by the American Humanist Association trying to get the words removed from the pledge.

Jones and her family, represented by the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, are part of the case after a court ruled they can intervene on behalf of keeping the “controversial” words in.

Emily Hardman, a Beckett Fund attorney who appeared with Jones, said the sides will be in court next week where the district and the Beckett Fund will ask the court to dismiss the humanist association’s lawsuit.

Atheists trying to get the words deleted from the pledge on the grounds of separation of church and state have a long history of failure in the courts and Hardman said she thinks this case will be no different.

“They have an unending losing streak,” she said. “We hope this is the last time.”

The point, Hardman said, is that no one is being forced to say the pledge. What the atheist group is doing, she said, is trying to make it impossible for those who wish to say it in its entirety to do so.

“They have the right to remain silent,” Hardman said. “But they don’t have the right to silence everyone else.”

Why do we need a court fight to tell us that?

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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