French national Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo has legal permanent residency in the U.S. and says she wants to become a citizen – but four words are blocking her. She’s an atheist and says the phrase “so help me God” in the official citizenship oath is an infringement on her religious freedom.
Doc, Kal and Brad talked about this odd story on today’s show.
Does she have other options?
Yes. Her lawsuit against the federal government details how Perrier-Bilbo could have become a citizen in 2009 and simply omitted “so help me God.” But Perrier-Bilbo says she would “feel less than a full new citizen” if she became a citizen with a modified version of the oath.
Will an anti-“so help me God” lawsuit ever win?
Probably not. “Courts generally have not been receptive to this in the context of the Pledge of Allegiance” was the bottom line from a First Amendment expert.