There has been a great amount of support from Christian groups to keep the words “under God” as part of the Pledge of Allegiance. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, presented the FRC amicus brief in the Elk Grove vs. Newdow case and urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a ban on the words “under God” of the pledge issued by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' in 2002.
Perkins said during the hearing, "The Ninth Circuit, which is the most often overturned federal court of appeals in the nation, was clearly out of step with both the American public and the spirit of the Constitution when it banned 'under God' from the Pledge.”
Michael Newdow, who is atheist, filed the case against Elk Grove School District, because he didn’t want his daughter reciting the Pledge with the phrase “under God” included.
"Children are not forced to recite the Pledge,” said Perkins during his presentation. “If they or their parents object to it, they can simply remain silent.”
Perkins then noted that the daughter of Newdow and her mother, Sandra Banning, who has custody of the girl, have no objection to the Pledge.
Banning is a born-again Christian and supports the pledge. She only objects to Newdow’s “inclusion of our daughter" in the case, said Banning earlier Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" show. According to Banning, her daughter has no problem with the pledge.
Those who were in the Supreme Courthouse to support the original version of the Pledge were not alone as about 100 people gathered outside to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, emphasizing the words “under God”.
A new Associated Press poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the reference to God, showing 90% of Americans approve of the reference to God belongs in the pledge despite constitutional questions about the separation of church and state.
Banning said after the hearing, “I hope and pray that they will support our history, the traditions of our nation and the values we hold dear.”
"The Supreme Court must reject the ludicrous arguments of those who seek to strip America of her religious foundation,” said Perkins.
"If the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, then so is the Declaration of Independence and every other historical document or inscription that recognizes the fact that this country was founded upon religious principles.”
After the hearing ended, founder and president of the Center for Reclaiming America, Dr. James D. Kennedy, released a statement which reads, “Federal courts have been whittling away at the right to acknowledge God.”
“This must stop,” said Kennedy.
Last November, the Center for Reclaiming America hand-delivered 205,000 petitions to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of preserving the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance.
The host of the award-winning syndicated broadcast The Kennedy Hour, also called on Congress to pass the Constitution Restoration Act (H.R.3799, S.2082) in order to “roll back the last forty years of rulings against the acknowledgement of God in public life.”
“Our nation was founded on the recognition of God, but federal judges have trumped the Founding Fathers by issuing edicts forbidding the acknowledgement of Him who is the source of our liberty and our laws,” asserted Kennedy
Perkins reminded the Congress of the wise words of President Ronald Reagan who once said, “If we ever forget that we are One Nation under God, then we will be a Nation gone under.”