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America is experiencing a hostile takeover, an advancing conquest by abject secularists who believe – and demand – that our nation should be a religion-free zone that stifles all public religious expression. That movement experienced a surge this week when a San Francisco Federal District Court declared that the phrase “under God” in our nation’s Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.

The plaintiff in the case – the now notorious Michael Newdow – is a self-serving atheist who attempted to oust the phrase from the Pledge two years ago. The problem then was that he alleged that he was representing his daughter’s desire to cast “under God” out of the Pledge. We found that the opposite was true; the little girl – who was living with her mother, a Christian – actually enjoyed reciting the Pledge in her school.

That case was thrown out when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Newdow had no standing to bring suit on behalf of his daughter because he had no parental authority to do so, following his divorce.

However, the District Court has ruled that it is bound to follow the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (often called the nation’s most liberal appeals court), which struck down the Pledge in 2003. After that ruling was set aside by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2004, Mr. Newdow filed the current suit.

“The court concludes that it is bound by the Ninth Circuit’s previous determination that the school district’s policy with regard to the pledge is an unconstitutional violation of the children’s right to be free from a coercive requirement to affirm God,” Judge Lawrence Karlton wrote. (Karlton was appointed by President Jimmy Carter.)

This is an amazing presumption – that children repeating two words are being compelled to affirm a religion. I wonder, Judge Karlton, are religious children similarly being compelled to forfeit their religious beliefs in classrooms that teach evolution as fact?

This ruling will be now be appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If the phrase “under God” is ruled an unconstitutional establishment of religion in that court, the Supreme Court will likely again be faced with determining the fate of the Pledge.

This time, the Court will have to address the merits of this very important case.

Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, and one of our nation’s leading religious freedom experts, says history is on the side of the Pledge.

“In the current judicial climate, today’s ruling is not surprising but it is dismaying. The history of the Pledge of Allegiance illustrates that the phrase ‘under God’ is a permissible acknowledgement rather than an establishment of religion.”

He noted that if the Pledge established or tended to establish a religion, then that would have happened during the past 50 years of its existence.

“Day after day. we have recited the Pledge from the classroom to the stateroom, from private meetings to public events, and not once has it tended to establish a religion. The San Francisco District Court ruling illustrates why we need judges who are umpires applying settled law rather than activists intent on imposing their own ideology.”

Liberty Counsel, which filed a brief in the Newdow case when it was before the U.S. Supreme Court, supporting the Pledge, will now file a brief in this most recent case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

No matter the outcome of this case, the fact remains that our nation is being stripped of its prominent religious heritage – a heritage embraced by our Founders and by many generations.

If the militant secularists want to redefine this nation in their own Godless imagine, they should at least be honest with the American people and admit that they are contradicting our nation’s extensive history of government-endorsed public religious expression, including National Days of Prayer, “In God We Trust” on our coinage, acknowledgment of the Creator in our Constitution and in countless other areas.

These religious references indicate the true chronicle of our nation. Those of us who love and respect this history better get serious about protecting it, because the enemies of our religious heritage are hell-bent on wiping out our history and instigating a new era – one of utter religious suppression.

It’s a frightening prospect, but one that I believe is very real.

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