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ICC Note:

Across the country, atheist and humanist organizations like the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and American Humanist Association (AHA) are pushing to remove prayer from schools, “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and Bibles from public display, and winning. A recent decision by the county school system in Gainesville, Georgia sided with a letter delivered August 12th by the FFRF demanding coaches be barred from “sponsoring” prayer at athletic events. Many question where, and to what end, these groups will strike next.

08/20/2014 United States (Newsmax) – Jessica Andrews was surprised to learn the copy of the Pledge of Allegiance distributed to her daughter and other students at Chukker Creek Elementary School in Aiken, South Carolina, did not include two important words – “under God.”

She brought the issue to the attention of Principal Amy Gregory, who explained the omission.

“In order to assist her new students with our morning announcements, a teacher made copies of the pledge and national anthem for her class,” Gregory told Fox News’ Todd Starnes in an email. “She cut and pasted these from a website and in doing so, this line was omitted.”

In that case, the absence of God was unintentional and not the result of any effort to secularize the Pledge of Allegiance. There are, however, several ongoing lawsuits in school districts across the nation with the intent of removing God and prayer from school.

For example, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center recently sent a letter to officials of the Hall County School District in Gainesville, Georgia, on behalf of a “concerned citizen” who objected to coaches of a high school football team joining players in prayer.

The Aug. 12 letter contends participation in prayer is a violation of the Establishment Clause and demands the “coaching staff cease leading, participating in, or encouraging team prayer, and that the school remove all Bible verses and other religious messages from team documents and related materials.”

According to Monica Miller, an attorney with the legal center, the simple participation by coaches constitutes sponsored prayer.

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