The Freedom From Religion Foundation is demanding that a Massachusetts high school band stop playing “God Bless America” at school functions because it violates separation of church and state. The atheist group told Wayland High School officials that playing “God Bless America” is an unconstitutional act.
The band played the song on two occasions of American patriotism: Pearl Harbor Day and Memorial Day. An attorney with FFRF took issue with the phrase “As we raise our voices in solemn prayer.” School officials, however, have stated they plan to ignore the warning. Superintendent Dr. Paul Stein said, “There has to be a sense about whether the schools are fostering the promotion or practice of religion, and I don’t believe the band playing ‘God Bless America’ does that.”