Two schools in Florida and New Jersey — threatened with lawsuits — are forbidding students from saying “God Bless America.”
Never mind that U.S. presidents have used the phrase to end the State of the Union Address and almost every major speech for decades.
Students at Glenview Elementary School in Haddon Heights, N.J. and at Yulle High School near Jacksonville, Fla., had been reciting the line daily after the Pledge of Allegiance ever since the terrorist attacks against America on September 11, 2001. However, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Humanist Association complained, saying that doing so violates the Constitution.
And so, both schools banned the practice in order to avoid expensive court cases — not wishing to be caught up in the sort of legal battle dramatized in the popular movie God’s Not Dead 2. In the film, a high school teacher makes a reference to the Christian faith of Dr. Martin Luther King and finds herself embroiled in a dramatic courtroom debate as she fights to defend her faith as well as her career.
In New Jersey, Glenview Principal Sam Sassano says the ACLU accused his school of violating the separation of church and state, NBC10 Philadelphia reported. Sassano defended the recitation, saying, “It has been our view that the practice is fundamentally patriotic in nature and does not invoke or advance any religious message, despite the specific reference to God’s blessing.” He said the school has now told students to stop saying “God Save America” because the district could not afford a legal challenge.
In Florida, the threat of having to spend school funds in court resulted in officials telling students leading the daily Pledge of Allegiance over the intercom to stop adding “God Bless America.” In that case, the American Humanist Association says two atheist students were offended by the practice.
“God’s Not Dead 2,” the sequel to the blockbuster “God’s Not Dead,” has touched the hearts of audience nationwide — particularly as secularlists attempt to scrub any trace of America’s historic Christian faith from our public schools.
God’s Not Dead 2 comes to Blu-ray™ combo pack and DVD on August 16, 2016.