Religious Freedom Group, GOP Seek Dismissal of Lawsuit Banning References to God at Capitol Visitors Center
(CNSNews.com) – A conservative civil liberties group is urging the dismissal of a lawsuit by an atheist group that wants to remove engravings of "In God We Trust" (the national motto) and "under God" (from the Pledge of Allegiance) from a display in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed an amicus brief in federal court on behalf of itself and 44 Republicans in the Senate and House seeking dismissal of the lawsuit. The brief argues that neither reference to God violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and that the lawsuit “borders on frivolous.”
“The fact is that Congress acted appropriately and consistent with the Constitution with the inclusion of the national motto and the Pledge of Allegiance in the Capitol Visitor Center,” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for ACLJ said in a press release issued on Monday.
The lawsuit states that these references to God in the Visitors Center “will give actual and apparent government endorsement and advancement of religion,” while excluding nonreligious Americans.
“While the First Amendment affords atheists complete freedom to disbelieve, it does not compel the federal judiciary to redact religious references in every area of public life in order to suit atheistic sensibilities,” the brief states.