A high school in Wisconsin is under fire for removing “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.
According to the Star Tribune students at East High School in Madison recited the godless pledge in March. Other reports claim some recitations replaced “under God” with the word “peace.”
T.J. Mertz, a member of the School board told the Star Tribune it was unclear whether the students acted on their own or were instructed by a staff member to recite the altered pledge.
A school district in New Jersey is also being criticized for altering the Pledge of Allegiance.
A lawsuit filed against a New Jersey school district March 28, contends that reciting the phrase “under God” in the pledge sends a message that nonbelievers are bad citizens and creates a hostile environment for atheist students.
In a survey of 1001 Americans conducted by Nashville-based Lifeway Research 85 percent of the respondents said they prefer to keep “under God” in the pledge.
Researchers did find 1 in 4 Americans (25 percent) believe forcing students to say “under God” violates their rights. But less than one in 10 (eight percent) Americans want to remove “under God” from the pledge.
The survey results show little support for changing the pledge, says Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research.
“Most Americans have recited the pledge hundreds of times and are not inclined to memorize a different pledge,” he says. “Changing it may just feel wrong. Most Americans say they believe in God or a higher being and feel comfortable having ‘under God’ in the pledge.”