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(RNS) An atheist couple challenging the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance hopes that the same Massachusetts court that legalized gay marriage can set another precedent against the phrase "under God."

117 Comments

  1. With or without the word “God”, why would anyone want to say the pledge of allegiance? As long as we suffer income inequality, environmental destruction, racial and gender bigotry, voter suppression, etc., the line in the pledge about “liberty and justice for all” will be a lie!

    • Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

      Your TWISTED little progressive / Communist mind has it ALL WRONG.

      Since WHEN does INCOME, equal or otherwise have ANYTHING to do with
      ” liberty and justice for all ” ? ? ?

        • It’s not about disagreeing but forcing a change which no one deny not only has a religious aspect to it but also a historical aspect. If I lived in vegas and didn’t like the porn ads, do I have the right to tear down everything that advertises porn? You’d probably would respond by saying, “We’ll if you don’t like the blatant porn advertisement in Vegas, than you should move to a place where they don’t allow it. Well this couple is doing just that with the phrase “under God”. You’re not forced to recite the pledge so any secular child doesn’t have to recite it if they don’t want to, so no violations of rights. And humanists have been dealing with the “under God” phrase for centuries, why raise a fuss now? Why should everyone else be forced to recite a pledge without “under God” in it when it’s part of our history? Seriously if atheists are offended at two simple words in which they don’t believe then they need psychological help.

          • “And humanists have been dealing with the “under God” phrase for centuries,”

            Centuries? “Under God” was added to the pledge in 1954.

          • Andrew, it’s not that atheists are offended by the words, “under god.” It’s about a public school system giving religious bias and furthering the indoctrination of children into something they aren’t capable of understanding. If someone wants to be religious – awesome – talk about it with friends and family, have discussions and the whole nine yards -but the second they assume that every person shares their opinion(s) through such things as those two simple words, is a violation of student rights.
            This shouldn’t even be a discussion anyway, if a school wants federal funding they should have to adhere to the federal laws e.g. separation of church and state.

          • I can only image plantation owners in the south saying the same thing about ending slavery, the anti-suffrage people saying the same thing about women voting, the anti-miscegenation people saying the same thing about inter-racial marriage. The list goes on.

            The pledge has been altered, so the appeal to history fails.

            If theists believe they need these two words to validate their citizenship, then perhaps they are the ones in need of help.

          • I think those that need to pledge to an imaginary friend need psychological help. Religion is like smoking Cigarettes – if you need that drug, then keep it to yourself. And btw, why ever raise a fuss about parts of the US history, like slaves, Indian genocide, prohibition and torture?

          • Keep your “religion” to yourself.

            How ironic that they chose to insert those words in such a way as to DIVIDE “One Nation” and “Indivisible”, because that is exactly the purpose and result.

            Anyone who has read ALL of the Bible quickly learns the reality of what that book really is and the harm it has caused. Most Atheists are more familiar with the actual text of the Bible than most Christians.

            “Moral decay” is most evident in the churches and religious “leaders” with extravagant (materialistic) lifestyles, sexual molestation, hate mongering, tolerance of torture and war. “Conservative” insistence on “abstinence only” education has resulted in increased teen pregnancy.

            Religious “freedom” does not include creating a hostile environment for those who don’t happen to share in their fairy tales. Many churches continue to flagrantly violate laws against political involvement. The KKK is a “Christian” organization according to the KKK. American Christians have long exported their hate and discrimination to other countries disguised as “missionary work”.

            1954 to 2013: Long enough.

      • I agree with you. I’m really really sick and tired of those who come over here and try to change what we’ve had all these year. They don’t belong here if they don’t like it. I’d like to see how the country they came from would react if I went over there and wanted them to make changes in their believes to suit mine. I wonder if they use our money which says “in God we Trust”. I’m sure they refuse to take it.

        • Elaine, I’m sorry but that statement was the most horrifically ignorant thing I’ve seen in a while. Based on what you said, slavery should be legal, woman should have the right to vote, stoned for not being virgins, homosexuals should be murdered, adulterers hung, and scientists burnt for witchcraft.
          Ridiculous right? Well that’s how it was in early America – who are we as Americans today to have changed all those things? They all worked fine for years and years – they shouldn’t have been changed.
          My point is, as we become more enlightened to social issues such as this things change. This ancient “god fearing” principle is the way of the ignorant now. Buck up and accept this nation’s future for what it is: different.

        • Really???

          You’d like to see how other countries would react if you went over there and wanted them to make changes to suit your believes????

          Can I start listing the countries where the US have entered just to do that??? It’s a long list, by the way… And I can tell you that you just to look the news to see how they have reacted.

          On the other hand… it’s not people from outside who’s asking to remover “under god” from the pledge… it’s mostly US citizens which care about their freedom.

        • ‘Those who come over here’? ‘They don’t belong here’?

          The majority of atheists in the United States have lived here since birth. We’re as American as you are, maybe more so.

        • Coming over here and trying to change what you have had all of these years? hate to tell you this, but every line of my family that I have traced has been here since before the founding of this country. Can you say the same? This country was founded on the idea of the government not supporting one religion over another. As far as the money part, that was also added in the 50’s, and I do my best to change that on the bills that pass through my hands before moving on (gotta love sharpies).

        • You are a special kind of stupid. I had a lot more to say but your brand of ignorance is permanent and not worth helping. Please, do us all a favor and live out the rest of your days in silence.

    • Amen, Mike! My sentiments exactly. And God isn’t real wild about CEO’s who pay themselves 380 times what their AVERAGE worker makes….while many workers are paid so little that they have to live in homeless shelters.

    • True Mike, you’re absolutely right how can you put up with such a terrible place to live. Some earns more than you and that’s income inequality right? Racial and gender bigotry? Are you talking about the many gangs of black youths roaming the country mugging, raping ,beating and killing white people?

    • This is perhaps the single most ignorant comment I’ve seen posted about anything, anywhere in quite some time. Just where exactly is anybody guaranteed income equality (and what IS income equality)? As for racism and bigotry, until you find a way to remove emotions from the human brain these will always exist. What you fail to comprehend is that the U.S., by far, is the most non-racist, non-bigoted country on the face of the earth, bar none. No other country is governed by a document that provides the same rights as the U.S. Constitution.
      As for voter suppression, give an example, please. We suffer from the opposite right now. Anybody can walk in to a polling place, claim to be a registered voter and place a vote without having to provide ANY proof of ID, let alone U.S. citizenship. The liberals, led by the bigoted ACLU, have seen to that. I’m sure you were as outraged as anybody about BOTH occurrences of voter intimidation in Philadelphia, where self-identified members of the Black Panthers stood outside polls and intimidate voters (guess which race they singled out for that intimidation?).
      If you’re not willing to pledge allegiance to the U.S., which was explicitly founded on Judeo-Christian morals, then exercise your Constitutional right to leave the country and move somewhere you feel is less racist, bigoted, and/or more income-neutral than the U.S.

      • Mike, the United States was not founded on Judeo-Christian morals. You’re thinking of all the oppressive nations of the previous millenia that were founded on those “morals”. The United States was founded on SECULAR and HUMANIST principles by people FLEEING FROM Christian nations. There are ZERO morals or principles in the Bible, Christianity that promote or support any of the freedoms outlined on our Constitution and laws. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, equality, democracy etc. are NOT Christian or Biblical values.

    • Ok Mike you do realize that you have the right to do pretty much whatever you desire right? You have a choice about what jobs you go after which means that you choose your income with that job. Its saying that everyone has that same right to go after the same job as you. So I don’t really understand why you say we have income inequality because you have the right to go out and do something about that.
      And that is just one part of your statement.

  2. Mike, Maybe you can find that utopian society somewhere else, and you have the right to do so. I think that it is not asking too much of individuals to pledge allegiance to the ideals of the country, even if and when they fall short of the mark. Most countries require an allegiance, and some make allegiances a lot more difficult. Perhaps, you might find what you’re looking for in the Mideast.
    Nonetheless, I think that an allegiance to the country that one inhabits and stating it is very minimal. If you don’t want to say it, then, go.

    • I take it from your argument you believe in a god, but not in acting like a religious person, as in being polite. Why are you being so offensive by calling people, “stupid” or telling people to, “go to hell”? Is your argument so weak you have to resort to childish antics? Your manners do nothing to convince others that your argument has any merit.

    • Nope. No other country requires anyone to swear loyalty to it (except Mexico and the Philippines, aping the U.S.)

      Imagine if you did see little kids pledging to North Korea, or Iran, or China? You’d be outraged! And then imagine if the way they did it was forcing it on them every single day, for years!

      Having kids mindlessly repeat the Pledge everyday is a good idea why?

      You all do know, don’t you, that when the socialist who wrote the Pledge first rolled it out, conservatives were against it because the whole point of it was to indoctrinate children into worshiping the nation over and above states and individual rights.

      Funny thing is that if “under God” wasn’t in the Pledge – as the last foothold of religion in public schools – such an over-reach of the federal government would be the first thing listed for the Tea Party chopping block.

      Big government, much, rednecks?

      Nuff said?
      http://www.mentalfloss.com/sites/default/legacy/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/bellamy-salute.jpg

  3. The atheists, deviants, subversives and splinter groups now have a stranglehold on our great nation and it is evident that they will NOT be satisfied until the LAST FREE BREATH OF LIFE is squeezed out of it.

    The ONLY other modern occurrence of this was in 1930s Germany where the silent majority brought a strong Fascist leader to power who forever changed the world and EXTERMINATED the fringe elements of the time along with over six million Jews whom he viewed as a threat to his constituency. To THIS DAY, nearly seventy years after the defeat of Hitler’s Germany, there is very little discord among German nationals and fringe elements are unheard of .

    Simply and bluntly put, if we FAIL to learn from History, – we shall be doomed to REPEAT it . . .

    • SimonLagree, I would agree with you, but I think you don’t recognize the true deviants and subversives….It is the Mitt Romneys who tear apart healthy companies and stuff their own pockets while the workers lose their jobs; the CEO’s who give themselves tens and hundreds of millions of dollars while sending jobs to sweatshops in other countries; and guys like Reagan whose “War on Drugs” has actually been a war on African Americans….locking up huge percentages of the AA population whilst guys like daddy Bush and Ollie North were busy trafficking coke out of the White House.

    • Funny thing…
      The Pledge originally featured the Nazi-style salute. In fact, Hitler got it from the Italian fascists who much admired – that’s right – kids in America doing it while saying the Pledge.

      http://www.mentalfloss.com/sites/default/legacy/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/bellamy-salute.jpg

  4. This issue is stupid and the lawyers who brought it should be disbarred. . The Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to require students to recite the pledge in 1943. That’s 70 years ago for anyone who is counting.

    West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette was the case.

    Stupid. Incredibly stupid.

  5. When you can get a government based on Pagan Greek democracy and atheist enlightenment values to force its people to pledge to the biblical god, you have really done something special.

    Even more amazing is when you have religious people pledging to defend a secular government and in direct contradiction to the bible, defending freedom of religion.

    Strange just doesn’t get any better than that.

    • Romans 13: 1 Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.

      • Hmmm. History tells me that those in power are the biggest, meanest, baddest warriors. Often, they come into power by murdering the incumbent. Here in the good ol’ USA, they get power by having the most campaign loot, which means they prostittuted themselves more than anyone else. But the Bible says it was God that put them in power, not the corporate aristocrats.

      • Our government was put in place By The People and For The People and it trumps and supersedes the laws of your bronze age fantasy novel and tribal totem deity (or rather the ignorant men who created them).

  6. The words, “under god” were not added until 1954, and only as a political distinction between us and those “godless Commi’s” in the former Soviet Union.

    Forcing a kid to recite words which he does not believe is forcing them to LIE. While lying may come naturally to politicians and criminals, it’s not a behavior I think we should force upon our children.

    The Founding Father’s had no “Pledge of Allegiance”, and the original intent was to sell flags. Freedom of speech and freedom of thought will mean little in this country if it can force one to take an oath in which they do not believe in, let alone understand fully as a young student.

    • Pledging to defend a free and openly religious republic which is based in Christianity that defends your right to disagree with it’s principles, you’ve got it backwards but that’s not surprising given your belief in revisionist history. First off you’re wrong about atheist enlightenment being the basis of our government. Atheists and secularism have no foundation for ethics or philosophy and in forming their societies had to borrow from Judaeo Christian values. The majority of our founding fathers were religious and many were of different Christian denominations and some others weren’t necessarily Christians but believed in God and that the Christian values of the Bible like what Jesus taught should be the basis of America’s founding. Study the the “Declaration of Independence”, it was copied directly from Thomas Locke’s, who was a Christian apologist and theologian, book titled “Treatise of two governments” in which he laid down the correct form of governing and used the Bible as support. Secondly you’re incorrect about being forced to pledge to the biblical god, no one is forced into reciting the pledge that’s a lie.

      What’s strange is how atheists claim to be tolerant of everything and everyone except when it comes to Christians and Judaeo-Christian values.

      • “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”
        -John Adams
        “I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved– the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!”
        -John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
        “In the affairs of the world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it.”
        -Benjamin Franklin
        “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law.”
        -Thomas Jefferson letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 1814
        “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”
        -Thomas Jefferson letter to John Adams

        Lincoln’s first law partner, John T. Stuart, said of him: “He was an avowed and open infidel, and sometimes bordered on atheism. He went further against Christian beliefs and doctrines and principles than any man I have ever heard.”

        Supreme Court Justice David Davis: “He [Lincoln] had no faith, in the Christian sense of the term– he had faith in laws, principles, causes and effects.”

        “The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession.”
        -Spoken by Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Joseph Lewis

      • Forgot the most important one. Quote from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams in 1796.

        Art. 11. “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion”

      • This nation was founded during the age of enlightenment by Diests NOT Christians ,or any religious group, as a place of refuge FROM religion. The founders refered to the God of Nature NOT the God of Abraham. All religion is created by men as a control tool and this nation has used the evil ideologies of Xtians to genocide and murder non-believers for its entire existence. Thus the state encouraged hatrid of Muslims and the unrealistic support of the Appartided state of Israel…

      • This country was founded on secular principles of The Enlightenment by people FLEEING FROM Christian nations. There are NO values in Christianity or The Bible that promote freedom of religion, freedom of speech, equality, democracy or any other value we hold dear in this nation. It is in fact YOU and your ilk who are the revisionists here.

    • Kids aren’t forced to recite it, when I was in a public school not every kid recited the pledge and the teachers didn’t force anyone to, heck sometimes I didn’t even recite it because I didn’t want to, this is a complete lie by the secular couple bringing the charge. And the phrase “under God” even if it was added in 1954 has basis in how America was founded so it’s not only a religious symbol but also part of our historical heritage. But what you need to consider is why the couple is forcing people to recite the pledge without the phrase “under God”. And I thought atheists were supposed to be the tolerant one’s.

    • No one is forcing these children to say pledge. I for one am proud to be an American. America is not perfect but still is the best place to live. Ask all the illegals wanting to come here.

  7. 1st. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance is something very special. We hold our hands over our hearts. We say in one accord not to the flag but what the flag stands for. It is a symbol.
    2nd in response to the person who said for atheists to go to “Hell”, Jesus does not want anyone to go to Hell. He indeed loves the Sinner and died for all of us whether we choose to believe or not. It is the sin which puts a divider between us and the Lord. Yes, the Constitution does say Freedom of Religion and not from it. It is our right to practice any religion we choose to and not to infringe on the rights of others to do so. Unfortunately, America seems to be going down a road as not to offend anyone. Treat others as you wish to be treated would be best applied here. My opinion of atheists is simply this. The reason they get so upset with Christianity is that inside their hearts, and they will not admit it, there is a conviction that stirs and they know it. They lash out in retaliation and not for the real reason that they got so upset in the 1st place. Anyways God loves you all even if you do or do not believe in him and his son, his only begotten son, still waits with arms open wide.

  8. Bizarre case… Massachusetts state law only mandates that teachers lead the class each morning in the pledge, but NO student is required to recite it. No court could support the plaintiffs simply on the merits of the case. With that said, however, no serious Christian would pledge allegiance to Caesar, even with the “under God” phrase added.

  9. In 1969, Red Skelton, remember him? Red did a skit on the pledge of allegiance. At the end of the skit he mentions the addition of two words. Then asks if it would be a pity , if the pledge was considered a pray, and eliminated from schools to.
    It is well wroth the 4 minutes and 14 seconds, out of you day.

    http://youtu.be/eMR6d_9GsCQ

  10. When the pledge was taken out of school things went downhill. If the words under God are taken out of the pledge imagine what will happen.People have to stop trying to be p.c. .Atheists have to think that if they do not like something ignore it.

    • Schools are going downhill with or without the pledge. Talk to the greednicks who run our major corporations and bribe our govt officials. They have determined that we don’t need education as much as we need tax cuts for them. Government is evil, you know–unless it is involved with the war machine or spying on the American people.

    • The pledge hasn’t been taken out of schools. And it could easily be said that our schools started going downhill when “Under God” was added to it and “In God We Trust” was made our national motto. Funny that we won WW2 without having God in our pledge or on our money and that was also one of the most prosperous times in our nation’s history, huh? There’s also the fact that nations like Japan, Denmark, Netherlands etc do not have your God in their schools yet they have the best performing schools on the planet.

  11. The end of society as we now it will be cause by the liberties obtain by those that has being oppressed. In the name of God so many atrocity are being committed every day that now, the good name of God is becoming more difficult to defend. Is a very human thing to tell others that your right is just a violation of my right. May God have mercy of us all.

  12. gays wants rights.atheist wants rights.the lists goes on and on.there’s always someone so bored with there life and goes out looking for trouble and strive.i always say:go to work,take care of your family and mine your own business.blah blah blah blah.

    • Jerry, right on. Just like your Mama wanted rights: to vote, to work, equal protection under the law… All that same liberal equality crap.

      Tell her you’d like to send her back to the kitchen – dang, uppity, bored housewife!

  13. Anyone recall what issue started this country? Government trying to force a religious belief down the throats of people who believed differently. Although most also believed in a God of some sort, the founding fathers had enough foresight to understand that it was necessary to keep state out of the business of supporting religion, any religion, all religion. The point was to keep state and church completely separate to avoid the situation that the pilgrims fled from in the first place. The state should not support any single belief. State educational institutes use tax dollars collected from both believers of God, and non-believers to fund their schools, and pay their teachers. They should not be spending any of those funds to promote religious belief. If believers feel that their children should say a pledge to the country and in that pledge include the words “under God”, then they can do that at home every day, or as many times as they feel they should. However it should not be happening anywhere where state funds support the institution.
    Live life, love people, without the promise of the carrot, or the threat of the stick,
    Good day!

  14. It use to remind us of why we said it and what we stood for! It states that it is to the Republic which we stand. The Socialist want us to forget that we all use to believe in the Republic. We are not a Democracy we are a Republic and therefore where true Republicanism came from. Since the Republicans have lost site of their true heritage we rarely understand why the Pledge is fundamental to the struggle we face. Socialism(Communism) VS. Republicanism(Freedom).

    • By the way… as far as I understand, there is not opposition between a republic and socialism.

      Remember the soviet union (U S S R) was literally the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”.

      Just saying…

    • pstrausberg. Now that is funny, ironic. You don’t know that when the socialist who wrote the Pledge first rolled it out, conservatives were against it because the whole point of it was to indoctrinate children into worshiping the nation over and above states and individual rights?

      Funny thing is that if “under God” wasn’t in the Pledge – as the last foothold of religion in public schools – such an over-reach of the federal government would be the first thing listed for the Tea Party chopping block.

      Big government, much?

  15. pstrausberg
    First, I’m not a socialist, or communist. I am proud of America, and consider it the greatest country in the world, and I sense by your words you feel the same way.
    America is like no other country in the world. Thanks to the founding fathers foresight, we enjoy the freedoms established by our constitution, which includes, like it or not, freedom from having our government represents religion.
    Although I find it unnecessary for our children to recite the pledge of allegiance in order to learn pride in our country, and consider the practice as indoctrination, which brings up thoughts of brainwashing or mental conditioning, the only issue I have with it relative to this article is the term “in God we trust”. I have the same issue with that term being on our money, and our Presidents swearing the oath of office with their hand on a Bible stating they will uphold their oath “so help me God”. I would have the identical issue if they were to have “in Buddha, Allah, or any other religious deity…we trust” in the pledge, or anywhere else.
    Live life, love people, without the promise of the carrot, or the threat of the stick,
    Good day!

  16. how can you claim to support all religions, but defend “under god” in schools? Hypocrites! you fling silver at the feet of your supporters! how many religions account for the word God? or even the meaning? HYPOCRITES! you lure the faithful in then deny FAIRNESS? Religion does not demand a god. HYPOCRITES! you claim to defend all religions A-Z. what happens when a religious person comes and says i dont believe in one god????? HYPOCRITES of the worst kind that Jesus HATED!

  17. you people need to read some literature. like “the faith and teachings of jesus of nazareth” you idiots talk about “we’ve had this forever, dont come here and expect us to change” “our forefathers founded on this”
    thats your own ignorance.
    learn before you speak. listen before you talk. jesus hated tyrants, you are tyrants. think. listen. or maybe someone will come along, and make you bow to mecca. how would you feel if u had to bow to mecca? same as these people feel. stop shoving your ideals on the weak and the few you bullies. i am a christian i am proud to believe in Jesus. but he HATED religion. HE called them fools. you, you are fools by the very words jesus said. he beckoned with kind words and a loving embrace. you poke and prod with money and power. you people are fickle, weak, and nothing but sheep who cant understand their shepherd.

  18. ladies and gentlemen. I am a Christian. I love Jesus of Nazareth. Please, forgive my anger. Please. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

    a Video i as a Christian and Devout follower of Jesus. Always Jesus the Son. Jesus who gave his life. Believe in.

    Open minds, people willing to accept others for who they are, not try to kick others out, hate, or otherwise poke fun, belittle, or make less of people. These are some of the ideals Jesus hoped to teach.
    “just because you call some people blind…doesnt automatically give you vision…”
    “if religion is so great…why did it start so many wars….why does it build huge churches, but fails to feed the poor?”
    “its just behavior modification like a long list of chores:”
    “if grace is water, then the church should be an ocean…its not a museum for good people….its a hospital for the broken..”

    good people, i am broken, depression, alcoholism, and Jesus, him alone, his words his faith, his teachings. save me every day.

    you who cannot give people their will, who demand faith. you are broken as well. spread His teachings, open your arms.

    however, you are closing your fists. religions are hate. watch the video. love your fellow man. vengeance is MINE said the Lord. that means its NOT yours.
    Love and Live. Give. if someone doesnt want what you have to give. it is NOT your right to force it. or demand it.

  19. I think we need to look at why that phrase was put into the pledge to begin with. It was to counter the evil forces of communism. It didn’t seem to work all that great then and it really dosen’t do much now except to those who follow that “god”. If anyone wants to include “under god” in their pledge to our republic , then by all means, do so. But please don’t make it part of an education process in our class room that has become so diverse. If your god is so powerful then it dosen’t seem necessary to have everone recite it’s name every day in a class room to claim allegiance for something that it would already know. The great creator would be disapointed to find out that all these religions claim to have the only connection to god and everyone else’s is wrong. Then force children to follow that claim without being able to make their own choice? Really?

  1. […] Religion News Service’s Kimberly Winston reported that this intentional strategy follows a blueprint that was used by gay rights advocates a decade ago. In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to issue gay marriage licenses, using equal rights laws to secure a win. Later, other states followed this model. In the case of the pledge, as Winston notes, a win for the atheist family could spark a similar pattern in other localities. […]

  2. […] Religion News Service’s Kimberly Winston reported that this intentional strategy follows a blueprint that was used by gay rights advocates a decade ago. In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to issue gay marriage licenses, using equal rights laws to secure a win. Later, other states followed this model. In the case of the pledge, as Winston notes, a win for the atheist family could spark a similar pattern in other localities. […]

  3. […] Religion News Service’s Kimberly Winston reported that this intentional strategy follows a blueprint that was used by gay rights advocates a decade ago. In 2003, Massachusetts became the first state to issue gay marriage licenses, using equal rights laws to secure a win. Later, other states followed this model. In the case of the pledge, as Winston notes, a win for the atheist family could spark a similar pattern in other localities. […]

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