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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. Sane Person

    Fox News and religion go hand in hand – both are equally as stupid

    September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  2. Life&Liberty

    As an atheist myself I can truly agree with the sentiment. I get tired of supposed "atheists" who can't practice any form of tolerance. For people who claim to be intelligent and put science over religion, some of them can't even wise up enough to shut their mouths when it's actually a good idea to do so. There literally is no valid reason for them to do so besides being smug. I for one can't stand it and as an atheist myself I call those people out when I see them doing it. It does not fall in line with the intellectual side of their supposed tool set. I for one doubt anyone doing so is a true atheist. It's far more likely they are confused and not sure what to believe so they lash out. Either way, it's not all of us who think like that and many of us are far more tolerant of others beliefs.

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

      As an atheist, myself, I also dislike militant atheists...just as I dislike militant anything.

      ...but your rant makes zero sense.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Sane Person

      Atheists are the ones who need to be tolerant? Are you sure it's not the idiot from Fox News telling them to leave the country who needs to be more tolerant?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      It's 'We The People', not 'We The Atheists', or 'We the Christians'. It should represent ALL people. The original version did just that.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I doubt that you are an atheist... you are probably an on-the-fence agnostic at best... or just a plain old blog liar

      September 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Apple Bush

    I am offended and that's good enough for me.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  4. BOb the Prairie Dog

    "NO ONE knows what happens when we die, and ANYONE claiming such knowledge is a liar who probably wants your money."

    Humans – Please repeat this over and over until it sinks in. Thanks!

    September 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I am going to heaven and slicing me off a big piece of that green cheese.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Just anuther dog.
      "Psa 22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet."

      September 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  5. sly

    If you don't like to say "Under God", just skip it.
    If you don't like your neighbors wearing white sheets and hanging teenage black girls from tree's, just look away.
    If you don't like nations using Sarin gas to murder their people, just ignore it.
    If you don't like Nazi's burning 10 million people alive, just ignore it.

    If you don't like kid's bombing your Boston Marathon, just cancel the damn race and stop whining about 3 dead folks. We have a lot more than 3 folks dying each day, so get over it.

    I don't understand what's so complicated here.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      See that guy bleeding in the ditch? None of the followers of Jehovah are going to help him. I say we just head on back to Samaria and let him die.

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

      Sly, don't use an apostrophe to form a plural. It makes you look really stupid. Are you?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Right,

      If you don't like what's on TV just turn it off.
      If you don't like abortions don't get one.
      If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one.

      Easy

      September 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      so sly, why not change it to under satan, would you like to have that the official version. It is that offensive to some people. Why did the christians hijack it in the first place, and why are you complaining now that we want it changed back to the original?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
      • sly

        "Under Satan"?

        Everyone knows that Satan is the little red man with horns who runs around the middle of the earth with a pitchfork?

        How could anyone be "under Satan"?

        The more I listen to the god-sters, I get more confused. Or is Satan the good God? I lose track, having never been in a church in my life. (I know, my loss, but I prefer the NFL on Sunday).

        September 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
  6. Who Knows...?

    GO EFFFFFF OFF, FAUX NEWS

    September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      You can't go to FOX and comment. They shut it down to silence me.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
  7. Rev. T.

    Ah, the American Taliban in action!

    September 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
  8. fijley

    Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. The "under God" debate is ironic- that phrase was added by congress during the McCarthy era. And no, thank you Dana Perino, I'm not going anywhere.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  9. Ann

    If you don't like this, get out of our great nation. It is One nation, under God. It was founded on this and we still uphold and believe in it.
    Go get your own nation

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

      I'm waiting for you with my hammer little girl 🙂

      September 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    •  

      Godless Vagabond
      Wrong again, Annie. Read some of the comments and become enlightened about how our nation was really founded. The word "god" doesn't even appear anywhere in our constitution.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I have an awesome idea provided by Christianity. Why don't we just kill all of you and take THIS country for our own?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • ME II

      Incorrect. The US was not founded "under God", that phrase came later.

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

      Actually Ann, it was NOT founded on that. It wasn't added until the 50s.

      You're kinda special, aren't you?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • axx

        i think she needs special ed!

        September 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Alverant

      No it was not, it was founded on freedom which is ANTI-god.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "One nation, under God. It was founded on this " Learn History, kid. This country was founded by refugees from the monster Churches that ruled the western world. We fought the Anglican Church twice, but they couldn't tear down our star-spangled banner, and we fought the Catholic Church as Spain. You actually don't know this? Home-schooled.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      •  

        Or "no schooled."

        September 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Caley

      I completely agree. the nation was founded on religious freedoms, to escape the English Monarchy at the time. Why, do the "Christians" have to accept it. why can't the atheists accept things the way they are. as the classic song states, "you can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Not everyone agrees, but is one nation under God, that big of a deal, NO. It doesn't say under Jesus, or under Allah, it states under GOD, whatever God you may/or may not believe in.

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

        Caley, the word "god" means to most people in the world to refer to the christian god. If you're going to claim that it's a neutral term, how about changing it to "Goddess" or "Deity". I bet that would get LOTS of support from christians. /sarcasm

        September 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Let me point out that Prince Charles is not allowed to become King of England,even though he is heir to the Throne. England's government and monarchy are controlled legally by the Church of England. This country was founded to escape and resist militant churches. Gee, I wonder why none of your teachers were allowed to tell you that? Homeschooled.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      You know you are wrong with your statement Ann so why bother posting it?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • C

      Oh Ann,
      It is people like you who keep the country from moving forward. What if you were to move to a country where your religious beliefs were shunned? What would you do? USA is a country that accepts people of different beliefs. That welcomes them with open arms and celebrates their differences...yet... still shoves the catholic (christian) god down their throats whenever they can.
      It is unfair.
      Why should people who choose to believe differently then catholics and christians be forced to leave a country that accepts them otherwise? Why should they be forced to have to listen to and preach back about said god?

      If the USA wants to be a country that only believes and accepts one god, then perhaps it should've thought about that before it opened its doors to other religions. It's time to separate church and state. Time to move forward and be the country you claim to be.

      You, Ann, are just as bad as the extremists from other religions. I hope one day you are forced to have to accept and be ruled by another God. We will see how much you like it, and what you think of it.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Really CNN

        Burn in hell

        September 10, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • David

      Open a history book and you will see that no matter how many idiots say it...this is not a country founded on Christan belief. Take a little time and read a book or two, I think you'll be amazed. Or why dont you start with:

      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/farrell_till/myth.html

      September 10, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      There's a little matter of cost. Just becuz a person is a US citizen doesn't mean another nation thinks yer the best thing since sliced bread. The socies gonna make anuther guaranteed bad loan fer the "leavers"??

      September 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  10. amisc

    Perino said "If these people don't like it, they don't have to live here." I wonder how she would feel if someone said the same thing except that "these people" referred to evangelical Christians. There are a lot of subjects which many people in the country disagree about; actually, there are practically no subjects which have universal agreement. So which group of people should be told to leave for which subject?

    September 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  11. Lionly Lamb

    What is the common majorities foresights regarding the "pledging of American allegiances" and the Islamic pledges against all infidels..? Does not atheisms help the causes of many Muslim Brotherhoods by atheists condemnations of Christendom giving ever more room for the Quran to be taught within our nation's state and federal prisons thereby recruiting prisoners into their Muslim folds..?

    Muslim Terrorist Training Camps in America

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr8FexoNO1M&feature=player_detailpage

    September 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Theodore

      Muslims, Christians, Jews... no difference. All of extreme cases, all have mellow cases, but all are right about the same degree of "insane". I would recommend a 7 day water fast followed by some good scientific reading on proven aspects of the Universe. Forget trying to learn unknowable metaphysics (ie. souls, afterlife, deities etc) and focus on what is real and true and good in this ONE life you have.
      Salaam.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        Christians and Jews do not believe in an eye for an eye or the death of a homosexual but the believers of Muslim faiths do...

        September 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Bible Clown©

          You are a liar.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • Lionly Lamb

          Sired Clown...

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au9Aqd_-2hc&feature=player_detailpage

          September 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • sly

      Lambie, we all know most US terrorist attacks are by right-wing Nazi republicans – Koresh, McVeigh, the Olympic bomber, the Sikh killer etc.... 90% of em. Muslims are much more the friends of America than right-wingers.

      The solution to terrorism could be to export all Tea Baggers and Fox News employees – we would have a safer nation.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Doc

      Really? Muslims pray to Allah, the lone supreme deity in their belief system. We Christians pray to our God in a few forms...Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Atheists hold there is no God at all. Muslims and Atheists are pretty much 180 degrees apart on that, just as Atheists and Christians are. There's no need to resort to misinformed scare tactics to create the illusion of a non-existent link between Atheism and Islam.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Islam is totally against secular government the way fundamentalism is totally against gay marriage. They hate it until they come over here and live under a secular government, which protects their right to worship while shielding them from their own Sharia priests' worst excesses, and then they realize it is not only sane and obviously correct but the only way to deal peacefully with other religions. That, by the way, is one of the reasons they hate us; we demonstrate that Sharia is not as good as equality.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • Lionly Lamb

        That's the problem with Islamic Jihadists Doc...

        The base rudiments of Quran's ministries is for the subversion of all infidels via any means... Atheists quarrel with Christendom's sects and the Islamic sects bide their time awaiting each and every angle toward infesting any non-Islamic nation as is now the cases within the European nations and will happen here within the USA... Time awaits the Qurans' believers and deceivers of ruinations conniving principalities...

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76STxsWJCCE&feature=player_detailpage

        September 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  12. MD

    A car blew through a stop sign at the end of my street this morning. When I got behind it, it had a bumper sticker that said, "Pray, Vote Catholic, Vote Pro-Life". I'm not saying I can judge all Catholic's by this one incident but I will say they're easy to stereotype based upon several incidents, including stealing from my mother.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Dippy

      Catholics, not Catholic's.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Stereotyping is always easy. That's why people do it.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Some say Deacons are only in it for the fried chicken suppers.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
  13. PushingBack

    Theism is clearly a mental illness.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • 616

      If it is so clear, please explain it for the people. If you can.

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

        Do you believe in Scientology? Seems like a big pile of you-know-what, right? People believe, with all their heart, that it is a valid religion and yet you still think its hogwash. It's with that same objectivity that I can classify all religions in this fashion. It makes no difference to me if 1 million people believe it or 1 billion.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Counting trees in Siberia is clearly the cure.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Bob Bales

      No, is is not a mental illness to have a different viewpoint than you.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • PushingBack

        Are you sure Bob? To think there is a being in the sky that made everything in 6 days and that you can mentally communicate with him...doesn't sound crazy to you? Or perhaps that he had a son who was also himself but then he committed suicide by having his son killed to save us from him in the first place? Not crazy? Or that he's all powerful but needs a network of churches to collect money from the masses to spread his good word? How about the part about him being all good and all powerful and then letting horrible things happen to the ones he loves?

        September 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Bob Bales

          If there is a God, it is not crazy to believe you can communicate with Him. You are free to believe there isn't a God, but there is no reason to think that those who don't share your belief are crazy.

          Bad things happen because of what people have chosen over time. God gave people choices - if He hadn't, we would be puppets. And choices without consequences wouldn't really be choices.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Bad things happen because of what people have chosen over time. God gave people choices – if He hadn't, we would be puppets'

          And? Why wouldnt god want puppets? he does after all supposedly demand worship, lay down laws etc, and if you dont do as he says you will burn in hell for eternity, so what would be the difference?

          September 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
        • Johnny

          And choices that can never be something god doesn't already know you are going to choose aren't really choices either.

          September 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Reply Guy

      It would take a long time to fully explain. But one of the main points is this:

      Theists use a separate set of logic for their religion as opposed to everyday life. Imagine a door-to-door salesman, Bob, trying sell you a vacuum cleaner. He claims it is the best of the best, it will work non-stop,that you must have it or you will be severely injured sometime later by not having one, that everyone who doesn't have one is a bad person, use the least amount of power, do the most sucking of any vacuums, it will only cost a few ten thousands of dollars, tho you should pay a few hundred thousands over your lifetime. it can give you eternal bliss to boot. Total crap isn't it? Literally, if a salesman came and said this to you, how are you going to react? What about another religion – Islam, or if Morman's came to your door and pitched something like this? We would normally not answer probably, but if we did, then after this nonsense we'd just kick him out! Okay, for fun, maybe he's a nice guy and we're having a strange day and he's amusing, so – we still ask for a demonstration. But here's a problem, he says no, take my word for it, only those who purchase it and have it for many years will get to see bliss and it's true power. Now what do we think? He's absolutely out of his mind, isn't he? What kind of sucker would buy this? Religious people would be very wary of this salesman just as any atheist.WITH ANYTHING BUT RELIGION. Both ask for faith, both make extraordinary promises, both promise to deliver after some great period of time, both seem nice, both make no sense the first several times you hear it, if ever. The problem is, neither have any substantial facts whatsoever. They both ask for faith, they both ask you to be a sucker (they both ask for your money, and to to do unnatural human things (no demonstration for instance – aka 'faith' junk)). At least Bob will give you the vacuum, and you can see and touch it.

      Atheists see this so clearly without needing a special weekly Sunday session or two. But religious people absolutely cannot see these are the exact same thing. When pressed to show the differences, it usually comes down to 'popularity'. And that is just another logical error of many most make. Where is it most popular? Here? India? Thailand? China? Pakistan?

      You may think this is ridiculous because of your beliefs, but I doubt an atheist would see any difference whatsoever, they are the same crappy sales pitch. We use the same reason for all other religions we have rejected – Thor and the Greek Gods to name but one of thousands – and *so do you*, but you single out one single religion and believe in that, and it is 99.999% the one your family has or country mostly accepts. To separate the two in the mind takes extraordinary delusion, and almost always by inculcation at a young age. To not realize this is also delusional. Instilled from an early age. The brain see's it as 1+1 = 3 and thinks it's perfectly normal in religious people, while us Atheists truly marvel at mental problems, and we are tired of letting you think it's okay. You as a human being are fine, your mind however, has a problem when it comes to this, and we are okay that you have this problem, just keep it OUT of society at LARGE because we don't want – you don't want – other's quirks to be laws either.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
      • stevemanthei

        Why don't you look beyond the human sales pitch and look at the truth behind it. See you are looking at the pitch but not the product. I like your examples by the way. Why not take this world and what we now and put it into a reasonable explanation that explain our existence. This is what religion does. You just have to use the reason that you come to and find the religion that fills this reason. If you don't want to find a religion because you think they are all twisted by human agendas then fine. I can't and won't argue that. But human fallacies don't stop the existence of truth through reason. I think that once an atheist can get past this human flaw or judging human flaws that we can have an actual intelligent conversation around all variables and life and find purpose created by something.

        September 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
  14. Paul

    So which god exactly are we pledging allegiance to ? The catholic god, the methodist god, the quaker god, the evangelical god, the one in three, the one and only ? I think we need to be very clear. Personally I think the wiccan god might do....

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

      Zeus!! It's always been and always has been, Zeus!

      September 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • BRC

      Jeff, the god of biscuits.

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

        Amenomnomnom!

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

      Wiccan goddess, if you don't mind...

      September 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • The Pope

      The Flying Spaghetti Monster!

      September 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • PushingBack

        With meatballs I hope!

        September 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
  15. Christina Petersen

    I am a Christian. I love this coutry. If it is so offensive to say, 'under God', in the pledge, skip it. You do not have to say it. Its that simple. I respect anyone's right to believe in whatever god they choose or don't choose to believe in. But do not think you can take away my right to choose to believe in God and say it proudly in my pledge. I moved from Alabama to Texas my senior of highschool and in Texas they day the Texas pledge. I did not like it so I chose to remain standing and just not say anything and wait till it was done to sit. I may not have liked it but who am I to take away anyone else's right to express love for a cause. So right back at you. I will not be mad or take away your right to be atheists but it works both ways so I will not let you take away my rights to show my love to my God anyway I chose.

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

      it is a fictional story sweetie, the gods of Man are false.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      The fact that the phrase is there is offensive, and it was illegally added to the original.

      Why can't you see your beliefs should not be forced on everyone. Whether there is a god or not has nothing to do with pledging your allegience to your country. Why do you want people to be excluded from something that should include all Americans?

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

      You have a great point but it needs to be one step further. It should not be included in the official version but I will whole heartedly support your ability to add it in as you see fit. That's called freedom of religion. This is a secular society but you have the ability to pray wherever you like. Children can even pray in schools – nobody should stop them! But it is a private affair and should not be (nor does it need to be) a public display.

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

      What you said needs to be repeated to everyone who has tried to have anything religious banned. They expect "us" to just take it and shut up when they ban everything religious from our schools but force our children to learn about evolution but heaven forbid you mention anything about them whining! We're forever told that "if you don't like it, you don't have to do it/see it/say it" but when we try to stand up for our rights, it's forbidden. Christians don't have any rights in today's society. We've had almost everything stripped from us. It's becoming like Christianity in other countries where they are forced to attend church underground.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • lerianis

        Little problem: evolution is science fact, not fantasy like your theism is. Your creationism and religion do not belong in public schools where the impetus is to educate, not brainwash.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
        • Bob Bales

          That theism is fantasy is only your opinion. And evolution is not science fact. It's truth follows from certain presumptions (such as that life developed by purely 'natural processes). And since it is not known that those presumptions are true, it is not known if evolution is a fact.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
        • Thinker...

          Not really true Bob. Evolution does not require a natural beginning for life. If a god poofed the first cells into life evolution would still occur. Nothing in the science prohibits the supernatural creation of life, it shows how life got to where it is now from whatever its starting point was. Abiogenesis requires a purely natural start to life. Evolution does not.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Bob Bales

          I was referring to how life developed, not how it started. And we do not know it developed through evolutionary processes.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Real talk

          ARE YOU SERIOUS, fact or THEORY. I LOVE it when atheist try to tell Christians
          God isnt real. Cause you dont realize the reason we are Christian is because we DO have a relationship with God and we know he is real, our Faith is what keeps us on the path of righteousness.

          September 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
      • PushingBack

        No, we expect you to stop shoving it at us. It's your religion, not ours. If you think you can talk to a man in the sky and he can hear your thoughts, then you can say anything you like to him without saying it out loud. So please, have a personal relationship with him in your head.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Has anyone tried to remove your belief from your home, your church or your mind? Of course not, but those are the only places your religion belongs.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
      • sam

        "Boo hoo, we're special snowflakes that are being forced to be accepting and inclusive, so that must mean we're being persecuted."

        September 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        'They expect "us" to just take it and shut up when they ban everything religious from our schools but force our children to learn about evolution but heaven forbid you mention anything about them whining!'

        What has evolution got to do with atheism? Even the pope says the catholic church has no problem with the idea of evolution or the idea that god uses evolution.

        'We're forever told that "if you don't like it, you don't have to do it/see it/say it" but when we try to stand up for our rights, it's forbidden.'

        And yet you constantly fight to get prayer in schools, teach creationism, etc etc, but apparently thats ok to do but this isnt.

        'Christians don't have any rights in today's society. We've had almost everything stripped from us.'

        Lets call that statement exactly what it is.....a complete and utter lie. You are a liar, a shamefaced out and out liar when you try to make that claim. Its disgusting that you even try to put that forward as being valid in any form.
        Christian groups have the most politcal power in this country than any other group. Conservative politicians fall over themselves to show just how religious they are in order to get the support of the lobby groups.
        You want to talk about everything stripped away? you try running as an open atheist politician in various states in this country and see how well you do.
        I am disgusted by your claim.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • Thinker...

          iirc, there is exactly one openly athiest congressman in the US. I cannot imagine what candidate the opposition (presumably republican) put up to challenge them but the candidate must have made Palin look like Einstein (or the district was gerrymandered, a reasonable assumption when you look at congressional districts accross the country.) That said I am glad there is at least one rep in the entire country that is open about their athiesm.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
      • Doc

        Are you kidding me? I'm a Christian, though not an evangelical one at all, and even I can tell you there has been no evidence whatsoever that Christians are suffering from having anything "stripped" from them. That's a bunch of ridiculous drivel. There is no one stopping you from walking into any church you so desire in broad daylight to worship. There's no one telling you what you can and cannot read, watch, listen to, enjoy, or believe. What you object to is not everyone holding the same beliefs as you. Kat, you're in America, and America was founded on religious freedom. That freedom has to run both ways or it doesn't mean a thing. Get a grip, live your life, and like the good book says in several places, let others live their lives, too.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Laurie in Spokane

        Get a grip. All we ask is that your religious figures and slogans and propaganda not be in our public schools, or displayed in public areas because they DO NOT REFLECT THE BELIEFS OF ALL AMERICANS. Have your relationship with your god, and talk to it if you want, but don't force me to be part of it. Makes me ill.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Sylvia

      How does removing mention of god infringe on your religious liberty? Not in any way at all.

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

        They will, apparently, cease believing since they won't be repeating the same thing over and over again.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Bob the Builder

      Did you miss the part where it was added in 1954??? It was NOT always a part of the pledge, which was a pledge to the flag, not the country. And attempts to add it were started as early as 1948, by the Knights of Columbus. SO before we get all high and mighty about keeping that two word phrase, remember that it was not always a part of the pledge, and was not intended to be a part of it. It is not a RIGHT to have it said, it was pushed through by some with a religious agenda...give it a rest.

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

      How do you explain this to your eight-year old?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      So Christine, you would not have a problem with this then?

      "I am a Muslim. I love this country. If it is so offensive to say, 'under Allah', in the pledge, skip it. You do not have to say it. Its that simple. I respect anyone's right to believe in whatever god they choose or don't choose to believe in. But do not think you can take away my right to choose to believe in Allah and say it proudly in my pledge."

      September 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • sam

      The original pledge was patriotic and inclusive. God was only added as a means of trying to ward off 'the commies'.

      It should never have been added, and doesn't belong.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Thinker...

      Wait Texas has their own pledge? That is just silly. Why can Texas not just be a part of the US like all the other states? It always seems like Texas would rather be its own country again but knows it wouldn't work out at all so it just acts like it isn't while still reaping the benifits of being a state.

      Wow just read the pledge for Texas: "Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."

      It was established in 1933 so it looks like we have Texas to thank for the idea to add 'under god' to the national pledge.

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

      You want your "rights to show my love to my God anyway I chose." You certainly can choose whatever you want privately. But there are limits to what you can choose to do beyond that, just as there are limits to free speech.

      September 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  16. CeCe

    I am not a religious person but I don't understand why "atheists" are trying to remove the word God from everything. I was under the impression that reciting it was optional. I don't recall anyone requiring me believe in God as long as I have lived here. How about just not saying it? Is the mere appearance of the word that is offending? I'm confused because common sense would say, just don't say it. It seems more like people are just trying to get attention, from both sides of the coin. How about just moving on with you lives and just let live. This is ridiculous.

    September 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      We have been wondering why the christians had to change it in the first place. If it means so little, remove the phrase, returning it to the original. Obviously some christians felt that their religion had to be forced on others, and we are trying to put things right.
      The christians should not have messed with it in the first place.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • Bill Deacon

        All you have to do Rick is get your senator to introduce a bill to change it. Or, maybe you could run for office on that platform. I'm sure lot's of CNN readers would vote for you.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Dippy

          Lots, not lot's.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        The words 'under God' don't force the Christian religion on anyone.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      why would you have anything in the pledge to your country that would force citizens of that country to decide whether to say it or not? Does that sound to you like a good pledge?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Thinker...

      My problem with the 'under god' in the pledge is that it was enacted by congress. That means it is a violation of the establishment clause of the consti tution. That is what bothers me. I do not like that a law still being used is clearly unconsti tutional. (I also hate having to put a frig gin space in 'consti tutional' because there is a word filter on here that I would need to type in html to bypass. Why does the word filter look for words within words? Was it that hard to program it to look for consecutive letters?)

      There are laws on the books that are not enforced and that are unconsti tutional (laws banning athiests from public positions like police officer, mayor, or govenor for example), but since they are not used I couldn't care less about them. This one is still in use so either it needs to be ignored like the others or it needs to go away.

      September 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
  17. WARNING

    Education can sometimes lead to the unattractive condition often referred to as atheism.

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

      That's why the GOP would like to de-fund education.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • Thinker...

        And here I thought it was just so people would be ignorant enough to vote for some of them.

        September 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  18. Jim

    I expect nothing less from Fox News. They are a blight on society.

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

      Is that the best a standard-issue liberal like you can come up with?
      It is your ilk that is truly the blight on this nation... you ilk – the fascist neo-liberals who are anything BUT liberal, and believe this nation is their play toy. Oh, you're all fine with "free speech", so long as someone agrees with you. But if they don't – they'd better watch out.

      Shall I remind you of WHO owns the vast majority of those 330,000,000 privately owned firearms? Be careful of whom you pick your fight with; Civil War happened once in this nation; It can happen again. And don't be so sure the military will protect you either comrade.

      Don't tread on us.

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

        Tough guy behind a keyboard, huh?

        Psycho douchebag.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • go back to Fox

        You redneck morons are more likely to accidentally shoot yourselves or each other first, so no worries.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        thanks TJ, you arent reinforcing the idea of the violent right wing gun nut at all.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Thinker...

        So TJ, if the country doesn't do what you want you will start killing those who oppose you untill you can dictate your wishes to the country? In what way does that make you different from the Taliban?

        I personally am OK with the second amendment but you seem to be one of those people who make me question my support.

        September 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "Shall I remind you of WHO owns the vast majority of those 330,000,000 privately owned firearms?"

        lol. I find it hilarious that a Christian would threaten with the fact that they have the most guns and not that they worship the right all powerful God. In this you can see their true faith, not in God but in their guns, in their ability to shoot others they disagree with. It's beyond disgusting and a true shame on this Nation.

        September 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  19. Carl Miller

    This is my response to all the Atheists out there I just said it and plan to make this video go viral what you gonna do then try to take my rights away to say it next

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwGz-fkyy4w&feature=youtu.be

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

      To which god are you referring?

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

        The beauty of it is that it doesn't force you to choose which God you refer to...it can be whatever version of God you believe in if you wish. Or you can skip that phrase if you're so inclined as well. There should be no rule one way or the other respecting the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, except that it should be optional according to the pledger's preferences.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • flying spaghetti monster

      HAHAHAHAHhahahhah. hah... 'take your rights away'! haha aha... heh. . . .oh wait. you're serious, aren't you?
      ...... *shakes head slowly in sadness*.... Oh, you poor guy.

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

      which god?

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

      I'm smiling and peeing on a bible just for you 🙂

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

        Very funny Peggy. Try that with a Quran...Oh wait, they probably don't have a mosque near your trailer park do they?

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

          Highlander, muslims don't have the same political power they do in the US to push their religion on everyone else the way christians do, so your comment is unrelated.

          September 10, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • Highlander

          Alverant: I neither mentioned nor did I imply any connection to the political power of any religious group. My inference was to the reaction of the religious groups mentioned (sans politics). If a person were to actually do what Peggy suggested in her remarks – Christians would naturally be upset, but there would not be an outcry for punishment or an apology. Whereas if the same were to happen with a Quran – well, the response from the Muslim community would be quite different and has been proven in the past, would garner national media attention.
          Also, in the future please refer to a dictionary for the appropriate meaning and use of terms like ‘relevance’.

          September 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • Rodolfo

      It will have virus in it?

      September 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • sam

      Just silly.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Hey! You!

      You just don't get it Carl.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Alverant

      Ahh the familiar "I'm not getting special rights so I'm being persecuted" whine of christian conservatives.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • sam

        You can almost set your watch by it.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Bob Bales

        Except that Christian conservatives don't ask for special rights.

        September 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Thinker...

      So you are OK with congress making laws that violate the consti tution? OK so lets make a law to take away peoples' guns since you are fine with unconsti tutional laws. How about a law establishing Islam as the religion of the US? That violates the same part of the consti tution that the law that establishes 'under god' does so it should be fine right?

      September 10, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  20. Chris Guillembet

    God is a personal choice, or anyother Higher power that you choose to believe. I don't think that we are "one nation, under God". anymore. Our society is falling apart, and why worry about the Pledge of Allegiance? Our nation a long time ago believed in God we Trust. But look how our country has changed? Not for the better that is.

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

      Yes, its really a shame that black people arent segregated anymore and now women can vote. What a horrible direction we are going in.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • flying spaghetti monster

      Yeah, when people like this talk about some mythical 'golden age' of america, they really mean that wonderful window of time between like 1950 and 1970 for middle class white men.

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

      The historical ignorance that religious people and conservatives exude on a daily basis hurts me.....it physically hurts me!

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

      You're probably thinking to another time in your life and locale, but there has always been a contingency of intellectuals in the U.S. who have challenged the claims of religion. And for the better that is.

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

      so is dementia?

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

      Our country has changed for the better. We know that slavery is wrong for example. The christian bible was/is used to defend slavery. And religion is losing the special rights it never should have had in the first place.

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

      "But look how our country has changed? Not for the better that is."

      No, it's definitely not better now. It's just horrible now that we have vaccines for diseases that used to kill thousands, instant access to information from all over the world, infant mortality rates are at an all time low, and where I can tell my phone where I want to go and it tells gives me turn by turn directions. I miss having to find a phone book, look up the place, call during business hours to get directions, write them down and hope the person on the other end of the phone line knows what they are talking about.

      September 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "But look how our country has changed? Not for the better that is." Yeah, when I was a little boy I could make grownup black people get off the sidewalk because I was walking there. It's terrible how they think they're as good as I am now.

      September 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
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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.