N.J. school sued over 'under God' in pledge

FREEHOLD, N.J. - A family is suing a New Jersey school district, contending that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance discriminates against atheist children.

The lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District was filed in state court last month and was announced last week by the American Humanist Association.

The group says the phrase, added in 1954, "marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots."

The anonymous plaintiffs say the two words "under God" violate the New Jersey constitution.

But school district lawyer David Rubin says the district is merely following a state law that requires schools to have a daily recitation of the pledge. He says individual students do not have to participate.

The humanist group is awaiting a ruling from a court on a similar case in Massachusetts.

Car hits packed Florida church, injuring 21

- Police in Fort Myers, Fla., say a car slammed into a packed church just as its Easter concert was about to begin, injuring 21 people as it barreled through the brick outer wall and several rows of pews.

Fort Myers Police Lt. Victor Medico says the Lexus sedan struck the Second Haitian Baptist Church at around 8 p.m. Sunday, when there were about 200 people inside. Investigators are looking into the crash even though they believe it was "an unfortunate traffic accident."

The News-Press reports that church members used car jacks to lift the vehicle off of people who were trapped underneath.

Mary Briggs of Lee Memorial Health System said 18 people were taken to hospitals, but none required surgery.

Associated Press