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. judith

    If God does exist (which I'll wager he does), he's much too all powerful to give a damn about the phrase "under God" being in a pledge of any sort, to any government. If he doesn't exist (as the atheists believe) than it is totally irrelevant. Even more irrelevant is what Dana Perino believes.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  2. Sharon

    Maybe we should go back to the original pledge (Google it). Everyone changed it for their own reasons. I am a Christian but I do not mind if 'Under God' is removed. It is not the pledge written by Francis Bellamy. Seems like the Knights of Columbus started 'Under God'. Remember this was done in 1952 during the Korean War and the start of the Communist Witch hunt.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes. There is an old Russian saying, "when the crops yield the least food, the peasants say the most prayers."

      Fear is a significant inducement for the less educated to pray to their sky-fairies.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Jericho

      I wish more of the people talking about atheists "whining" would remember this. It would appear that having something wrongly added taken back out is making the Christians whine, doesn't it?

      September 9, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  3. colin

    Dear Americans:

    God here.

    I don’t care whether you take the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, I don’t care about anything, because, you see, I do not exist. Is not the concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being (age of the Universe) capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the actions and thoughts of the 7 billion human beings on this planet utterly ludicrous?

    Look, if I did exist, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Greco-Roman Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Greco-Roman Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smitten all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for a sick, sadistic bast.ard like me to contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you cringed in fear during the Dark Ages and thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.


    September 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Nick

      I love you, please marry/gay marry me, whatever.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • chelle


      September 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  4. Kebo72

    "Thanks for giving us the freedom to be an atheist." Funny, I figure our founding fathers would have considered that language if they really thought that was the case. Religious freedom is a two way street. Respect my right not to believe and I'll respect yours to believe.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
  5. Randy

    Hey Dana, if we just sat down and shut up or moved away every time we didn't agree with something that happened in this country you'd still be speaking the queen's English.

    Just because you chose ONE of the thousands of religions to believe in doesn't mean everyone has to be subject to your beliefs or leave the country. Are you kicking out the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Wiccans, Scientologists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, folk religions, etc. out of this country too because they also don't believe in YOUR god.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Kebo72

      Pretty sure that is what she wants.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Yeah, but if we still lived in a monarchy, I wouldn't feel silly wearing a top hap. Top hats rock.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  6. So Obvi


    September 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • bmurdoc

      Hahahaha! nice.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
  7. Tom

    I'm 77 years old, and I remember saying the "pledge of allegiance" when I was in grade school each day before class began. We won World War II without "under God" being part of the "pledge," and I've always felt uncomfortable having that phrase added to it. The "pledge of allegiance" should not be divisive. It's "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    September 9, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
    • midwest rail

      You make far too much sense to be posting here, Tom. Thank you for that post.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • sam

      Hats off to you, sir.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • OneOfTheSheep

      Well Said! (I'm 73)

      September 9, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • chelle

      Very well stated

      September 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  8. Larry

    Let's be fair. Under God means something very specific. Only the majority approved God counts. Don't dare consider building a mosque anywhere near the World Trade Center. Wrong God would be worshiped there.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      It is funny how Christians only believe that Christians died during 9/11. Many religious groups (including several Muslims you blind fools not the terrorists in the hijacked planes by the way) died during 9/11.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • sam

      Religious freedom should always be vigorously defended...as long as it's christianity. Otherwise it's just the rabble causing trouble.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  9. I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    Why not just abolish the pledge? It's like something out of a fascist or commie state.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • sam

      Most kids just say it by rote and have no idea what it means anyway.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        True. It's like prayer at religious schools. Do those kids really have any understanding of what they're reciting or do they do it so as not to upset the status quo?

        September 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
        • sam

          No one bothered explaining it to us in school – it's just something you did every morning, like brush your teeth. I figured maybe it warded off bad luck or something.

          September 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  10. What is going on? FREEDOM

    Ha you Christians don't have to live here either.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  11. samsart

    The Founding Fathers espousing a formal religious dogma equates to a personal choice each of them made. Isn't that part of this issue? What each of us chooses to adhere to or not adhere to is a personal, private choice . Having 'In God We Trust' and Under God' is making a choice for all citizens .And at some point there are those that find that a bit repressive. However to equate patriotism with the espousal of formalized religion. specifically Christianity, is beyond insulting and demeaning to those citizens that practice a different religion. Why do all public venues, and gov't agencies have to profess their existence is due to a figure held sacred by Christians? Is it so terrible that such places as public schools, public commercial businesses, and gov't offices be devoid of ANY specific religious references? Each person is afforded the right in this country to practice a faith, or not . Is that so terrible? There are arguments abounding that if only everyone was a Christian and everyone followed the tenets of Christianity everything would be just peachy. But reality tells us that would not be the case. Is it not possible that by affording every citizen the right and opportunity to practice , or not practice as they see fit any engagement in a formal religious dogma there just might be more harmony? Would that be so bad?

    September 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  12. Alan

    The points that a lot of posters are missing:

    1. "Under God" was added to the pledge after its inception. It was not a part of it initially.
    2. Being able to worship your God means being able to allow others to worship theirs.
    3. The problem with the matter is not that anyone is worshipping a Christian God. It's that because the organized Christian politicians are so vocal and obnoxious that other people are not able to worship who and what they see fit.

    People have rights, not just those identifying as Christian. Worship is meant to be allowed to all, whatever they worship.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  13. Sharky

    LOL Bigotry? Equality? How is it equality if Atheists GET under God removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, if Christians accept the phrase?

    Frankly Atheists, and no I am not a religious person, pick the most ridiculous fights. Oh no the pledge of allegiance has under god in it. Oh no. Gee why not simply NOT SAY IT. Whoa what an idea. I don't say God when I recite the pledge of allegiance.


    September 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Some people support the const.itution.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
      • sam

        The only part of the constitution most religious folks understand or can read is the 2nd amendment.

        September 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
        • What is going on? FREEDOM

          Agreed, especially after the Iowa fiasco in letting blind people own weapons. I see people's support for it, but do you honestly want a blind person to carry a gun around?

          September 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Another great facet of the const.itution.

          September 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Bishop Hairy Palms


      If you remove "under God", it becomes strictly a pledge of allegiance to one's country with no religious favoritism.

      What form of mental illness causes you to want to force others to pledge allegiance to your imaginary sky daddy?

      September 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • sam

      In your quest to come in and be a jackass, you missed the point. See the post above yours for less 'LOL' and more 'hey I read the article and understand what's happening'.

      Try not to hurt yourself doing it.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • What is going on? FREEDOM

      Having the term "under god" just makes it seem like Christians are far more superior then the actual nation itself, when they are not.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Jericho

      Because some jamoke added it later. What can be added can be taken away.
      Only one whining here is YOU.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • OneOfTheSheep

      Obviously you're one of those "Johnny come lately" types that don't remember the ORIGINAL Pledge of Allegiance that CHRISTIANS amended with their "wish list" in the early fifties. FIRST DO NO HARM!

      September 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm |
  14. Bishop Hairy Palms

    What form of mental illness makes you want to force other people to pledge allegiance to your imaginary sky daddy?

    September 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • sam

      See the post directly above yours for a shining example.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • freddy

      know one is forced to pledge allegence. Its a privledge. If you want to say it, you simply do, if NOT. then DON"T . don;t take a way the right for those who do believe. That is also unconsitutiional . just like tv. if you want to watch it, turn it on, if NOT, turn the TV OFF

      September 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • Bishop Hairy Palms

        NO ONE is forcing any Christian not to pledge allegiance to "God".

        You are free to do that all day and night until you literally blue in the face and fall over on the floor for lack of oxygen to your brain.

        The issue is that others are being forced to pledge allegiance to your imaginary sky daddy.

        September 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
      • sam

        Ok, your whole post is nonsense, but let's pick one part for fun: it's a priviledge? Really? Kids mouthing a pointless memorized ditty every morning with no idea what it even means?

        We don't need to pledge ourselves to our country with words, at all. That's nationalism. People should try acting like Americans, for once, which means remembering people of many faiths can live here and should feel comfortable doing so.

        September 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
      • Nick

        The very real issue here is that you used the word 'know' when you clearly should have used 'no'. What on earth could have caused you to make such an awful mistake? Now I forgot what the article was even about, thanks a lot!

        September 9, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
      • brian

        the issue is that they were trying to spot "godless communists", so by adding god they thought they could single out opponents for persecution. So while i totally agree with not liking the whine of atheists about anything related to God, to be fair this addition is too partisan. The pledge is supposed to provide all americans with a sense of Unity, and by making it a tool for use in the witch hunts of the 1950's it has very little to do with God.

        September 9, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
      • doobzz

        "don;t take a way the right for those who do believe. That is also unconsitutiional ."

        No, it isn't. No one is preventing you from believing whatever you want. It just doesn't belong in a pledge of allegiance to our secular nation, the USA.

        September 10, 2013 at 12:00 am |
  15. Jeebusss

    Christians: professional victim-hood.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
  16. Diaz

    If you need a book to verify and 'know' that there is a 'god', you are seriously brainwashed, and will be left to live in your own misery.
    That's a fair bargain.

    September 9, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  17. John Adams

    The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.

    (from A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America [1787-1788])

    September 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • maty

      Perhaps ironically, but "Amen!"

      September 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  18. the AnViL™

    change the pledge of allegiance – strilke "under god" – add "with liberty, justice, and equality for all"


    September 9, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • G to the T

      Gotta admit – I like that addition!

      September 10, 2013 at 10:28 am |
  19. straittalk

    What I don't understand is why atheists care so much about removing references to God. To an atheist, God and Santa Claus are alike in that they both don't exist. So suppose someone fully believes that Santa Claus is completely real. Telling that person that Santa Claus doesn't exist and doing whatever you can to convince them so is offending them much more than if they tell me that Santa Claus is real. As long as they're not hurting anyone, they can continue to believe that Santa Claus is real, but I am not going to bother them about it. The same goes for Christians. It is easy to see how telling them that a God who they trust and pray to doesn't exist could be offensive to them. If they tell you that God exists and you don't believe so, there's really no reason to be offended by that. So if you're atheist and don't believe God is real, why is it so important to remove public references to God? Belief in God means much more to a Christian than an atheist's unbelief in him, the same way someone's sincere belief in Santa Claus means more to them than my unbelief in Santa Claus does.
    And it's not as if the pledge is excluding other religions by stating "under the Christian God" or "under the God of the Bible."

    September 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • FreeThinker

      I'm an atheist and don't care one way or another about the words in the pledge nor on the dollar bill. It has no affect on my life. All that concerns me are "blue laws" and being forced to hear others beliefs.. to each his own. Religion is like a penis, it's all good to love yours and be proud of it, just don't wave it around in public and shove it down peoples throat.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
      • Sharky

        To a point your are correct, however, inanimate objects or words that simply exist are not even close to the same as someone going and attacking you with their religious rhetoric. Is a nativity scene really that threatening? Is a memorial cross that threatening? Are either forcing you to convert? Are either being forced down your throat? No. Traditions where the majority welcome it, such as prayers at high school football games are under attack because of one person. So one person has a problem and the majority suffer? What the heck? Just don't pray, DUH not hard to figure out.

        If I ever recite the pledge, I just don't bother saying the word "God" simply. I am not going to go off my rocker with suing complaints about a single word that is not forcing anything down anyone's throat.

        September 9, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
      • Bleau Hawaii

        FreeThinker. Thank you for the Best. Answer. Ever! on this issue.

        September 9, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
      • ajeanne

        Oh that's a good one – "religion is like a penis...." Hope you don't mind, I'm going to use that from time to time!

        September 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • Josh

      simple question then, would you be ok with voting for and feel safe under a govt lead by someone who does not only believe Santa claus is real but also would base vital international foreign policy decisions on "advice" given to him directly by Santa Claus. Obviously that guy would get laughed out of the room. No reasonable non believer, like myself, would chastise you for your religious beliefs but once you use those beliefs to govern you are than a danger to me, my family and my country and all the ideals my country was founded on. Not to be to extreme but once you do that you yourself are the greatest threat to America, you yourself are the evil tyrant and you yourself have completely lost track of what America was truly founded on, not simply what was amended 50 yrs ago.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
      • Diaz

        You think the people vote politicians into office in this country?

        Good one!

        September 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Sharky

      Because Atheists pick the most ridiculous fights over nothing. But you are correct, if they don't believe in God then having "under god" in the pledge really would not matter. God doesn't exist to them, so simply compromising solution don't say "under God." I am not an Atheist and I do not follow any religion, but I don't bother saying God and I am not offended the word is in the pledge. Whatever.

      Atheists just whine, well the fanatical ones.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
      • bmurdoc

        "Because Atheists pick the most ridiculous fights over nothing"

        You don't even see the stupidity in this statement do you? The religious nuts are fighting back, are they not?

        September 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • MikeyZ

      Try this:

      "I pledge allegiance to the Flag
      of the United States of America,
      and to the republic for which it stands,
      one Nation under Santa Claus, indivisible,
      with liberty and justice for all."

      *Now* are you getting the point?

      September 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Heather

      I'm not an atheist, and I agree with the separation of church and state. I also won't profess to be a history expert, but as I recall, one of the founding elements of this country was "freedom of religion" and for very good reasons–religion and government are a dangerous mix. While I'm not out lobbying for it, I wouldn't be opposed to religious language being removed from our government currency, pledges, etc. To me, it reaffirms that we still are holding true to one of the most important foundations of this country. How about if we put "under Santa" and "in Santa we trust" on everything. The kids would love that!

      September 9, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
      • James Madison (chief architect of the US Const. & Bill of Rights)

        Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.

        The Civil Govt, tho' bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success, Whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.

        (from letters to Edward Livingston and Robert Walsh)

        September 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  20. Rick RWC

    So do we need to remove, "In God we Trust" from our currency? Just read a book on the Founders and Framers of this country, and they were ALL religious to a certain degree. Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and many more...3,2,1....I can hear the critics now..."How dare you mention facts!? This doesn't fit with my ideology!" Godless, moral-less and cynical. In order to be respected by the left, this is how you become popular among this crowd. Denounce anything that doesn't focus on the individual. "only God-fearing tea-baggers believe in any of this God crap!" A bit comical...and even a little sad....

    September 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • The Reverend

      Says the delusional zombie...

      September 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • brian

      no because it was not added as a way to hunt down "godless communists"

      The 2 words were added because communists were thought not to say them.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
      • Josh

        the fact they we made a horrible stupid decision 50 yrs ago doesnt mean it was just or right. we also locked up hundereds of thousands of asian americas in what is now widely considered Americas most disgraceful act. This idea that if they did it then it must be good is so ass backwards.

        September 9, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
        • Sean

          ^^ that was more disgraceful than the slaughter of perhaps 50 million native Americans in the name of "manifest destiny"? I think not.

          September 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
        • JAMES OLIVER

          You might want to put slavery and the genocide of the American Native ahead of your example. Not saying your example is not horrendous but it does not qualify for the top of the list. It would be interesting to read a list of the worst 50 things done by each country in the last 500 years.

          September 9, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
        • Josh

          Well neither of those examples were decisions made and done by the federal government as constructed. Therefor I would still with my example actually for this situation.

          September 10, 2013 at 12:49 am |
    • Heather

      Sure, they were all religious, but it's about freedom of religion and separation of church and state, two very important principals of this country. Those allow people to feel secure in continuing to practice their religion, any religion, including Christians, without the threat of government persecution. Look what happened during the Tudor monarchy, for example. I believe in God, and I think it's a good thing to have that separation. It isn't about focusing on the individual per se.

      September 9, 2013 at 7:57 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.