Wednesday’s ruling by a federal judge in California declaring the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional is a slap in the face to the very ones who founded this country.

California atheist Michael Newdow, whose previous attempt to strike the phrase “Under God” failed because he didn’t have custody of the daughter he claimed was humiliated by saying the Pledge, succeeded this time on behalf of three unnamed parents and their children.

While the Constitution clearly calls for a separation of church and state, the phrase “Under God” has become symbolic with the very principals on which this country was founded.

Although the founders of this country fled religious persecution, they by no means were atheists. They simply wanted to worship God in their own way, not a way dictated to them.

The authors of our Constitution undoubtedly wanted to ensure that government never forced Americans to worship in a certain way, but also undoubtedly hoped its citizens would continue to have the strong morals and heed the teachings of the Bible.

Newdow has these very forefathers to thank for his right to denounce God and to teach his daughter that there is no higher being. However, other students have rights as well.

Both sides, however, should be grateful they live in a country where individuals are afforded that right to choose and celebrate it with the very Pledge Newdow denounces.

Should the judge’s ruling stand, is “In God We Trust” the next mark for denouncers of religion?

This persecution of the Pledge reeks of a publicity stunt rather than true concern for his daughter or those other children.

The courts should suggest those seeking to not take part in the Pledge step outside the classroom, making sure they’re not persecuted for their beliefs.

However, they most certainly should not uphold this ruling and make a mockery of the true intentions of our forefathers and deny those who still believe America should be one nation “Under God.”

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