N.J. Grand Jury Decides Complaint About Flying 'One Nation Under God' Flags has Merit

N.J. Grand Jury Decides Complaint About Flying 'One Nation Under God' Flags has Merit

One Nation Under God

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A grand jury in Bergen county, New Jersey, decides that there is cause for action on a complaint about flying "One Nation Under God" flags under the U.S. flag. The complaint had been filed by John Joseph, an atheist living in Hasbrouck Heights, as well as a couple of clergymen.

The people living in Hasbrouck Heights only began flying the "One Nation Under God" pennants to protest the Supreme Court decision to remove state-written prayers from public schools. The suggestion to fly the pennants was originally made by the local Knights of Columbus chapter and the Holy Name Society of Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church.

According to Hasbrouck Heights mayor John F. Knowlan, the flags

"reaffirm our recognition of the fact that America is a religious nation and that it has reached its greatness with its people devout in their faith in the Almighty."

Mayor Knowlan also rejects the idea that he should serve as mayor of everyone; instead, he's only interested in serving the interests of Christian residents:

"I was not elected by atheists. This is a town of believers and it's not run on the basis of atheist thought. This has always been a religious nation and it's immoral to try to take God out of it."

Most people in the community have stopped talking to John Joseph, including his neighbor James R. Whipp, who says:

"I believe in majority rule. Why should 1,000 atheists get to tell 200 million believers what to do? That's un-American."

John Joseph insists, though, that this isn't about patriotism — it's about principle:

"I revere the flag. I fought under it and I live under it. I just think it should be flown alone."
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