The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has ruled against the Freedom From Religious Foundation, who claimed that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance was a violation of the Establishment Clause.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in New Hampshire‘s public schools.
Rejecting the argument that the act is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion, [Chief Judge Sandra Lea] Lynch stated, “In reciting the Pledge, students promise fidelity to our flag and our nation, not to any particular God, faith, or church.”
The primary effect of the New Hampshire Act is not the advancement of religion, but the advancement of patriotism, she added.
“It takes more than the presence of words with religious content to have the effect of advancing religion, let alone to do so as a primary effect,” the judge wrote. “The Pledge and the phrase ‘under God’ are not themselves prayers, nor are they readings from or recitations of a sacred text of a religion.
“Here, the words ‘under God’ appear in a pledge to a flag – itself a secular exercise, accompanied by no other religious language or symbolism.”
What are your thoughts on the decision?