×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - In Google Play
VIEW
×
Newsmax TV & Webwww.newsmax.comFREE - On the App Store
VIEW
Skip to main content
Tags: school prayer | Massachusetts | lawsuits

Notable Lawsuits Over School Prayer in Massachusetts

By    |   Saturday, 20 June 2015 09:11 PM EDT

The words “under God” were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, and some people have wondered over the years if the pledge could fall under the definition of a school prayer. Massachusetts is among the states that have seen legal action regarding the issue.

Supporters of using the phrase in the pledge had a victory in May 2014 when the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the term “under God” in the pledge does not reflect participation in religion, but is more of a patriotic practice, The Washington Post reported. The court noted that there was a “religious tinge” to the phrase, but that it was a voluntary practice that consisted of allegiance to the country.

ALERT: Should Prayer Be Allowed in Public Schools? Vote Now

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center represented a Massachusetts humanist family when filing the lawsuit in 2010 against the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. Humanism bases its progressive philosophy on responsibility to self and humanity. The case was unique in that it sought constitutional rights for atheists and humanists rather than focusing on the phrase “under God” as a prayer that violated the First Amendment and the issue of church and state separation.

“Any daily patriotic exercise should be inclusive of all Massachusetts children, without portraying believers as being better patriots than nonbelievers,” stated Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. He argued that the pledge combines patriotism with religion.

Freedom of expression covers many issues on school grounds and often affects those who want to convey a religious message, sometimes promoting prayer events outside of school. Massachusetts has a Student Free Expression Act. In a 1996 case involving the South Hadley School Committee, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that students can express themselves as long as their views and actions are not disruptive, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

VOTE NOW: Do You Support Prayer in Public Schools?

Related Stories:

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


FastFeatures
The words "under God" were added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, and some people have wondered over the years if the pledge could fall under the definition of a school prayer. Massachusetts is among the states that have seen legal action regarding the issue.
school prayer, Massachusetts, lawsuits
346
2015-11-20
Saturday, 20 June 2015 09:11 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.

PLEASE NOTE: All information presented on Newsmax.com is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented on our websites should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information found on our websites is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in Newsmaxhealth.com and Newsmax.com do not necessarily reflect those of Newsmax Media. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical or nutritional course of action.

 
TOP

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved