The American Humanist Association is suing a New Jersey school district on behalf of an unidentified family, asking that students not be allowed to say "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Now, a New Jersey family - led by 17-year-old high school senior Samantha Jones - is speaking up.

According to, the court has allowed the family to intervene in the case on behalf of the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District.

If the courts ruled to remove the phrase from the Pledge, [attorney Diana] Verm said that would have an impact on Jones because it would apply to all schools in New Jersey. She also added that the Pledge is voluntary so people don’t have to recite it, which she said has been a remedy in the courts for decades.

“Where they’re wrong is the words 'under God' are not a religious statement but they’re a statement of political philosophy,” Verm said. “It was our Founding Father’s understanding that our rights don’t come from the state but they come from something higher than the state.”

The American Humanist Association, who filed the suit earlier this year, says the phrase, added in 1954, "marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots."

The next steps for Jones and the Knights of Columbus will be to file a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, Verm said.

Jones sat down with Elisabeth Hasselbeck to explain why this issue is so important to her. She argued it comes down to "protecting our freedom as Americans."

"I have been reciting the pledge since pre-school so to me the pledge sums up the history and values that have made our country great. Because it does acknowledge that our rights don't come from the government, but from a higher power. So they can't take those rights away," said Jones. 

She said she would feel "silenced" if she were to be forced to omit "under God" from the pledge. Jones said anyone who doesn't want to say the pledge "has the right to remain silent, but they don't have the right to silence everyone else."

Watch the full interview above.

In April, Elisabeth talked to a representative of the American Humanist Association about the lawsuit. Watch that interview below: