Christian Leader Furious After New Jersey School Makes Saying “God Bless America” Optional

Here’s yet another reminder that Focus on the Family under the leadership of Jim Daly is really no different than it was under James Dobson.

It involves an incident that took place last week at Glenview Elementary School in New Jersey. Students there were told to say “God bless America” after the Pledge of Allegiance (because why invoke God once when you can do it twice?!)… and they had been doing this since 9/11.

The ACLU reminded the District that this was not something you could tell kids to say, and administrators reluctantly complied. They said it would no longer be a formal part of the school day. But kids who wanted to say it could obviously still do that.

So how did Focus on the Family spin that story to their gullible Christian base?


Well, Daly’s post is titled “It’s Now Illegal to Say ‘God Bless America’?” if that gives you any indication. (The question mark doesn’t temper the bullshit claim he’s making, but the obvious answer is “no.”)

In it, he writes:

… where was the federal government’s sympathy and concern this week when students at a New Jersey school were forced to stop their patriotic tradition of saying “God Bless America” after the reciting the Pledge?

That tradition began after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. However, due to recent threats from the ACLU, it has abruptly ended. Parents have said their kids want to keep saying the phrase regardless, but they stand alone — while the government remains silent.

Could he be any more hyperbolic?

No one “forced” the kids to stop saying it. No “threats” were issued. And if the kids want to say “God bless America,” no one’s stopping them.

This is how Christians like Daly think: If their faith isn’t being promoted, the only other option is persecution. Neutrality is never an option.

Honesty becomes collateral damage on the road to getting Christians to donate money to your organization so you can fight a battle that exists only in your mind.

I haven’t even mentioned Daly’s complete ignorance when it comes to transgender issues — which he referred to as “a boy identifying as a girl who… demanded access to female locker rooms.”

It’s the same bigotry and ignorance we’ve come to expect from conservative Christian groups. They can change leadership, but the stuff that actually needs to change never does.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.