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New Jersey Student Wins Legal Fight Over Pledge of Allegiance Against Atheists

((Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder))Local residents line the street as the funeral procession for Marine Lance Cpl. Walter O'Haire passes in Rockland, Massachusetts May 15, 2007. O'Haire was killed May 9 while on duty in Iraq.

A high school student in New Jersey has won a court case against atheists to keep the phrase "Under God" in the national Pledge of Allegiance.

A judge in New Jersey dismissed the lawsuit brought on by the American Humanist Association to remove "One Nation, Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance after hearing the argument of Samantha Jones, a senior at Highland Regional High School, who felt she and her classmates should be able to continue reciting the Pledge in its entirety.

"I'm so grateful the court decided that kids like me shouldn't be silenced just because some people object to timeless American values," Jones said in a statement released by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which defended her.

"Ever since I was little, I've recited the Pledge of Allegiance because it sums up the values that make our country great. The phrase 'under God' protects all Americans — including atheists — because it reminds the government that it can't take away basic human rights because it didn't create them."

Eric Rassbach with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty added in the statement that because atheists have the right to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance, they shouldn't be able to make everyone else sit it out too.

"The Pledge of Allegiance isn't a prayer, and reciting it doesn't magically create an official state religion," Rassbach said, as reported by the Christian Broadcasting Network.

"Dissenters have every right to sit out the pledge, but they can't silence everyone else," he added.

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