Mass. Town Approves ‘God Bless’ Statement

With a 10-4 vote, the Holyoke, Mass., City Council approved adding a phrase to council rules that allows members to invoke God after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during meetings.

“God Bless America, God Bless the city of Holyoke and all its citizens and God Bless the City Council,” the phrase, introduced by Councilmember Kevin A. Jourdain, reads.

The phrase, its supporters argue, has been “a tradition for decades,” but some opposing it argue that it raises church-state separation concerns. 

Opponents also argue that the phrase excludes non-Christians and those who don’t believe in God.