Woman sues to remove ‘So help me God’ from oath of U.S. citizenship

Original Article

By Dan Glaun

For years, Olga Paule Perrier-Bilbo, a French national and green-card holder who has lived in Scituate since 2000, has wanted to become an American citizen.

That dream, she claims in a new federal lawsuit, is being denied by four simple words: “So help me God.”

On Thursday, Perrier-Bilbo, an atheist, filed a federal lawsuit claiming the inclusion of that phrase in United States’ citizenship oath is an unconstitutional violation of her religious freedom.

“Accordingly, the current oath violates the first 10 words of the Bill of Rights, and to participate in a ceremony which violates that key portion of the United States Constitution is not supporting of defending the constitution as the oath demands,” the lawsuit says.

And although Perrier-Bilbo was offered the chance to use a modified oath or participate in a private citizenship ceremony, she claims the presence of “so help me God” is still an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion — and that the alternatives offered to her by the government place an illegal burden on her for her beliefs.