The atheist group fighting to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance said Monday it will not appeal a court’s previous ruling against it.
“I’m so grateful to know that I will be able to continue reciting the Pledge in peace,” Samantha Jones, a senior at Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, N.J., said in a statement. “The phrase ‘under God’ protects all Americans—including atheists—because it reminds the government that it can’t take away basic human rights because it didn’t create them.”
Jones became the face of the fight to preserve the phrase, speaking publicly and on television in support of it.
This is the second time in two years a state court has denied the American Humanist Association’s attempt to remove the phrase from the pledge. A similar case in Massachusetts was rejected by the court last year.
“The American Humanist Association’s challenge turned out to be all bark and no bite,” Diana Verm, legal counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement.
The AHA told The Daily Caller News Foundation it will not appeal, but did not have anyone available for further comment. The AHA originally argued “under God” is a theological statement improper for the classroom because it discriminates against atheist students.
The original version of the pledge did not include the phrase “under God,” which was added in 1954 by Congress.
“They are not trying to win liberty for themselves, they are trying to censor the pledge of allegiance for everybody else,” Mike Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, told TheDCNF.
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