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The Unbelievers Versus Under God In God We Trust and God Bless America On July 4 America celebrates its birth and thanks God for the freedoms it enjoys It is a time to count blessings and reflect on just how fragile freedom can be especially if America fails to explain to its children the meaning of God in the foundation of this nation On June 27 2002 America woke up to an inconceivable challenge The ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California passed a ruling 2-1 that the words under God in the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional This ruling came about when Michael Newdow 49 objected to his daughter having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school Newdow an atheist filed suit that ended before the ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Newdow testified that when Congress added the words under God to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 it violated his constitutional rights as an atheist Therefore requiring his daughter to recite the Pledge of Allegiance violated the First Amendment that states The government is prohibited to pass legislation to establish an official religion or prefer one religion over another America must stand together and unite in defending the systematic castration of God from this national heritage Ellen Johnson President of the American Atheist Inc and its Communications Director Ron Barrier spoke out on the courts decision Johnson stated We agree 100 with the court putting under God in the pledge was as inappropriate as declaring our secular nation under Zeus Vishnu or any other deity Government should stay out of the business of telling people whether or not they should acknowledge a particular deity The words under God were not part of the original pledge and they were inserted during the height of the cold war in order to establish a religious litmus test for patriotism Paragraph 3 4 Barrier commented that the court decision acknowledged the coercive of the pledge
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