By Summer Meza
An atheist woman seeking citizenship in Massachusetts is suing to remove the phrase “so help me God” from the United States citizenship oath.
Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo, a French national who has lived in the U.S. since 2000 with a green card, says that the inclusion of the phrase is an unconstitutional violation of her religious freedom. Her lawyer, Michael Newdow, drew attention for a similar Supreme Court case in 2004, when he argued that the Pledge of Allegiance should be rewritten to omit “under God.”
This is Perrier-Bilbo’s second application for citizenship, according to The Sacramento Bee.The first time around was in 2009, when she was offered the chance to participate in a private citizenship ceremony that would allow her to omit those four words. But the fact that the oath includes them at all is what she’s objecting to now. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Thursday.
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