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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. Very Excited!

    Mrs. Perino,

    Thank you so much! I had no idea that as an atheist, I was granted the right to live in any country (other than the U.S, of course) that I choose! This is thrilling, I have considered moving to many other lovely locales where I am certain that my atheism will be accepted. I very much enjoy Australia and England, but I am sure that there are many other wonderful countries, like Canada, that would be acceptable, too. Just curious... since I don't HAVE to live here, does the government cover my moving expenses, too? I mean, that is really my biggest hurdle, maybe you could help me out there?

    I do worry, though, what will happen when you suddenly find that many important people in the U.S no longer live here because they simply choose not to accept a god that was never considered an important part of U.S History until the 1950's. Many of my fellow scientists are also atheists (not all, but many)- how many will you have left to build your weapons? Maybe you will finally be forced to spend less money on defenses and more on education. Do use caution! Education can sometimes lead to the unattractive condition often referred to as atheism. No matter, I am sure you can pay for these heathens to leave, too.

    So, how should I expect payment? Money orders are preferred, but we may be able to work something else out as I also have a paypal account. Thanks again, Mrs. Perino, you have made my day.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Funny.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I appreciate it when people put thought and effort into being insightful and funny

        September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • stevemanthei

      I have to admit that this was pretty good.

      I would be willing to bet that there are still a lot of very intelligent and educated people that do believe in a God or might actually consider themselves agnostic over atheist. Being that this country was built by very intelligent Christians and that most of this world was built by those dummies that believed in a religion of some sort, I think we will be just fine without the arrogant self centered and completely unaware atheists. I'm sure you are a great scientist and just like a gay man in the fashion industry it isn't because you are gay or atheist that you are good at what you do, it is because you are passionate about what you do. In fact how many of our past genius scientists who's work we still use today proclaimed religion? Come on don't be silly. If you are a scientist you must not be a very accredited one if you can't afford a plain ticket!

      September 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      You should hold out for homelands like in the old apartheid system. Atheists can take the parts that don't get above 35 C in the day more than a week or so in Summer. The rest is probably infested with God-fearing sorts.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  2. FaithisSin

    The land of so-called freedom, ha! One nation, ha! The "under God" tag line actually divides the pledgers and undermines the whole oath itself!

    September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • David

      Exactly, this is just another man using religion to try and control others. Fox loves to make their sheeple believe they are under attack from atheists and Muslims and black people and Mexicans. It got their ratings up after 9/11. Why not keep up the fear mongering and racism now?
      I am just disappointed in CNN for even thinking they should explore both sides of this issue or even call attention to it in the first place.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Why do the Servants demand an oath anyway?
      "Mat 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

      September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  3. Gregory

    All public policy and law must be rational. You can't create laws to deny Blacks the right to vote because you think they are intellectually inferior, because that has no rational basis. Religion is irrational and unintelligent. Any reference to a god does not belong anywhere in intelligent public discourse. The burden of including religion lies with the religious zealots. Scholars have studied ancient societies and have clearly determined that religions were created by wealthy and powerful humans to justify and retain their wealth and power, and to control the masses. This isn't even debatable. As time goes on, the need to explain mysteries using magic and folklore will die away, and science will properly take its place.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • oncler

      Nice try Gregory, but as science has gone on it has failed to answer the origins of the universe. It has attempted with extreme theories such as the M-Verse but in the end they turn up to be a series of infinite regression and we are left with how did nothing create everything?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
      • Sylvia

        The universe, roughly 13 billions years old, the planet, about 3.5 billion years old, humanity, about 250, 000 years old, science, roughly 1000 years old, modern science, about 200 years. I believe that science will answer the questions. The idea that it should do so instantly is preposterous.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • oncler

          Look up the big bang, Sylvia. Then look at the part about inflation. Get educated about our best cosmology we have before typing something totally false. Essentially all of space an matter was created in a instance.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
      • sam

        Seriously?

        September 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Thinker...

        In what way does the inability of science to explain the origin of the big bang preclude rational thought from being the basis of a governmental system? These are two different things. Because I have a banana I don't have to wait at a red light right?

        September 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
        • oncler

          @Thinker the post attacked the validity of the idea of God. It's not that hard to comprehend why I responded in contradiction. What does the false notion of scholars rendering religion false have to do with running the government?? Good try with your strawman.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Mockingbird

        Who said the universe was created? Who said it came from anything? If you think it was created, then you have to invent a creator. But then who created the creator? Oh yeah – you did.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
      • oncler

        The word creation doesn't imply it was made by a specific creator. Natural purposeless process could be what you accept as what created the universe. We all accept something you may call it invent something but either way no one holding on to science alone can answer what is responsible for the creation of the universe. Its is here, it began, thus it was created.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
      • oncler

        @ Thinker what does the fallacy of scholars disproving religion have to do with running our government? The reason for my response is against the comment its not hard to follow along...

        September 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
      • oncler

        Do you understand modern cosmology essentially says all of space and matter was made in a instant "the big bang". Look up inflation. Better yet get educated before posting again.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
      • Stacy

        At least the scientific theories that make up our current knowledge of the universe can be tested on what is observable. All be have for Christianity is a highly edited version of what could be construed as a mass delusion in the desert over 2000 years ago.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • oncler

          Stacy we can test our theories and thus we know the universe began and will end. It is not infinite thus it had a start point. We can keep going in circles "infinite regression" but eventually you have to answer what started everything.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
        • oncler

          the point is science doesn't kill God, for some it verifies God.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      No to yer false prophecy. No matter how much science plays with Kronos it doesn't have enough time.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • Johnny

        What does the mythical king of the T.itans have to do with anything>

        September 10, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    No, we must invoke the suitably ill-defined God whenever we want something important, or when we want to be believed, or when we don't want bad things to happen to us. Cross ourselves. Throw salt over our shoulders. Swing a dead cat at moonlight. Never mention a dead infant by name...

    September 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      The Creator, Jesus is well defined, socie, and so is yer gubmint, the Diverse Beast, with plenty of lat*itude for self destruction thrown in fer gud measure.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
  5. justinsmommy27@gmail.com

    Why would you hate something that you do not believe is real? I don't believe in Santa but I'm not beating down Christmas floats! Maybe you need to see why exactly your angry in something you say does not exist. If it bothers you then your not an athiest your running from god

    September 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • doobzz

      Do you realize that you just disproved your own point?

      Atheists don't hate deities, they simply don't believe in them.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Sweet Sarah

      I think it has more to do with the dumbing down of us as a people. Having this notion of the christian god everywhere being accepted as normal like gravity or magnetism is just plain wrong. Gods are concepts that have never had one iota of proof. Teaching our young that it is normal to believe in flying spaghetti monsters, or Tiamat, or Cronus, or this Jesus god, is just wrong and sad.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Rick

      So then it would be ok if we made you and your children swear an allegiance to allah every morning? I mean if you don't believe he exists why would you mind?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Ell

      Why do you confuse wanting a government paid by everyone's tax dollars to not favor a certain group over others as hate?

      We aren't demanding that the coins say "There Is No God", just that the government stays out of the matter entirely.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Jeff

      I don't think any of the people looking to remove "Under God" are mad, they just want the rights that we all share with a separation of Church/State. Please don't come back and say we are a "Christian Nation" as that refutes the beliefs and rights of various other beliefs (including atheists) as well as the original people

      September 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Dippy

      Justinsmommy, it's you're, not your.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • Kat

      Probably a bad idea to put your email on here. Be prepared to receive a lot of hate mail from people who don't know you but will surely think they have a right to judge you. Oh, but don't respond, because then you'll be a "bad Christian".

      September 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Read a book...

      The point is that children are easily made to feel poorly for not following along which is distracting from their education. Even now, my daughter- also an atheist, although we expose her via family to other religions and ideas and encourage her to ask questions and seek understanding- does not feel comfortable NOT saying the pledge at school even though she feels uncomfortable with being asked to affirm the existence of a god she doesn't believe in on a regular basis. This should not be an issue for her. I do not care what other people choose to believe, nor do I despise them for their choices.

      We do need to be realistic about the actual facts. Under God was added in the 50's and would have been opposed strongly by our founding fathers who believed in separating church (church meaning religion not just actual churches) from the government. I would also find it acceptable if we added every other deity and/or scientific belief as well but that would be quite a mouthful. Since we are unlikely to do that, it makes perfect sense to remove it. God is not a part of the United States. All you have to do is read a history of government textbook and you will understand that forcing it to remain is akin to forcing religion in any other country- (Afghanistan, anyone?). We opposed Islamic law but Christian law is a-ok? Doesn't add up.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      'Why would you hate something that you do not believe is real?'
      because although god isnt real, the followers that push the religion most certainly are.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  6. Clear and Present Thinker

    FOX News pundits don't have to live here either.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • jlamm2223443

      well put. I can see the arguments both ways and will leave that alone. What bothers me is the hatred FOX expresses at those who don't take the track they take. I suspect that "insults" God a lot more than what is on our money or out pledge. I't
      a sad thing to say that FOX is the number one rated news network along with some very
      popular biased liberal ones. It means we as a nation love to hate.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  7. Kevin Harper

    Athiests love CNN.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Sue

      And bigots love Fox!

      September 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      What's an "athiest"?

      Is that the most athy one can be?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      Sooooo, why are you here?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dippy

      Kevin, it's "atheists," not "athiests," Spelling is not your long suit, is it?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  8. G-Man

    If you're atheist, why would it matter if someone wants to put God in the pledge? Don't mutter those words when they appear in the pledge since you don't believe in God. You can roll your eyes with the other handful of people when it comes up. Everyone else believes in God, which is not mutually exclusive to Christians by the way – despite what this opinion board seems to suggest. Jews and Muslims count too; they believe in God. I think the words, "under God," beckon to the historical significance and influence of God in this country. It is not a government endorsement of religion. Please! If you want to know about government endorsement of religion, study French and English history. Look at Iran. Now those were/are endorsements of religion that the founding fathers wanted to completely avoid. America is no where close to that and never will be. The mere mention of God in a pledge is no such endorsement.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      You can respect god all you want by saying your silly prayers in church or whatever. Do you need to have it in our pledge to show that respect? Does your silly god really care how he is respected? Get it out of the pledge and take it off our money. It's SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. Your religion is your business, not the government's. Why the hell can't people understand that?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
      • stevemanthei

        Why don't you show some respect and live by the laws of country. Democracy majority votes rule and shut your mouth!

        September 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
        • drkent3

          Not a very well thought out reply, was it? It is possible to live by the laws, but disagree with them publicly. This is what is called 'freedom of expression' – and it is one of the very BASIC laws of our country. So, perhaps you should take your own advice?

          September 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • Emigdio

          poor man's argument.

          this is the reason 63% of Americans believe in the fairy tales of Genesis.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • doobzz

          We live in a republic. Also, look up tyranny of the majority.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
        • stevemanthei

          Great express your opinions. Fight for what you want. But not at the hand of the majority to simply create anarchy against them. There is a fine line. You have no purpose as to why there shouldn't be a God. Therefore your only action is to revolt against the idea of it because you do not like what you cannot see nor understand. By the way I love to assumption of "Poormans" excuse. I'm not wealthy but I am a young professional doing just fine for myself. You can stock and look me up on FB or LInked In if you are insecure enough to do so. My name is clearly written above my posts!

          September 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • mavis brunswick

      I wasn't raised saying it..my kids were..so whatever you want to say..God is everywhere..because I don't say it has nothing to do with being a atheist..I love God and will not have words people like to fight about change that...so you say what you want I say what I want!

      September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • doobzz

      Asked and answered at least one hundred times. First Amendment. Separation of church and state. Basic civics.

      Why don't we revert to the original and you can mutter whatever voodoo chant you wish?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
  9. Jackie McKenna

    As an athiest, I love my country and the separation of Church and State. I do believe that this government which was founded upon religious freedom should not take a stand with one religion over another. For me, what this means is religious tolerance. I believe we should let religion into the schools, within reason. However, if you let the Christians say Under God, then whatever other religions are represented in that classroom should also have a short, respectful piece to say. I don't believe that it hurts an athiest to allow a religious person the freedom to express their faith during important events. I don't believe it would harm a Christian child to see the Jewish or Muslims in their classrooms express their own devotion. There doesn't need to be a sermon, that's what church services are for, but an inclusion of one's God should be a matter of celebration for ALL religions. I don't think we should shut them all down, we should include them all.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      In an ideal world, we would encourage the exchange of ideas, and elevate the best ideas, not the limitation of ideas we don't like. Repression is a tool of the weaker argument.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
      • doobzz

        "Repression is a tool of the weaker argument."

        Correct, Boof. Hence the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the genocide of Native Americans, the Holocaust, etc.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • John Brennan

      Religion and prayer are allowed in school and always have been. What is not allowed is for the teachers to choose to endorse one religion or group of religions through organized prayer of any kind. It is- and should be- illegal for a teacher to encourage prayer to God, Allah, Zeus or Satan. Children are very sensitive to these things. Six-year-olds are not equipped to have a "short, respectful" debate about religion- they're too self-conscious to disagree on favorite cartoon characters! It is the responsibility of the school system to be inclusive, even if this includes minority groups. They can say the Pledge however they want at home, but no taxpayer money should be used for the phrase "under God." Every time a classroom devotes one second to that phrase, they are taking a second away from learning and reminding those children whose families do not believe that their ideas are not welcome in the classroom. Leave out that harmful phrase and who gets hurt?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  10. Phillip Larang

    If squirrels had gods, their gods would be squirrels (and humans would have been put here for their use)

    September 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  11. JimBob

    This is no longer a nation under God. We have allowed the gay marriage abomination to take root. There is no need to pretend to be a nation under God anymore. We should remove it from the pledge of allegiance. It is now a nation under Satan but it is not too late for fight back to reclaim our country from the liberals.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • Phillip Larang

      Lets change the pledge to be ONE NATION UNDER SATAN ! 🙂 Love it, well said JimBob!

      September 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
      • Frank Nova

        While we're at it, I think putting a picture of Dio in every classroom would be pretty awesome.

        September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bo

      OMG – Satan. And flying monkeys as well!

      September 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        damn flying monkeys... pooing everywhere...

        September 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Ken

      It was probably never a nation under any god. People most likely just imagined it was.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • sam

      Hmm...pretty good Poe. I'll give it a 6 out of 10.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Laurie in Spokane

      Get back on your meds before it's too late.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Not too late?? The feds are armed to the teeth and recruiting state police.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Yes! Let us all take our cues from JimBob the all knowing! Might as well change the pledge to "One Nation, Under JimBob".

      I am so happy that morons like this are fading into the past along with their slavery, racism, anti-feminism, anti-equality, shove my male Gods penis down your throat mentality. Good bye JimBob, and good riddance.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Light of unequivocally irridescent and distilled truth

      You are right JimBob! These vile creatures trying to change the words that our God-fearing nation was founded upon are the same sinners that are mocking God and fornicating in all kinds of vile ways! The mark has been put upon the land! Soon they will bow and beg for his mercy or they shall be wiped from the land with just one of his glorious breaths.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • menorek

      JimBob...I just read your comment and as a Christian, I have to say your comment is just dumb. You are one of those "christians" who uses the Bible to be a bigot and pass judgement. Oh by the way , the Bible specifically instructs you to avoid doing either. How supremely mean spirited of you to think that our God created only people who like you in His image. A true Christian, practices his faith in neither a superior or inferior manner to others. Get it together man, your quest to be obey Gods teachings causes you to violate most of them with your judgement.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • doobzz

      Poe or just another cracker?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Janet

    No matter how often the religious extremists repeat their mistaken beliefs that we are a theocracy, we are not. Anyone who has read any American history knows that our country was founded on the basis of religious freedom and very specifically was not founded as a "christian" nation. This is stated explicitly in an early treaty approved by congress.

    Freedom of religion does not mean that any one religion is somehow special and that its believers have the right to impose their beliefs on others. We are a secular country that allows anyone to practice whatever religion they want in their homes and churches/synagogues/mosques. Get god off our money and out of the pledge of allegience. It doesn't belong there.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Anyone who has read any American history knows that our country was founded on the basis of religious freedom and very specifically was not founded as a "christian" nation."

      Christian response: "But reading is so haaaaard and boooooring.... i'm just to full of myself to bother trying to gather actual facts. I'd much rather just go to Church on Sunday and listen to the Pastor tell me what I should believe and then listen to the neghborhood gossip and talk about people behind their backs while I watch Fox News to keep informed about stuff that's not really happening..."

      September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        I was reading this when all of a sudden, your straw man just BURST into flames! It was awesome.

        September 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
        • doobzz

          Pretty funny coming from the pope's personal fan boy and supreme pedophile apologist, Boof Deacon.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          @Bill D – I am speaking of many Christians in general, not individuals like yourself who have read their doctrine but willfully choose to ignore the evidence to the contrary. In general Christians know less about their own bible than their atheist counterparts. How could that possibly be true if my above comment was false? Most Christians have not read the entire bible cover to cover and think themselves saved based on some Pastor or Priest telling them they are saved after reading a few lines from the gospels.

          September 10, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I thought it was very perceptive and funny...

        September 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Amber

      I completely agree with Fox! It's so annoying to have to keep catering to everyone. It's a part of our history to state "under God". If you, whoever, etc. doesn't like it.... leave. Our presidents also place their hand on the bible when they are sworn in, and we place our hands on the bible in a court of law. It's tradition, and we were founded under Christianity. The moral compass of our country has lost it. If one person gets a fart stuck in them sideways the rest of us are supposed to cater to it.... enough!

      September 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "Our presidents also place their hand on the bible when they are sworn in, and we place our hands on the bible in a court of law.

        Neither presidents or witnesses are legally required to swear on a bible and it is illegal to force someone to do so.

        Presidents do it to suck up to majority Christians. Furthermore "so help me God" is not in the oath of office. It is an ad-lib originally recorded as being made by Washington.

        September 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
      • Fossilized Tree Sap

        uh-oh, some little girl named Amber gets a D in history 🙁

        September 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        It was the greasy lying Christians who graced us all with their stuck fart in 1954 by adding those words to a pledge that had been just fine without them for 62 years. The pledge has existed WITHOUT those words for longer than it has had them. Do some reading, as hard as it is for the poorly educated Christian mind, but trust me, it's worth it to actually know something than to just feel something.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • Hey Zeus

        Amber,

        M.D.s (Medical Doctors) swear the Hippocratic Oath too:

        "I swear by Apollo, the healer, Asclepius, Hygieia, and Panacea, and I take to witness all the gods, all the goddesses, to keep according to my ability and my judgment, the following Oath and agreement:"

        It's a reference to past superst'itions, that's all. It's ok, I guess, as a romantic ritual, but when folks try to legislate according to these fantasies, we get into sticky territory.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
      • drkent3

        History, civics and law fail. None out of three ain't bad...

        September 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        I have testified in court... and I did not have to swear on your book of lies and propaganda...

        September 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
      •  

        Godless Vagabond
        Wow, Amber. Where did you go to school? Your comment is wrong on so many levels I don't know where to start. You'd be better off just going back to a different school and staying awake this time.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
      • sam

        The dumbing down of America, encapsulated in one comment.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  13. Oh well....

    Just wondering, Fox– do we have to believe in God? if so, which God? Aren't all the gods different in all the different religions and sects etc... maybe Paganism was easier, lol.....I thought we were allowed to believe in anything we wanted? Or maybe that's only if it's Puritanical.... why does everything come down to religion in the end? especially WAR.... is this REALLY what Jesus was talking about? Don't think so Brothers and Sisters–don't think so at all....it's about LOVE.... not about the stuff .....when will we ever learn, when will we learn...

    September 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • stevemanthei

      You know, you are spot on here. Can't argue your point. And no most people don't live by the way of the religion they claim to fall under nor understand the theology behind it. Not a good image or a good reason to want to believe them and take them seriously. But if all the Gods that all people have created a "religion" around are the same God, then wouldn't it be your job to pursue the possible truths of it yourself by fully understanding, natural order of life, existence, purpose, human reason and creation and compare them to the religions to find truth? Instead of taking other peoples word for it. Challenge extended...

      September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  14. Denise Larang

    ... just put the bibles in with the other mythological texts. I did that test yesterday to show my 11 year old what the bible is like. You pick it up and 3 times, randomly open to a different section and just start reading. Within a few words you are either saying a lie or some nonsense drivel. Works every time 🙂

    September 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • stevemanthei

      If your child through school friends or other means were to turn to religion as truth in their life, would you condemn them for it just as you are doing now? Or would you listen? Because the problem isn't that you don't believe. It is that you don't listen? Just as you explained, you pick and choose what to read and believe without taking in the full context and understanding of it. Religion is a sacrifice of time to fully understand it enough to speak intelligently about it. I'm willing to bet that you just simply aren't willing to sacrifice your own selfish ways to understands others. Just as you would do to your own child.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • drkent3

        So, you have fully read and considered all of the religious scriptures of all religions before making your choice of Christianity?

        September 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • stevemanthei

          education and knowledge is power. Not power over anyone but power in knowing what you really believe. And yes, in regards to religions of God, I did. Also, many others that are not. Truth circles many religions but sound reason only tracks with few. I'm not talking about what people tell you to believe about God. But what their actual religion says about God.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  15. Jane

    Seems better to believe in God and there is a God than to not believe in God and there is God. I've often wondered if Madeline Murray O'Hairs final words before she was killed was "God Help Me." Her son, William Murray, denounced his mother's beliefs. Amazing Grace.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • ME II

      Does your God know that you don't believe in Him, but instead are just playing the odds?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      Better believe in all Gods, just to be safe, according to your logic.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      It's called Pascals Wager and it fails. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaMjUeuaJ0k

      September 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • What IF

      Jane
      "Seems better to believe in God and there is a God than to not believe in God and there is God."

      This is another tired repeti.tion of Pascal's Wager - thoroughly refuted since the 17th century.

      - What if the real "God" is Allah, or Vishnu, or Zeus, or Quetzalcoatl, or any of the other of thousands which have been dreamed up over the centuries? Some of them are very jealous and vengeful and will relegate you to nasty places for not worshiping them. You'd better cover your butt by believing in ALL of them and fulfill their wishes and demands.

      - What if the real "God" prefers those who use logic and reason and punishes you as a silly sycophant?

      - What if the real "God" detests those who believe something just to cover their butts in eternity?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • stevemanthei

        Pascals wager when used to its intent and not twisted to the will of those trying to disprove it, makes perfect sense. YOU just don't like the threatening truth of it and prefer to twist its reason. Pascals wager is a wager to all choice and all religion being an option and that there can only be one option. Either you are right or you are wrong and there are consequences to both. You live this way everyday of your life through choices you make. The rest of what you say in your pathetic attempt of an attack is just simply dull witted and laughable. But I guess that doesn't matter to you because there is no PURPOSE to try and convince you otherwise.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • drkent3

          'truth" – I don't think that word means what you think it means...

          September 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
        • Jane

          The truth is that those who don't believe in God will not waiver any more than those of us who believe in God will waiver by any kind of arguments or proof. Only God can move their hearts and minds and offer peace. We can only keep them in our prayers and close to our hearts.

          September 10, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • doobzz

      "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." – Mark Twain

      September 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  16. Derp a Derp

    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
    And to the Republic for which it stands,
    One Nation under Spaghetti,
    Saucy,
    With noodles and meatballs for all!

    September 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      R'amen

      September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  17. In point of fact...

    Most atheists are also liberals...You know, those folks for whom "choice" means killing your baby, but not the freedom to choose a religion.

    The left just loves choice, unless it is yours.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • doobzz

      "Most atheists are also liberals."

      Where did you get that idea?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • In point of fact...

        Both groups are lazy, intolerant, and hate to let others make their own choices. Intellectually inferior also springs to mind.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • drkent3

          So, requiring someone to swear allegiance to the god of a specific religion is 'freedom of choice', but removing it so people can swear allegiance only to a flag and country while keeping their religion personal is 'removing choice'? And you claim intellectual superiority?

          September 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
        • doobzz

          "Both groups are lazy, intolerant, and hate to let others make their own choices. Intellectually inferior also springs to mind."

          The only thing springing in your mind is a remarkably bigoted list of generalizations.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
        • Mike

          Southenrn white conservatives are lazy. They couldn't pick their own crops. They had to ship blacks from Africa to do it. Same thing today. The conservative South is the laziest poorest part of the country. You want a sucessful state? Look at liberal Massachusetts. It is the best educated state in the nation, with the lowest divorce rates, lots of wealth, excellent healthcare, and very little poverty.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "but not the freedom to choose a religion. "

      When did the atheists proclaim that no one should get to choose their religion again? I must have missed that rally... or you must be a woefully ignorant moron who doesn't know the first thing about your country or your fellow Americans. I'm betting it's the latter.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • QS

      LMAO! Conservatives are so lacking in their logic skills it's almost amusing.....almost.

      Nobody is stopping anybody from choosing their religion....we simply have an issue when you also try to choose everybody else's.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
      • stevemanthei

        No one is forciing you to be of religion. YOU are just salty that you are the minority in this situation and feel uncomfortable around other peoples happiness. Sorry. Want a minority scholarship to the school of random existence? Also, being that this country is set up as a democracy where majority vote rules. Why don't you just except the fact that a majority of people in this country believe in God (muslim, Jewish, Christian) and live with the majority rules or seriously get out and be happy somewhere else! No one is forcing you to say anything. Here is an idea. Keep your mouth shut. The majority of this country would probably like that anyways!

        September 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
        • drkent3

          Your knowledge of how the US system works is painfully lacking. The US is *not* designed for 'majority rules'. It is designed to protect individuals *from* the 'tyranny of the majority'. Read the Federalist Papers some time – if you dare.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
        • stevemanthei

          DrKent3 you are right that it is our governments duty to protect the rights of people equally. Majority and minority alike. Not to create them though. And we come to decision through votes of the majority for the people by the people. If our congressmen and women voted to represent the majority that put them into office they would astoundingly vote for God. Sorry.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Most atheists are also liberals...

      Only because of the unholy alliance between religious conservatives and the political right.

      Not believing in God has no political bias.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Jackson

      Don't be stupid. The group who has the most abortions in this country, over 80%, are CHRISTIAN women. So shove your pre-concieved notions into someone else's vagina, you partisan hag.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Proud Athiest - tired of religious fanatics

      No we're not.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      Just exactly who is preventing you from choosing a religion?

      September 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • SkepticalOne

      That's just silly. We believe in your freedom to choose your religion. We just don't believe in your freedom to choose OUR religion or lack thereof.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
      • stevemanthei

        Who is choosing your religion for you? Does someone have control of your mind?

        September 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Typical christard ignorance and prejudice...

      September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • G-Man

      In Point of Fact,

      Good one! The liberals I know are pretty much a foaming-at-the-mouth exclusive group. They ridicule and call anyone stupid for not agreeing with them or if they have differing views. They don't sound like they support a diversity of beliefs and opinion. Their thoughts and "logic" were rammed down my throat since I was a kid, through high school and college. All of the successful and happy people I know are not liberals, tend to hold a belief in God, work hard, accept people for who they are and non-judgmental. Most of these people are either Christian, Catholics, Jewish and several Muslims. The ones that were spewing anti-religion, intolerant of God, liberal agenda were generally pot-smoking, alcohol-addicted, are in childless marriages, self-absorbed near-do-wells. Just my obsevation over the last 41 years.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  18. QS

    The true motto of the United States is NOT "In God We Trust".....it's "E Pluribus Unum" – from many, one.

    If only religious people were actually as into the whole diversity thing as they claim to be as Americans. Such a shame.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • DinkyPink

      it really means "one out of many" you may understand it from the 3 muskateers, "one for all" and"all for one"

      September 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        Unless you were trying to be funny... you are incorrect. e pluribus unum (from many, one)

        September 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
        • ME II

          Latin for "Out of many, one"[1][2] (alternatively translated as "One out of many"[3] or "One from many"[4]) – wiki

          September 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          a literal translation: E (From, out, on) Pluribus (More, several, many, majority, most) Unum (One, single, the one, a, together)

          September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • ME II

      Actually, while 'E Pluribus Unum' has been on the Great Seal of US, since the 1700's, it has never been the official motto.
      "In God We Trust" was made the official motto in 1956, I think.

      It is sad, but true.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
      • QS

        Fine....it's the unofficial, but still more accurate, motto.

        September 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
        • ME II

          Agreed

          September 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
  19. richunix

    For Chill out

    Your referring to “Argumentum ad ignorantium” (appeal to ignorance). In short form if you cannot A is false then A must be true. and to qualify Atheism is not or nor has it been a religion or belief. So before you attempt prove an argument, at least get your fallacy in order.

    September 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • richunix

      sorry " ^cannot prove A " for the mistake

      September 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  20. closet atheist

    Any fiscally conservative atheists out there...??

    Tired of your atheism getting you clumped together with the liberal left??

    Tired of your fiscal conservatism getting you clumped in with the fundies..??

    September 10, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • QS

      Atheists who say they are conservative only prove that even among generally intelligent people there are still a few that lag behind.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Lucifer's Evil Twin

        My understanding of 'fiscally conservative' vs. 'religiously conservative' must differ from yours...

        September 10, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
      • closet atheist

        QS

        I'm sorry... I really don't follow. Maybe I'm slow (apparently so), but please elaborate

        September 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
        • QS

          I'm saying that some of even those who have grown up enough to realize what religion is enough to call themselves Atheist still fall into the conservative greed trap, which to me means they've made good progress by dumping their religion...but still have a few steps to go to get away from the equally destructive force known as conservatism.

          September 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
        • BM

          QS, you really are a moron and jealous one at that. Being fiscally conservative isn't about greed. It's about responsibility and being able to pay for what you spent.

          September 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • QS

          Typical conservative nonsense BM. Exactly what I have come to expect from the "every man for himself" crowd.

          But I suspect you'll spout some more conservative rhetoric about personal responsibility and how anybody who happens to not have money is just lazy and doesn't want to work.

          You're pathetic.

          September 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
        • closet atheist

          QS

          Thank you for responding... I really mean it.

          However, you are just regurgitating Occupy Wall Street propoganda. I don't believe, based on your comment, that there is any way to engage in a meaningful debate on the topic of conservatism.

          I guess we'll just stick with name-calling....

          September 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
      • BM

        QS, that is a moronic thing to say. Which shows that that among generally stupid people there are stupid people.

        September 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • BM

      Of course. There are loads of us out here.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Engineer

      Fiscally conservative atheist here who believes in equality for all. Still don't want to give my money to people who refuse to work. Which the latest job report said over 35 percent of people in the USA aren't working and are not looking for a job. Which is completely unreasonable.

      And if you are working, first of all congrats, and you still need to supplement your income with mine then there is a problem with minimum wage, not tax law.

      September 10, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
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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.