Judge upholds use of 'under God' in pledge
ACTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A judge has found that the rights of an atheist couple and their children aren't being violated when the words "under God" are recited in the Pledge of Allegiance in Acton schools.
Under God -- two words that have stirred up a lot of controversy. It's also a phrase that has stuck around for a while after a judge ruled to keep it in Friday.
An atheist Acton family sued the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District about the Pledge of Allegiance. The American Humanist Association backed the anonymous family.
They complained of discrimination, saying that the phrase "under God" made their children feel marginalized.
In a statement, the family's attorney says, "The flag-salute is how we define patriotism for children on a daily basis. When we define patriotism with a religious truth claim -- that the nation is in fact under a god --
we define nonbelievers as less patriotic."
Many parents in the district are in favor of keeping the pledge the way it is.
“I think everybody of every vocation, religion, what have you, can find something to be discriminated against,” said Daniel Joyce.
In a statement, the districts wrote, “The School Districts have maintained throughout this law suit that they have not engaged in unlawful discrimination against its students, specifically with respect to their religious beliefs as was alleged in this case.”
“That's just acknowledging some form of a higher being, whether it's god from whatever religion. Or if it's atheist, I'm sure that person believes in the law of nature,” said Radhi Iyengar.
Students have the choice to opt out of reciting the pledge.
The family behind the law suit plans to appeal the ruling.