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September 9th, 2013
03:29 PM ET

Fox News host: Atheists 'don't have to live here'

By Daniel BurkeCNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Fox News pundit Dana Perino said she's "tired" of atheists attempting to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, adding, "if these people really don't like it, they don't have to live here."

The co-host of Fox's "The Five" was referring to a suit brought by the American Humanist Association in Massachusetts, where the state's Supreme Judicial Court heard a challenge to the pledge on Wednesday.

The group's executive director, Roy Speckhardt, called the suit "the first challenge of its kind," but Perino begged to differ.

Perino, who was White House press secretary for George W. Bush from 2007-2009, said she recalled working at the Justice Department in 2001 "and a lawsuit like this came through."

The former Bush spokeswoman added that "before the day had finished the United States Senate and the House of Representatives had both passed resolutions saying that they were for keeping ‘under God’ in the pledge."

"If these people don't like it, they don't have to live here," Perino added.

David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, called Perino's comments "bigotry."

"I, for one, am tired of those Christians, like Ms. Perino, who think that equality is somehow un-American," Silverman said. "If Ms. Perino doesn't like being only equal, it is she who will have to leave America to some other country that doesn't value religious liberty."

READ MORE: Famous Atheists and Their Beliefs 

In 2002, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with atheist Michael Newdow who argued that the words "under God" in the pledge amounted to an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. The Supreme Court overturned that ruling.

Congress added the words "under God" in 1954 amid the red scare over the Soviet Union. In November 2002, after the Newdow ruling, Congress passed a law reaffirming "under God" in the pledge.

Greg Gutfeld, another co-host on "The Five," continued the discussion after Perino, saying the Pledge of Allegiance "is not a prayer, it's a patriotic exercise. In a sense, it's basically saying: Thanks for giving us the freedom to be an atheist."

The Massachusetts case, which was brought by an unidentified family of a student at a school in suburban Boston, will be argued on the premise that the pledge violates the Equal Rights Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution.

READ MORE: Behold, the Six Types of Atheists

It is the first such case to be tried on the state level: All previous attempts have been argued in federal court on the grounds that "under God" was an unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state.

CNN's Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Church and state • Courts • Culture wars • News media • Schools • TV

soundoff (7,255 Responses)
  1. factntruth

    Perino is 100% correct. We have the freedom in this country to live and let live. We can choose to believe in what we want, or we can choose not to believe. Atheists are today trying to take away the freedom to believe. Her comment of "they don't have to live here" displays the frustration many have with small groups trying to take away the freedoms of the many. If you want to live in the United States and enjoy it's freedoms, then by all means please do. But do not think you can do it at the expense of others freedoms. That's not how it works.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      Wrong. You do not need a law to believe in something. Get rid of it.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • FreeFromTheism

      you don't even realize how self-contradictory what you're saying is
      that's how sad the situation is

      September 10, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Hey! You!

      'Atheists are today trying to take away the freedom to believe.' How so?

      September 10, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • sybaris

      So by your logic if "God" was removed from the POA then you would stop believing in your God.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • atheists KEEP OUT!

      YES! You are all FREE to LEAVE! SURELY, nobody will miss you.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • PennyK

      I guess all the blacks should have moved back to Africa instead of having that Civil Rights Movement that took rights away from the whites?

      September 10, 2013 at 8:37 am |
    • Observer

      factntruth,

      "Atheists are today trying to take away the freedom to believe."

      Fact and truth: "under God" was something ADDED by believers. Atheists want the ORIGINAL pledge restored.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:39 am |
  2. sybaris

    Cue the persecuted Christian in..........3..........2..............1............

    Let's see we have:

    Bibles in every motel room
    God on our money
    Prayer before public events
    Christian cable networks 24/7
    Discounts on insurance for being Christian
    Churches every 6 blocks in every city over 100,000
    Laws that prevent non-Christians from holding public office
    Christian bookstores in every town over 12,000
    God in the Pledge of Allegiance
    Televangelists 24/7
    Christian billboards along the highway advertising Vacation Bible School and “Repent or go to He.ll”
    Federally recognized Christian holiday
    Radioevangelists 24/7
    Religious organizations are tax free
    75% of the population claims to be Christian
    National day of prayer
    God in the National Anthem
    Weekday Christian education for elementary students.
    Christian clergy led prayer at Presidential inaugurations

    Please, take the persecuted Christian whine line somewhere else.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Straight, white, Christian, land-owning males have never got a fair chance in America.
      They werent' even allowed to vote until 1776!
      I dream of an America where one day the people will see fit to elect an openly Christian President.
      Or maybe 43 of them in a row.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • SouthernCelt

      We are the majority in the U.S. where the majority rules. Get over it.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:37 am |
      • Thinker...

        The majority rules so long as the majorities' rules abide by the consti tution. The point of the consti tution is to prevent the 'Tyrany of the Majority'. Look it up if you don't understand the need.

        September 10, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  3. atheists KEEP OUT!

    SURELY, they'll NOT be missed!

    September 10, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • jordan

      I would much rather live in a country full of atheists, than a country full of self-serving Christians. Where is that "love" Jesus told you to have? He died to make his followers better people, and to love no matter what they believe, or how they act. All I ever hear is bashing to anyone who doesn't follow their faith. It's sick, and contradicts any teachings your "son of god" has tried to give. Why should an atheist be ostracized for their belief, but a Christian praised? You have been condemning people since the beginning of your religion, and you are no better than someone who worships Satan.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:29 am |
      • failed logic

        Atheists couldn't fill a bucket, how can they make a country full?

        September 10, 2013 at 8:49 am |
        • jordan

          It's an obvious statement of how we live in a country dominated by the Christian faith. Obviously there aren't enough atheists to fill an entire country, but I would MUCH RATHER live in place that could.

          September 10, 2013 at 9:12 am |
      • King James

        Atheists have no place in this world.

        September 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  4. FreeFromTheism

    this has stupid written all over it

    September 10, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  5. Doc Vestibule

    Though I am Canadian, I spent some of my teenage years in the American school system.
    When the Pledge of Allegiance was recited each morning, I would stand respectfully but would not recite the words.
    This offended one of my teachers so much that she took me aside and tearfully reprimanded me for such callous disrespect.
    I tried pointing out the illogic of forcing someone to pledge allegiance to a flag that isn't their own, but in her patriotic zeal she couldn't fathom why anyone wouldn't want to give their undying loyalty to America.
    The "under God" bit didn't enter into the argument at all, and yet I was thereafter considered a treasonous, amoral, atheist commie by some members of the faculty.
    That was more than 20 years ago – and I still think the Pledge is a rather strange piece of childhood indoctrination.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Davis

      "and I still think the Pledge is a rather strange piece of childhood indoctrination" The smartest thing said so far.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
    • Thinker...

      When it was first intorduced in the late 1800s the purpose was to create a sense of national unity that was sorely lacking in the US. People were more loyal to their state than to the nation as a whole. You still see some of that from Texans, but if you had asked an american tourist in a foreign country where they were from they would respond I'm a Missourian or I'm an Iowan, etc. This was starting to dissapear as a result of the civil war, but not fast enough for the government at the time. Thus childhood indoctrination. It is rather pointless now, but good luck getting rid of it.

      September 10, 2013 at 9:17 am |
  6. massconn72

    I am an atheist and I personally don't give a damn.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Thinker...

      I always just ommited the 'under god' bit in school. It did make me stand out a bit a couple of times, but I was a strange kid anyway so I'm not sure it had any real effect on my school life.

      I understand the principal behind opposing it though. There are places in this country where omiting part of the pledge will get you ostracised.

      September 10, 2013 at 9:32 am |
  7. Mike in SA

    True, they don't have to live here, no one HAS to live here. It seems to me that the secularists, humanists, atheists, etc. all demand that we do things their way and rail at the fact that they do things are way.

    Weird, huh? Seems NO ONE wants to do things that offend them personally. Go figure.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      Do thinks are way? Getting rid of a law that states you must include "god" in something is illegal. Just shoves Christianity down other people's throats. Get rid of the law. If Christians want to keep saying God in the pledge good for them but they do not need a law to do it.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
      • Mike in SA

        Sorry...have been up for over 26 hours working on an organ donor case so my typing is a bit...diminished this AM. Here's an equal solution...if you DON'T want to say "under God"...don't.

        September 10, 2013 at 8:23 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Get rid of the law then. If you want to say God in it then you don't need a law to do it. Get rid of the law.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:25 am |
      • What is going on? FREEDOM

        Woops a law enforcing the term "God" in something is illegal. Get rid of it.

        September 10, 2013 at 8:24 am |
        • Mike in SA

          So if SCOTUS upholds this again, what's next? You cry into your bowl of Corn Flakes?

          September 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Nope. I will keep fighting it because it shows favoritism to one religion which is illegal.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:28 am |
        • Mike in SA

          There is a gay agenda. At least, that's what my friends in the gay community tell me. I don't really know since I'm not gay, but if the gays say there is one, there must be one, right? I mean, gays wouldn't lie would they?

          September 10, 2013 at 8:33 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Mike I doubt you have ever seen anyone that is gay. There is no gay agenda. They are people fighting for their own civil rights that people like you would deny in a second.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:36 am |
      • Mike in SA

        You do seem fine with shoving atheism down everyone's throat so your point would be what? You can do it but Christians or people of faith can't?

        Interesting.

        September 10, 2013 at 8:25 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          I haven't shoved anything down people's throats. You must believe that there is a "gay agenda" out there too huh?

          September 10, 2013 at 8:27 am |
        • Davis

          I'm pretty sure that asking someone to not shove something down your throat isn't the same as shoving something down someones throat.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:29 am |
        • G to the T

          Which option is more inclusive? The one that adds something to the pledge that makes it no longer apply to everyone equaly or one that puts the pledge closer to its original form and can be applicable to EVERYONE in the country?

          September 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The US government, from it's very inception, was designed to be a secular insti/tution.
      Public schools government apparatus and thus should uphold the basic tenets of the US Consti/tution.
      It is the religionists who want everyone to do it their way – secularists are simply trying to remind you all that freedom of and from religion is one of the USA's core principles.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:22 am |
      • Mike in SA

        Sorry...it's actually freedom OF religion, not from religion. Nice try, though.

        September 10, 2013 at 8:26 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          No it is the freedom from religion as well foolish one. Stop denying the obvious facts.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:31 am |
        • Davis

          Well then it's not freedom is it.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • G to the T

          If it's freedom OF religion, then why don't we say "Under Yahweh/Allah/Krishna/Satan/Buddha/etc."? Because it's ridiclous, that's why – you have a very specific "god" in mind when you say it (that in itself should clue you in to what's wrong with your stance). For me, the more inclusive option is NOT to include that condition in the pledge in the first place.

          September 10, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  8. Badly-Bent

    It's not a duck?

    September 10, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  9. B

    The original pledge was:
    Bellamy's original Pledge read as follows:

    I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

    President Eisenhower had been baptized a Presbyterian very recently, just a year before. He responded enthusiastically to Docherty in a conversation following the service. Eisenhower acted on his suggestion the next day and on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.[18] Eisenhower stated "From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty.... In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource, in peace or in war."[19]

    ---------

    The phrase "under God" was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress
    In 1954, during the McCarthy era and communism scare, Congress passed a bill, which was signed into law, to add the words "under God." The current Pledge reads:

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    September 10, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • JakeF

      Facts! Stop with your stupid facts. I want panicky hyperbole!

      September 10, 2013 at 8:18 am |
  10. Ajax

    I liked the 1924-1954 version mostly because I am aware that the controversial change was made only due to the red scare of the 1950's. It was reactionary and unnecessary then just as it is now.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • Caleb

      Exactly. America wanted a way to separate itself from communism and embracing religion was a way for them to do that. But it's just inappropriate.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      They are using now for fear of Atheists and different religious groups and belief groups.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:14 am |
  11. James

    I pledge allegiance to the truth.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • rachel b

      Well said.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  12. Kenoscope

    Christians don't have to live here either, I have found the majority to be spiteful self centered garbage who press their sick beliefs on everyone, even other Christians.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  13. Observer

    It's Fox News. We don't expect intelligence from them.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  14. jdun

    Religion is the opiate of the masses? What would happen if we stopped brainwashing 5 year old kids with mythology and old tales and focused on reason, education, individual rights and democracy? A lot of pastors and priests would be out of work, a lot of tax loopholes would close and people would have to face reality instead of fiction. We might even decide to clean up our nest!

    September 10, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  15. Pat

    I enjoy Fox news greatly. I agree that if the Ass-theists don't like it, they can all leave peacefully or otherwise.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Or otherwise what? You're going to sick your demented vengful god on us? LOL. Let me know how that works out!

      September 10, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      Could be the same for you fool. People like you only wanted to include God in the government because you were fearful of a secular government.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:10 am |
    • sybaris

      How very Christian of you Pat

      September 10, 2013 at 8:11 am |
    • Humberto

      So can the people involved with the US Equal Employment outfit that brought Abercrombie to court for firing a woman employee that insisted on wearing a hijab knowing that woman that wear such outfits are forbidden to work in the public sector by very same religion.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:14 am |
      • Humberto

        Hijab woman also have to be accompanied by a adult male in public.

        September 10, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Drew Miller

      So this is where you've been Mr. Robertson.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • PennyK

      First ask the atheists to leave. Then ask everyone who doesn't believe in the Abrahamic god to leave. All the Hindus, Taoists, Sikhs, Buddhists, and others. Then the majority will ask the Muslims and the Mormons to leave. Jews will be next and then things will get really interesting once it's down to just Catholics, mainline protestants, and the Christian protestant Right. Being a "true" American would come down to who's the real Christian then. Orthodox churches and the mainline protestants won't have a chance of surviving that.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Jon

      Pat, It must suck to be scared of other people. Do you wet your pants when people say boo? You must be a baptist thinking they are the only ones that will be in the so called heaven.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • jordan

      I would much rather live in a country full of atheists, than a country full of self-serving Christians. Where is that "love" Jesus told you to have? He died to make his followers better people, and to love no matter what they believe, or how they act. All I ever hear is bashing to anyone who doesn't follow their faith. It's sick, and contradicts any teachings your "son of god" has tried to give. Why should an atheist be ostracized for their belief, but a Christian praised? You have been condemning people since the beginning of your religion, and you are no better than someone who worships Satan.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  16. tv22

    Clearly her point is if every little thing is so terrible and you actually feel you have to file a lawsuit against something that's been said by kids every day for 60 years, then maybe this isn't the place for you. Perhaps a workers paradise like North Korea would make them more comfortable.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Mike in SA

      Maybe we all should be filing lawsuits against every little thing that irritates us. That could be fun. Here's a thought...just don't say "Under God". I have worshiped in multiple churches, synagogues, temples, etc. and I do not say/do what goes against my personal beliefs. I do not confess to a priest, I don't genuflect, I don't bow before a statue of Mary...but many of my family does.

      Different strokes, people. We all need to give a little and take a little.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:22 am |
      • Thinker...

        Do you think christianity should be enshrined in the laws of the United States of America? That is the question being asked under all the hyperbole. The pledge is set forth in a law and it declares our nation as being 'under god'. I believe that violates the establisment clause in the consti tution and should thus be taken out of the law. I had no problem ommiting that part in school myself. I just think our laws should abide by our consti tution. If we do otherwise we risk the foundation of our system of government.

        September 10, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • PennyK

      It's the same att itude that lots of bigots had towards blacks. They use to tell them "If you don't like the inequality, go back to Africa!"

      September 10, 2013 at 8:26 am |
  17. Rodeo_Joe

    The "Under God" was added in the 1950's to indoctronate hate against "god-less" commies. It's plainly unnecessary, now.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:02 am |
    • StormySyndrome

      So if one, who happens to live in a country that is said to be tolerant of all religions, finds himself in the same said country with religiously intolerant people.....it should be him that moves?? I think Fox might want to rethink that position. This country was in no way founded upon religion....In fact, many of the founding fathers were Deistic...not Atheist's, but definitely not Christian. They believed god did indeed exist, but that he held himself separate from the universe after creating it and does not interfere with mankind in any way. If he made it, it should be as close to perfect as possible without need for him to interfere. Why is it only man that has this god??? Why do monkeys, dogs, cats, and other animals worship their gods??? Oh wait...apparently they have no soul.... Only living humans have souls hunh? Senseless rhetoric. It is my final opinion that is a religious intolerant does not like the way things are in the US today....perhaps they're the ones free to move.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Humberto

      I disagree, all it does is acknowledge a higher power of good. Your knowledge is that of a parrot, so even if you did recite the pledge it would be the same.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:43 am |
      • G to the T

        No... Ike had it added to afirm the "almighty". That's a pretty definitive statement and was wrong then as it is now.

        September 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
  18. Rockzilla

    If you don't want to say it... then don't say it. Or leave out the "under God" part when participating. This isn't hard and you are making it hard.

    You know...... If you don't like it here in the USA.... You can always move. No one is stopping you from leaving.

    But you can take your Anti Christ rhetoric and stuff it. I am tired of your WHINING. If you don't believe... fine... don't believe. But leave the rest of us alone. I will continue to say ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. So if you don't like it.... STUFF IT.

    September 10, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • Dave

      You don't get the argument. They don't want to say it, and they don't want to be made to say it. That's the whole point.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:03 am |
      • IndyMike

        Nobody is making them say the pledge or any part of the pledge. They can simply stand their quietly with there mouth closed.

        September 10, 2013 at 8:12 am |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Get rid of the law. Enough of making Christians thinking they are superior then everyone else.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:17 am |
      • Jeff

        Who is "making" them say it. They don't have to say it when spoken.

        September 10, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Hey! You!

      Psst! "In God We Trust" is next!

      September 10, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Davis

      That's the SPIRIT.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • Garrett

      " If you don't like it don't live here" ...lmao...isn't that the same thing Hitler said to his people. BTW – anyone who was part of the Bush Administration is an idiot anyway so why should we listen the this person.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • mhub

      This is not a Christian country. If YOU don't like that, you can leave!!

      September 10, 2013 at 8:12 am |
      • SouthernCelt

        By law this is a secular country. Only Congress is prohibited from starting or influencing any religion. Just Congress, no one else. 80% of the people in the United States believe in Christianity, Judaism,or Islam. It is illogical to assume 10% will convince 80% that they are wrong. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is also illogical so why do you persist in doing it?

        September 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • PennyK

          We also have a history of making allowances for people. I'm old enough to remember when it became mandatory to build ramps and make other accommodations for people in wheelchairs. Boy, there were people who made a stink over having to pay for that out of their tax dollars, but we got over that and now nobody much complains. This is the same kind of thing, in my opinion.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:34 am |
      • Heath

        I disagree. The United States of America is predominantly a Christian country. The majority of it's inhabitants are Christian by faith.

        September 10, 2013 at 10:09 am |
        • G to the T

          It is predominitly populated by Christians, but the government itself is not Christian. If it were, it couldn't be said to be representative of EVERYONE. It would only represent christians and that doesnt' sound like freedom or liberty to me...

          September 10, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • sybaris

      Rockzilla<<<<< The stupid is strong with this one.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Mirosal

      yeah, you're a real Christian aren't you? I guess you just threw that whole "love thy neighbor" thing in the trash didn't you? How typical.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Thinker...

      I believe somewhere in the consti tution is a bit about our government not establishing any form of religion in our laws. The wording of the pledge is set forth in a federal law. Therfore our federal law is establishing the primacy of abrahamic faiths over all others. That is unconsti tutional. Really that is all that needs to be said.

      It doesn't matter why someone doesn't want to say the words or not, what matters is that our govenment abide by the consti tution of our country. If enough people want to have 'under god' in the pledge then they need to have the consti tution ammended to allow the federal government to set forth a preferred religion. That would give the clergy of that religion a hold on the government of course as well as alienate anyone with a different/no religion so it probably isn't a very good idea.

      September 10, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  19. Tony

    My absolute favorite part of this article has to be:
    "Greg Gutfeld, another co-host on "The Five," continued the discussion after Perino, saying the Pledge of Allegiance "is not a prayer, it's a patriotic exercise. In a sense, it's basically saying: Thanks for giving us the freedom to be an atheist."

    Who are atheists supposed to be giving thanks to here exactly? A god we don't believe in?

    September 10, 2013 at 7:59 am |
    • Davis

      You could give thanks to the history that the belief in god help build.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:13 am |
      • Tony

        What good would it do to give thanks to something inanimate?
        Also, how does a belief in god help build history worth thanking?

        September 10, 2013 at 8:19 am |
        • Davis

          The people that built our nation believed in these things and did a pretty good job. Just because they where wrong about some things doesn't mean we can't appreciate and respect them. Hopefully, in the future, people will be as forgiving of our mistakes.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:25 am |
        • Tony

          Agreed (for the most part), but that doesn't mean their wrong beliefs are worthy of respect. We can respect the founders irrespective of their beliefs on the supernatural.

          However, no one is suggesting to get religion out of history class, so I'm not sure what your point is. Even if we give thanks to history as you suggest (and I don't agree with), the wording would still need changed. We can't just say "god" and mean something entirely different.

          September 10, 2013 at 8:32 am |
        • Thinker...

          Agreed. People respect Issac Newton's contributions to phisics and mathematics and generally respect te man. He was also an alchemist who was trying to find a supernatural way to turn lead into gold. In fact many of the prominent scientists of his day were alcemists. We can respect their contributions to the modern world without having to believe that alchemy is real. Of course technically we CAN turn lead into gold now, but it isn't very cost effective.

          September 10, 2013 at 10:02 am |
        • Tony

          Well said.

          I'll add that think there's a tendency to deify (for lack of a better word) historical figures, especially the founders.
          They were intelligent men in their own right for their time, but that doesn't mean their opinions on how/why disease happens are valid, for example

          September 10, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Never one to actually support Fox News, I have to ask – Was Perino slamming all atheists or was she saying any people who do not like the "Pledge of Allegiance" don't have to live here?
    While I hope it is the latter, knowing what I do of Perino, I am afraid it is the former. She has always been one of those "my way or the highway" Christian Conservatives, just like her former boss.

    September 10, 2013 at 7:58 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.