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GREENFIELD, Massachusettes (WWLP) – A family asked the Massachusetts High Court Wednesday, to ban the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.
WWLP-TV spoke with residents in Franklin County to see how they feel about the overlap of church and state.
“Under God;” the family feels these words discriminate against their atheist views and appealed to the Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court Wednesday.
The Pledge of Allegiance in Massachusetts state public schools is being challenged as discriminatory.
“The Pledge of Allegiance being said in class is kind of a tradition that the United States as a hole has always followed so why not carry it out,” said Michaela Loynd of Erving.
A lawyer representing an atheist Acton, Massachusetts couple says they are acting on behalf of their three children that are violated when the words “Under God” are included in the daily recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. They say even if it is voluntary it creates bias.
Kiah Crowley of Northampton said, “I think if they want to say it then they should be able to, but if they don’t feel comfortable saying it then they shouldn’t be stigmatized.”
However, many wonder how far this ban would extend; there are many places where God is referenced on a daily basis.
The pledge is recited at sporting events and other public gatherings.
“I always said it,” said Ian Jennison of Greenfield. “They even gave you the chance not to but I think you live here you should still say it. It’s the one small thing to keep all your freedoms.”
Decisions from the court on something like this could take several months. The original pledge in 1942 did not have the words “Under God” until 1954.