N.C. Atheist Groups Object to 'God' in Pledge

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Atheist groups in North Carolina have posted billboards across the Tar Heel State to protest the words, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The media push by The North Carolina Secular Association and other atheist groups involves a billboard which reads, "one nation indivisible," leaving out the words, "under God."

The billboard is one of six that have been placed across the state.

In Wilmington, N.C., Mike Connelly's antique shop is located right next to one of the billboards. Connelly said business is good right now, but he's concerned that could change.

"It's a little bit frustrating when you've got a relatively new business," he said. "You don't want any controversy whatsoever surrounding your establishment."

The group known as the Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear supports the billboard campaign, saying the intention is not to cause controversy.

"The Pledge of Allegiance did not have 'under God' until it was added in 1954," Mike Werner, one of the group's leaders, said in a statement to the local media. "We want to bring awareness and want to enjoy the same dignity that everyone else does. It's a clear violation of church and state."

Connelly said the billboard does not make sense and compares it to people trying to fix things that aren't broken.

"I think when I was in school, if there was anybody opposed to that they just didn't say that part of it," he said. "So, it just seems ridiculous to me."

"I think we will put a couple of American flags out front, right beside that, just to oppose that in whatever way we can," he added.

Connelly's not alone on the issue. Some other business owners in the Wilmington area say the atheist campaign upsets them both as business owners and as an Americans.

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.