Press Release

Massachusetts School Children, Parents Defend ‘Under God’

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

Washington, DC.-  Round Four in Becket’s campaign to defend ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Today, Massachusetts schoolchildren who want to continue reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in their public school classrooms intervened in Middlesex state court to defend the Pledge. They seek to defeat a lawsuit brought by a hypersecularist group that wants a court order removing the words “under God” from the Pledge. The schoolchildren, their parents, and the Knights of Columbus are represented by Becket, a nonprofit law firm that has defended the Pledge for almost a decade. After losing three times in federal courts, hypersecularists are now challenging the Pledge at the state level.

This case, brought by the American Humanist Association, alleges that the Pledge violates the Massachusetts constitution and demands that the court declares it unconstitutional and allow its recitation at patriotic ceremonies only if it does not refer to God.

“Members of the American Humanist Society have every right not to say the Pledge if they don’t want to, but they don’t have the right to silence everyone else,” said Diana Verm, Legal Counsel at Becket.

This is the fourth of a series of major lawsuits that have attempted to have the words “Under God” removed from the Pledge. Becket successfully defeated all three and is ready to take on the next challenge.

“The education of students everywhere will be significantly altered if ‘under God’ is removed. Removing the words ‘under God’ would deny the source of our rights and show hostility toward religion. The Pledge is appropriate in public schools because it is a statement of political philosophy, not theology,” added Verm.

Becket is working on the case with J. Patrick Kennedy, of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP in Boston.


For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket  attorney, please contact Melinda Skea at  or 202-349-7224. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.


Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. For over 20 years, it has defended clients of all faiths, including  Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians (read more). ”