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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. Bible Clown©

    I'm wondering now how much of Dana Perino's money is in offshore foreign accounts, and how long before she leaves the country. She can just go live somewhere else.

    September 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  2. Bible Clown©

    But still, here we are on 9-11 with a religious maniac telling us to get out of our own country, and this time the maniac is supposedly American. Don't smash a plane into us, FOXnews. Remember what happened to the Minister of Disinformation in Iraq, and imagine yourself in his place.

    September 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  3. AverageJoe76

    Henry, with this statement, you totally understand that God is a reasonable doubt even within yourself:

    "If there is no God, then I believe He was created b/c it is human nature to have answer for questions that we have no evidence for. Scientists now know how the earth and the moon were created but thousands of years ago we did not, so we felt a higher power was responsible."

    The 'god-concept' has always been man's gap in understanding reality.

    September 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Henry

      I indeed have doubt. Never said I didn't.

      September 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        And do you think it moral for the God of the Bible to send you to eternal damnation for having reasonable doubt?

        September 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
        • Bible Clown©

          "I believe, oh Lord, help thou mine unbelief?"

          September 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
        • Henry

          does it say that in the bible?

          September 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
        • AverageJoe76

          Well..... I thought general consensus was that if you don't believe in Jesus, you suffer eternal damnation.

          And, I could be wrong....... but I was under the impression that it was a key component of being 'saved'. And not going to the naughty place.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
        • Henry

          I believe in Jesus as the savior. I do not know for a fact this is correct.

          Doubt has entered my mind whether or not I am correct but it never changed my belief.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Quite right, Henry. Belief and knowledge are two different things. We have to recognize that both believer and nonbelievers can be agnostic. I respect a believer who does not claim to have esoteric knowledge, but provides reasons for faith.

          September 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • Ken

          Henry
          The question then is, are you willing to deny some people their civil rights, for example, because of a belief that you know could be false?

          You see, I couldn't do that. It's possible that I could go to hell for supporting gay marriage, but I'd rather take that chance than throw those people under the bus just for the selfish need to satisfy a superst ition. That would be like intentionally driving over somebody's lawn just to avoid a black cat.

          September 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      There are 1,189 chapters in the bible. One of those speaks of the creation of the universe, 0.000841 of the bible. This doesn't appear to be the main subject. Using your thought that people used the idea of God to explain things they didn't understand at the time makes me wonder why there isn't more about creation in the bible, if you are correct.

      September 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        There are more than one but ignoring that, the point is the creation myth "establishes credibility" for the deity. Without that "proven" power – why respect it?

        September 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  4. Observer

    Mike from CT,

    At this very moment there are many people who don't believe in God that are risking their llives to protect you and me and everyone else in our nation. Many have given their lives for us.

    Please tell us why they cannot express their demonstrated allegiance to this country without having to mention any religion.

    Please try to supply any answer that doesn't indicate that you are not an INGRATE.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Observer

      typo. Should say "Please try to supply any answer that doesn't indicate that you are an INGRATE."

      September 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  5. next emperor

    Perino's remarks are not surprising coming from Fox News where the truth is rare and understanding limited.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Truth is rare but their understanding is second to none. It's all done for effect. People on FOX know exactly what they're talking about and say stuff to stir up interest. Murdoch is a business genius. He saw a gap in the market for an extremist Christian populism channel. It sucks in everybody across the spectrum, atheist and theist, liberal and conservative.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        Actually, a rather small amount of people listen to FOX, and they are almost all over 65. They are the "largest news channel" because no one watches news at all these days. They are good at getting GOP votes out of scared old people, and not much else.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          That's true about nobody watching news anymore. It's all online these days, if people are even interested in watching/reading the news.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          You can tell the age of their average viewer by watching 30 minutes of Fox News. You will see no less than 3 commercials for reverse mortgages, 1 for the Hover-round, 2 for Cialis and a handful of collector coins or cash for gold commercials. If that isn't the over 65 line up I don't know what is...

          September 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  6. Henry

    I am a Christian. I believe that God created the subatomic particle that was the universe before the big bang.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Who created this 'God' character?

      September 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • Henry

        I believe that God has always been.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
        • Jake

          That's one of the (many) problems with the god theory. It doesn't leave us with any fewer questions. How can god have always been? Makes zero sense.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Been where, Detroit? Seriously, which god an why?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          And.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Truly, you realize that makes no logical sense.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
        • Henry

          God has always existed. Sure, it doesn’t make sense if we were to compare it to humans but God isn’t human.

          I believe there is only one God.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
        • Jake

          It just doesn't make sense, period. It has nothing to do with comparing to humans. It has to do with where did he come from and how did he get there? "He was always there" doesn't answer that.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Has Septo, the ninja hamster who travels through dimensions, originally from Planet Freakout, always existed?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
        • Henry

          @Jake.
          Why doesn’t that make sense? I think it answers both questions you asked.

          @ I’m sorry Dave.

          I would say no but that’s just my opinion.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          In which case a singularity/universe could also have always been in existence.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
        • Doris

          Henry, do you believe that man was made in God's image?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
        • Henry

          In Santa we trust,
          I suppose it could have, couldn’t it?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Doris

          I missed the thread below before asking my last question. Of course being a Catholic you would believe man is in God's image.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          Well Henry, if you're capable of believing that your god has always existed, then can you not accept that the universe (or the multiverse from which our universe sprang into existence) may have always existed?

          Why is one possible, but not the other?

          September 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Jake

          Doris, this is the point I've been trying to make. Henry believes in evolution. Therefore, in his view, humans did not initially look anything like we do now and we look nothing like god. But Catholics believe we are made in god's image. So if he doesn't believe that, how can he claim to be Catholic?

          September 11, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
        • Doris

          Yes, Jake, a good question to all Christians who do believe in evolution.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • Henry

          EnjaySea,
          It might have always existed. I obviously do not know. It comes down to faith not evidence.

          Jake,
          Through the process of evolution, God could have very well created us in his image.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          Actually my point Henry is that a common dodge for the question "who created God", is that "God has always existed." Cleans that up nicely, even though you have no idea whether your claim is correct.

          So, since apparently we can will into existence anything we want when the facts can't be checked, I make the counter-declaration, that the universe has always existed, and therefore requires no creator. I just put your deity out of work with one statement.

          If that seems absurd, so seems your claim as well.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Henry

          It’s almost like you’re putting words into my mouth. Of course, I have no evidence to back up my claim that God always existed or that He exists at all. Again, I was only saying what I Believed.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          Hello again Henry. Yes, I appreciate that you believe that. My replies haven't been posted to change your mind. I've been posting them for the benefit of the larger audience who might be tuning in. So you can safely ignore the rest of this comment.

          If a god-creator has always existed, then he exists in some "plane", some god-playground where he can wave a wand and build universes. I don't consider our universe to be the entire universe. I consider the over-arching, all-encompassing realm of reality which includes our bubble of a universe, plus the god-playground, plus whatever other planes that may exist, to be the entire universe.

          If there is a god that created our bubble of a universe, then the question remains unanswered to my satisfaction: "then who created the entire universe?" If one's answer is "it has always existed", then again, that means that gods are not required for that universe to exist.

          Henry, are you still here? I warned you not to read the rest of the comment!

          September 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          For the sake of clarity, I should have ended with: that means that gods are not required for that universe to exist. And if gods are not required for that universe to exist, then why are they required for ours to exist?

          I conclude my remarks.

          September 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
      • AverageJoe76

        Men created God, so that God, could in turn, create man. Kinda like a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" situation. EXCEPT, once God got his full powers from the belief of mankind, he got greedy and decided that before everything, "there was nothing" therefore totally denying man of his rightful position in Genesis (as the pre-Creator).

        Which is totally false......... there was once this guy named Harold. Harold created God. God's appearence caused Harold to dissappear. Bestowed with imaginary energy from 'pre-God-Harold', God created Harold (wasn't Adam). I know...... "doesn't make sense"... right? But isn't this keeping tradition with religious concepts in general? Throw stuff out there and hope something sticks?

        Has Harold stuck with anyone? Because I really need to manipulate people's hearts and minds, not feel bad about it, and make some serious dough. Halle-LOU-ya.

        September 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • Henry

          If there is no God, then I believe He was created b/c it is human nature to have answer for questions that we have no evidence for. Scientists now know how the earth and the moon were created but thousands of years ago we did not, so we felt a higher power was responsible.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • Ken

          Henry
          Religious answers are merely like the invented ones that parents make up for their kids. Surely Christians are not children who need the comfort of any old "answer" rather than the uncertainty that comes with acknowledging that we just don't know what the real answer is (yet)?

          September 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
        • EnjaySea

          I agree Ken. In the absense of evidence to answer a question, it helps no one to make up an answer.

          It's helps even less to make up an answer then burn people at the stake who don't agree with you. But that's another chapter.

          September 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
        • hharri

          prove it

          September 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
        • barry

          boy, that's a new argument observer

          September 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
        • kkarri

          hharri, disprove it

          September 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
        • barry

          EnjaySea
          I agree Ken. In the absense of evidence to answer a question, it helps no one to make up an answer.
          It's helps even less to make up an answer then burn people at the stake who don't agree with you. But that's another chapter.

          or donkey punch their ripe buts

          September 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
    • Jake

      Henry, I'm afraid you don't understand what Christianity is. That's not what Christians believe.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
      • Henry

        Why whatever do you mean?

        I am a Catholic and even though I have never been to a Catholic school, they do teach evolution, the big bang, etc.

        Didn’t you ever see the movie Religulous with Bill Maher? He interviews a Catholic Theologian who was also an astrophysicist.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Jake

          Oh come on, you know what I mean. Christianity teaches that the earth was created just thousands of years ago. It teaches that Jesus died and rose from the dead 2 thousand years ago. These things are completely inconsistent with evolution and science. If you want to adjust your religious views to be consistent with what we know from science, that's fine, but it's no longer Christianity, but some made-up religion just for you. Much easier would be to just drop the religion part all-together and then you would be free to believe what you really think.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
        • Henry

          Personally, I don’t feel every story in the bible is to be taken literally.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          But who's the arbiter of what is and isn't to be taken literally?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
        • Henry

          I think we all choose what we can and cannot take literally.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Jake

          Well that's sort of the point. If it's not a consistent set of beliefs, it's not the same religion.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • Henry

          Well, I guess I’m getting caught up on semantics but I’d say that those who believe Christ is the savior are a Christian. Some denominations obviously believe that the bible is to be taken literally 100% and although I disagree I’d say we’re both Christians.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I though the Bible was the inerrant "Word of God"? How can you not believe all of it? If you can pick and choose what to believe, chances are it's best not to believe any of it. You can't do that with a science book.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Surely you believe in Adam and Eve then? Without that, there's no need for Jesus.

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

          Well, I don’t think one should compare Science and Theology. A belief in science is based on facts and experiments. A belief in religion is based on faith.

          Also, I don’t believe that God intended for it to be a literal scientific book.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
        • Jake

          Henry, that's one of the reasons why religios views have so little merit to atheists. If you can just pick and choose what you want to believe, and if you can change what your religion claims every time science proves another part of it to be wrong, why would we think that what remains has any base in reality? It's just not logical.

          And again, the Christ being a savior part includes him rising from the dead, performing miracles, being the son of God, etc. Without those things he's just a guy and not a savior. However, those things conflict with the laws of science. It can't be both ways.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
        • Henry

          Jake,
          I disagree. If we were all reading the bible for the first time, there would be a division whether or not one would agree with it. Of the group that believes, there would be a division that would interpret it differently. Of the believers, it would be up to each of us to decide which sect we belong to.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
        • Doris

          And the argument comes full circle again and again. Was Paul being honest, and if so, was his experience real or not? Hearsay "evidence" or not? What is there to go on that is not hearsay other than his words? Was he the Joseph Smith of his day?

          September 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
        • Doris

          We read about a number of hearsay historians such as Josephus, and we hear about hundreds of witnesses, but no names or writings I believe attributed to them, so is there something else besides Paul's words (involving yet more uncertain authors) that we are missing that would give better evidence for something so miraculous that is claimed in the NT?

          September 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
        • Jake

          I guess my point is that to be in any way consistent with evolution and general scientific knowledge, you can't believe the vast majority of what most of us understand Christianity to be about. If you only believe a tiny portion of what the general view of the religion is, either you're not that religion or the religion is pretty much meaningless.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
        • Doris

          So I can understand having faith in something that you cannot see but for which there is reasonable evidence for you to seriously consider it. It's what we know and don't know about what transpired a couple of thousand years ago that seems awfully shaky.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Doris

          (that is 2000 and older years ago, not just the NT miracles)

          September 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "We read about a number of hearsay historians such as Josephus" who also spoke of Hercules as being a real person as did Tacitus. Come, you have to do better than that to prove the validity of the bible. I've read it several times cover to cover and I can tell you this was a book cobbled together to push a specific agenda, that of patriarchal control, at least the Greek scriptures. The Hebrew scriptures are just historical fiction much like the Egyptian mythology hieroglyphs mixed with actual Egyptian history. They use names and speak of real locations but also talk of anthropomorphic deities with magical powers. The bible itself speaks of the ability of the Pharaohs magic practicing priests who were able to turn their staves into snakes only to be eaten by Moses magic stave turned snake. This is not actual history, this is historical fiction. A historical fiction that was hijacked by devious men who used it to control the masses. This is obvious in their attempt to limit the common men from getting a hold of scripture for a thousand years limiting it to only the priest classes on pain of death.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      That's nice Henry. I worship Gigator, the God who created your god and gave your god the power to create a subatomic particle that began our universe. All Hail Gigator!!

      Obviously i'm being facetious, but at the same time, my comment is no different than yours. Both come from an unverifiable opinion, so we can never be wrong, right Henry?

      September 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • Henry

        What do you mean? I’m not saying it is a fact that God created the subatomic particle that was around before the big bang? Nor am I saying it is fact that God even exists. I’m just saying my beliefs.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          My point is that unverifiable opinion is not worth much, so why postulate it?

          I could claim that comets swing by the earth every so often to pick up the souls of the dead to ferry them to another dimension. Since souls are unverifiable you can never prove me wrong, so I will always be right, right? That is what all religions do, make a fantastical claim they have no way of proving so they can never be proven wrong, thus they believe themselves always right. It's a vicious cycle of ignorance, where the absence of proof against God becomes the proof for God.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
        • Henry

          You seem to misrepresent and/or misunderstand what I say. I never said God definitely exists or that I have evidence for a Higher Power.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • AverageJoe76

      What evidence do you have that 'God' created a particle? Who's to say the particle wasn't always there? And what is 'God' to you? Is it the in form of a pheonix?

      September 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
      • Henry

        “What evidence do you have that 'God' created a particle?”

        None. It is a belief on faith alone.

        “Who's to say the particle wasn't always there?”

        Could very well have been.

        “And what is 'God' to you? Is it the in form of a pheonix?”

        Nope.

        September 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Alien8

      Buddhists call that subatomic particle "atman." Sorry, they got there first.

      September 11, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  7. I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNoj-PZbcO8

    September 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
  8. aallen333

    Atheists had better be thankful they have true believers in Christ around to antagonize. They do not understand that they are protected by God because Christians are in their midst. They're leaching off the blessings emanating from Christians and fail to understand what a dark place the world would be and will become when Christians are no longer around. When that happens they will finally understand what the phrase "grace of God" truly meant.

    September 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwc1Wi-mlCI

      September 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
    • Observer

      aallen333,

      Fortunately, a huge number of Christians don't believe everything in their Bible and so don't follow it all. That's why we don't have slavery anymore and have cut down on discrimination against women, gays, and the handicapped.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " They do not understand that they are protected by God because Christians are in their midst. " Christians need to understand that, if not for the presence of atheists in their midst, they would all be eaten by shoggoths. Because they don't understand that, they are all in great danger. We hold back the minions of Cthulhu with our mental powers, while you fritter and waste your lives all unknowing of the horror that lurks in every shadow.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Jake

      I'm thankful I wasn't brainwashed as a child and didn't turn out delusional, like you.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • ME II

      @aallen,
      You misunderstand the situation. It is the secular efforts that made this country what it is, not the supernatural.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Yeager

      Christianity is current at the top of the Economic ladder if that is threatened they will easily turn on others. This is evident by the rhetoric that this forum is responding to.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Do you consider the prosperity churches as leeches – you know tax-free funding for the pastor's expensive life-style.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
      • DarwinTheIdiot

        Not much more that gay people spreading A I D S all over the world and the cost for tax payers so they get their medications for free. Am i a bigot for telling the truth?

        September 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          actually you are a bigot for spouting bull

          September 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
        • RestonJeffery

          AIDS is spread the fastest by heteros. Do get a clue, liar. You haven't told the truth, so yes, you're a bigot.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • DarwinTheIdiot

          Reston get your facts straight, gay population were the first to contract in and to spread it, now it's easy for you to say oh heteros has it too. Of course they but they got it from blood transfusions and all. Now almost anyone is in danger of getting it. But who's at fault?

          September 11, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
        • Alien8

          I actually think ldiot is a good word for you, and I hope you can win that Darwin Award this year.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Reston get your facts straight, gay population were the first to contract in and to spread it'

          In the US maybe but certainly not the world; talking of getting facts straight.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • DarwinTheIdiot

          My facts are straight, it's not exclusive to US only. Last week there was a gay person infecting 300 people and did tell them he was infected. That happens all over the planet, and every park at night with gay people having multiple partners in one evening. Now don't try to convince me otherwise. Their filthy ways is a cancer for the human species. And that includes you atheists, in which a huge percentage of you are also h o m o s e x u a l s. And don't play the bigot or tolerance card with me. We are the ones who have been far too much tolerant with you people.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
        • fintastic

          ...."you people"..... there's that bigot flag!

          September 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • Ken

      aallen333
      How are any of us "protected" by your God? Are we protected from wars, attacks, natural disasters, economic meltdowns, diseases, crime, accidents, or anything else that hurts us? We happen to live in a country with a lot of resources that we were able to steal from the original owners. That's the key to our success, not some superst ition about an invisible man in the sky granting wishes.

      September 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
  9. Figures

    Figures this issue would turn into a race thing, why do people do this? its 2013 let the race card go. IDC if our pres. is PURPLE BROWN PINK WHITE OR BLACK... that has absolutely NOTHING to do with this issue. If the athiest do not want Under God in their pledge DONT SAY IT! or let it go & go cry in the corner. Because the rest of us want it there and say it. We have the freedon to say what we want or not to say anything so why dont you athiest just NOT say it. Why make it a big deal, and why make it about RACE? so off topic! And people want to tell me to grow uP/ take a step back & look in the mirrow before you try to throw a LOW BLOW!

    September 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Observer

      Figures,

      "If the athiest do not want Under God in their pledge DONT SAY IT! or let it go & go cry in the corner. Because the rest of us want it there and say it. We have the freedon to say what we want or not to say anything"

      Good point. So let's change it to say "under God or no god at all". Then you can say whatever of it you want and the atheists can, too. After all, "we have the freedon to say what we want or not to say anything".

      Is this okay for you, or are you going to "go cry in the corner"?

      September 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
      • Exactly

        We have the freedom to say what we want or to not say nothing at all, you right. its not about crying in the corner. That is the way it is, say it or dont, its reality. Get over it or cry in the corner. Ya'know? Figure of speech kind of thing. If you know anything about that?

        September 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Johnny

      If it was o.k. for Christians to change the original pledge then it is certainly o.k. for Atheists to try and get it changed back. They are just trying to fix something you guys messed up.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." – First amendment to the U.S. Constltution.

      "In 1951, the Knights of Columbus, the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization, also began including the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance"

      "President Eisenhower had been baptized a Presbyterian very recently, just a year before. He responded enthusiastically to Docherty in a conversation following the service. Eisenhower acted on his suggestion the next day and on February 8, 1954, Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill to that effect. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954."

      "If the athiest do not want Under God in their pledge DONT SAY IT! "

      This is a clear violation of the constltution but all the ignorant religious lemmings don't give a shlt about the constltution and urintate on it every time they say the words "Under God" in the pledge. I simply ask that you stop disgracing yourselves and this country. If you want a theocracy please move to Iran or Saudi Arabia, but you are certainly no American if you put your faith in invisible fairys above our countries founding principles.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
      • Wow.

        I put my faith in something better then this life. Is that a bad thing? That people want to believe in something better........?
        GEESH!

        September 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Elaborate

          As in, a better AFTER LIFE

          September 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          You are more than welcome to put your faith where ever you want, just don't take it out in public and attempt to force me to put faith in your opinion.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          as long as your keep your faith to yourself then no, we wont have an issue.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
        • Bible Clown©

          "I put my faith in something better then this life." Yeah, but so do Muslims. Does that mean their religion's true? They believe as much as you do. There's a church that worships Elvis as the Messiah, and they believe that they will be united with Him in the afterlife. So, I guess they will if they believe hard enough, right? All you need is faith.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
        • Ken

          Wow
          If people were putting their faith in the zodiac, and passing laws on who could get married based on the compatibility of their signs, would you be OK with that?

          September 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Who the heck is bringing race into this? Let me at them. I prescribe a head shot with the Clown Hammer© (don't worry, it only beeps).

      September 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
      • .

        Read below posts, its posted every where about the pres. race. !

        September 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    Maybe if we changed "Under God" to say........ "Under The Great Pumkin" ....then maybe they would see from frame of mind the atheists are coming from. Seems theists do not grasp that. Your "god" is on the same shelf with other "gods" (i.e. Allah, Zeus, etc...) So if some parents don't want their kid pledging to something they do not believe exsists, are they being unreasonable to ask if you keep it to yourself?

    Short answer = "No."

    September 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • DarwinTheIdiot

      If we were to say everything that goes thru our minds, we would live in a world of convulsion and destruction, we would be in a constant war against each others.. Tolerance applies here as well a respecting divergences of opinions. Sometimes it's better to shut up and let others live the way the intend to. Bigotry has a bi-directional meaning, it can be aimed at both religious and atheists people.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Johnny

        Well if you don't believe in the Great Pumpkin then you can just leave that part out.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
        • DarwinTheIdiot

          The great pumkin was not a part of my comment, if you don't have anything better to say then you should be the one to leave.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
        • Johnny

          I would but I'm afraid of flying, so I guess your stuck with me.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        "If we were to say everything that goes thru our minds, we would live in a world of convulsion and destruction, we would be in a constant war against each others" Only petulant bigots acting like children would resort to violence in response to insults.

        There are no words that could move me to violence, only actions. You verbally threaten me I calmly go to the police. You physically move against my family, things get violent. So if we were only saying what is on our minds and not actually doing it, then we shouldn't have a problem. At least, we wouldn't if we had more rational adults on the planet instead of whiny little children who lash out at every percieved offense like the religious right in America. So yeah, we would be faced with mass violence if everyone spoke their minds, but only because some people have no self control.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        'Tolerance applies here as well a respecting divergences of opinions'

        exactly, which is why slapping a reference to god in the pledge is intolerant and does not respect divergent opinions.

        September 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
  11. BDSaint

    My question, if the family of this unidentified child feel so strongly about this why don't they come forward. Isn't the right to face your accuser still in play? If I understand this correctly, I pay state taxes in MA, part of this is going to provide for the state to defend itself and possibly pay some sort of damages to this family. Shouldn't we at lest know who's bring the charge, especially if they feel so strongly about it?

    September 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Johnny

      Why so that the people who live near the family can harass them and their child? If you don't think that would happen you need to wake up.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
      • BDSaint

        RE: Johnny – Oh I have no doubt there would be protesting but again, if they feel this strongly about it they should be named; especailly if my tax dollars are being spent on defense and the resulting damage payment (you know there will be one). Also aside from this case, doesn't this set a dangerous precedent that you can be accused of a crime buy an un-named source. I agree they should be able to bring the suit but disagree with remaining "un-named".

        September 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          This isn't a criminal case.

          September 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
        • Johnny

          If you are worried about your tax dollars being spent then I suggest that you ask the government to not defend against the lawsuit.

          September 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
        • Lucifer's Evil Twin

          @Dave – Southies are predominately Catholic Irish... so intelligent answers are meaningless to them

          September 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Oh, I see.

          Dat deres sum good tinkin saint. Wy donts we justs lock up dem atheest pinkos anyway. Dis is Gods country. We gots to luv our enemeez with brutalitee.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I adopted Southern speech for that as I find it hard to phonetically capture Bostonian speech patterns. Kwaaaffee is coffee. That's basically what I can do and I'm not even happy with that.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
        • BDSaint

          RE: I'm sorry Dave,...wow, a perfect example of two people (I'll include your friend lucifer) taking the opportunity to insult anyone who disagrees with their thinking. I never said I was for or against the family, only that I didn't agree with their remaining anonymous. I could stoop to your level of name calling but it only reinforces why people in general don't like Atheists and belive the group really has no point except to force their beliefs on others when the reverse can't be said. On a lighter note, both of you are probably trolls anyway who just like to name call behind a keyboard becuase it makes you feel safe and tought. Hey sorry you didn't get a better job or have a better life but don't take it out on the rest of us.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It was a joke. How thin skinned are you?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
        • BDSaint

          RE: Dave...not very. I just don't like bullies who hide behind keyboards and others.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
        • Joey

          If you think that is being bullied then I would say you are pretty thin skinned.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
        • doobzz

          "RE: Dave...not very. I just don't like bullies who hide behind keyboards and others."

          You don't like bullies behind keyboards? Then put yourself in the place of the child who will almost certainly endure much, much worse than you having your Boston accent made fun of and get a clue why they need to remain anonymous.

          September 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
        • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Allegiance)

          Red Sox suck! I would crush them all on my tummy!

          September 11, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Why, so the crazies can pipe bomb their house?

      September 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • BDSaint

        Would it really be too much to ask that you form a logical argument? I'll restate my point for you, it's that you're setting a precedent of allowing un-named indivudals to accuse others. Now the point of criminal vs. civil is interesting to follow but I won't even ask you to do that. So for you, since this "end around" by the family is under "equality" how is this child be treated unequally? They can opt out of saying the pledge. They don't even have to stand. If the argument is that they are being "identified" in someway it's a direct result of their own actions which came from the right to not have to say the pledge. So who's to blame now? Actually, I bet the kid doesn't care one bit, it's probably the parents using their kid to exact some sort of add meaning from the act and feel vindicated. Are you still with me?

        September 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The last thing a child needs in school is to stick out. He could potentially suffer bullying from his classmates. Anyway, it's not about the child's feelings, it's about church/state separation. Under God and In God We Trust alienate non-monotheists.

          Also, why not follow the point of civil vs criminal? It's a salient point. They are two completely different facets of the legal system, so your claims of unknown accusers is unfounded.

          Anyway, it's about time they abolished the pledge. It's like something out of Nazi Germany.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
        • BDSaint

          So I guess you're the "everyone gets a trophy for trying" kind of guy. Not saying that kid should have to endure and then it's up to the school to protect the child. As for the kids feelings are not the issue, they are totally the issue when you say that the child is not being treated equally. Please show me where the inequality is when they don't have to say the pledge or stand. Oh and love the part about the Nazis...great way to work the crowd.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The inequality is in the very utterance. It's dividing. And it's not fair to say that they can opt out. They're children, they go with the flow.

          If they started saying One Nation Under Allah, Allāhu Akbar, I wonder if you'd still be so defensive.

          I have no idea what you mean by the Nazi comment also. What crowd? I imagine that's not a populist view.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Al

      Who cares who it is? This is long overdue. You can't make people acknowledge the existence of gods. You can't discriminate against gays, gender, or race. You can't own slaves or burn people at the stake for disagreeing with you.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        You can do all those things, you just shouldn't consider yourself sane if you do.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • BDSaint

        Re: Al...I agree with you but the basis of this suit is that the kid isn't being treated "equally". Since he or she can opt out and not say the pledge or even stand, then how are the being forced? Where is the inequality? If you say "Well it's peer pressure and a hostile environment" then do we sue the beer compnaies becuase Jane/john Doe feels different and "undo" pressure when they go to a restaurant but don't drink?

        September 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'Since he or she can opt out and not say the pledge or even stand, then how are the being forced? Where is the inequality?'

          because you are forcing them to make a choice when none need exist. That is where the inequality is, that is where the forcing is.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
        • Joey

          It wouldn't surprise me to see a Christian do that since it is basically what they are doing when they try to ban gay marriage and abortion.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      They are afraid to come forward because they know how the average Christians react. The average Christian see's this as a problem it wants to punch in the face. "You don't like my God? Well get out or i'll punch you in the face! Trying to force me to give up my God!" No you moron! We just can no longer abide you forcing your God on everyone else! Get it out of the pledge, get the bible out of courtrooms, congress and my hotel room and let people live their lives free of Christian nagging!

      "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." Mark Twain

      Atheists have no problem admitting they don't know everything. It's the religious who claim to have it all worked out, even while they frantically change their doctrines or alter biblical understanding to allow for the new discoveries being made by science every day.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Al

      To be fair, it should at a minimum be changed to one nation under gods. There are many gods that are worshipped in this country, and it's about time the Zeus followers have some recognition.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      You know that someone would kill them, and I'm thinking it might even be you. So let's just flag you out of here for posting such dangerous nonsense. OK? Bbye

      September 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Anti-Bully

      "When someone starts off identifying themselves as a 'taxpayer', they are about to be an asshole." ~ Demitri Martin

      There isn't any reason for you to know the identity of this kid. None.

      You already know that "under God" was added during the Red Scare. It shouldn't have been added, and it shouldn't cause such outrage one asks for it to be eliminated. So the question remains:

      Why, when you just talked about internet bullies, would you want the kid to be bullied in reality? Because it would happen. And you well know it.

      September 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
      • Sea Otter (Leader of Allied Atheist Allegiance)

        "When someone starts off identifying themselves as a 'christian', they are about to be an asshole." ~ LET

        September 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • doobzz

      "RE: Dave...not very. I just don't like bullies who hide behind keyboards and others."

      You don't like bullies behind keyboards? Then put yourself in the place of the child who will almost certainly endure much, much worse than you having your Boston accent made fun of and get a clue why they need to remain anonymous.

      September 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • doobzz

        Dang, reposted where it belongs.

        September 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  12. Mike from CT

    "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.

    And in two statements Silverman proves he doesn't know the definition of bigotry or equality. Still waiting for dave to bring a law suit against the Michigan schools for their prayer rooms ... oh wait he only challenges the christian religion, now dave that is bigotry.

    September 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Jake

      Bigot: A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.

      Actually, it seem that you are the one who doesn't know the definition of bigot. This Fox reporter meets the definition perfectly.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • DarwinTheIdiot

        Bigotry has a bi-directional meaning, it can be apply against religious people as well as atheists "one side or the other". Religious people support freedom of choices to believe in whatever deities one may choose. The proof is there has been all kind of churches, Baptist, Christians, Catholics etc...they all coexisted all this time without fighting each other. Atheists want all deities to be removed, now this is where the term bigotry may apply at best. All religions coexisted without trying to removed another, but atheists wants to remove them all. The intolerance falls on the atheists side, which is where bigotry applies best.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Jake

          Pretty much that entire post is wrong. You clearly don't get it.

          September 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
        • DarwinTheIdiot

          Refusing to accept facts and also truth is not an excuse to dodge the bullet. You can try as hard as you can but you won't changes the facts that this true.

          September 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
        • cedar rapids

          'The proof is there has been all kind of churches, Baptist, Christians, Catholics etc...they all coexisted all this time without fighting each other. '

          you only mentioned christian sects, no other religions, and you also seem to have forgotten the whole history between Catholics and Protestants

          September 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
        • Ken

          Well said DTI, i couldnt agree more.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
        • DarwinTheIdiot

          Thank you Ken

          September 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
        • Ken

          DarwinTheIdiot
          Must be a different Ken, because religion has no place in the patriotic declaration of support for one's country. I have no interest in removing any religions, but this phrase clearly shows favoritism towards a few religions, implying that people who do not believe in some form of God/YHWH/Allah are not true Americans. Now, that's intolerance of religion, my friend!

          September 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Manfred

      The dictionary definition has a 'exclusion' clause that the term 'bigot' does not apply to atheists. 😉

      September 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Then you are looking at a bigotted definition of bigotry.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      so where is the

      "one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance."

      "If you don't want to pledge Allegiance to this country you can leave. "
      is no more bigoted then
      if you don't want to pay your grocery bill you can go without food.

      I also noticed you didn't even touch the equality issue, so you must understand the fact that everyone has to recite the same pledge IS the definition of equality.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
      • Richard Cranium

        Forcing someone to acknowledge a god they do not believe exists, changes the pledge for many. I haven't said it since I was seven, and got in trouble with the school until my father ( a presbyterian) straightened out the school.

        Why does a loyalty oath for ones country have any reference to any religion or religious belief anyway? It is extremely inappropriate. The christians hijacked a couple of the symbols of OUR country and excluded any who do not share their belief.

        We will see the phrase removed from our pledge, and we will see the national motto returned back from the lie that it currently is.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Mike from CT

          "Forcing someone to acknowledge a god they do not believe exists, "

          That is the point nobody is forcing anyone, you have an option. It is just nobody wants that option because they want their cake and eat it too.

          "Why does a loyalty oath for ones country have any reference to any religion or religious belief anyway?"
          Because that is what the country decided their oath would contain. Just like verzion can choose to include wording into their contracts too, or the medical field into their oaths.

          "It is extremely inappropriate."Why?

          "excluded any who do not share their belief."
          Just not true, if you were excluded you wouldn't be here.

          It won't be removed it is Public Law No: 107-293, under our const.itution in this year of our Lord, states don't have they right were federal law is defined.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          So mike, you then admit that this law was passed unconst!tutionally. "Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion", which they did in this case.

          It is extremely inappropriate since it is a loyalty oath for we the people, and having it there not only asks the question "is there a god" but answerrs it affirmatively. Why do you thinkj it is appropriate to ask and answer that question in an oath of loyalty to ones nation. That is a question for a different day. The christians stole the pledge from we the people, excluding anyone who doesn't believe in deities.

          Prove there is a god to be under, or remove it. Next up...removeing the LIE from our currency.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          mike
          "you have an option. It is just nobody wants that option because they want their cake and eat it too"
          What do you mean by that? What option?

          "Because that is what the country decided their oath would contain"
          False. There was never any referendum to the country. It was a group of congressmen who hijacked the PoA. Not the country.

          "Just not true, if you were excluded you wouldn't be here."
          False. It excludes from the PoA ANY who do not believe in deities. No one who does not believe can honestly recite the oath of loyalty in its current official form. It excludes MANY.

          "It won't be removed"
          Yes it will, it will be struck down eventually. So will the lie that is the national motto.

          September 11, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
        • Mike from CT

          No, establishment was made.
          That is like saying because I acknowledge your existence is the same as forcing everyone to follow what you say.

          See how silly that sounds.

          September 12, 2013 at 8:53 am |
        • tallulah13

          Why do christians find it so offensive to return the pledge to it's original form? Why must you insist on a phrase that actually divides rather than unites, when the pledge was intended as a statement of unity?

          The addition of "under god' was just a superficial gesture against communism, and it remains a superficial gesture, now aimed at fellow Americans who do not share your belief. You are simply declaring that your personal god is more important than our country. There is nothing patriotic about that.

          September 12, 2013 at 9:50 am |
        • Mike from CT

          "Why must you insist on a phrase that actually divides rather than unites, when the pledge was intended as a statement of unity?"
          But it does unite, it has united us for almost 50 years. It united us through the Cold War. It unites us by recognizing He exist will not establishing or accepting one particular doctrine.

          September 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
      • Jake

        I didn’t touch on the equality issue because you haven’t said anything that approaches a point on that issue. Forcing children who don’t believe in god to recite a statement on a daily basis saying that we live in a nation “under god” is obviously not equal treatment. Would you think it would be equal if we changed it from “under god” to “without a god”? Of course not.

        "One (Dana Perino) who regards or treats the members of a group (non-god believers) with hatred and intolerance (by telling us we should leave our country)." This isn’t exactly rocket-science.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • Tony

        I can't comment on the Michigan thing (this is the first I'm hearing about it), but having everyone recite the pledge isn't equality in itself.
        Consider if everyone were to recite the following "Tony is great and everything said by Tony is true." Technically everyone is saying the same words, but the content of the speech is not something everyone agrees with. The only clear benefactor of saying something like that is Tony. No one benefits from saying something they don't believe in.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Mike from CT

          " but the content of the speech is not something everyone agrees with. "
          But agreement is not required for equality

          2+2 = 1+3 NO I DON'T AGREE
          See how that doesn't work

          Now equality is treating all the same REGARDLESS OF BELIEF. Just like Verzion charges all its customers the same for the same product, whether you think it is outrageous.

          Now like your example and the one above, nobody is forcing you to agree and one option not to agree is Dana's option. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

          If you can not pledge allegiance to this country, then you should consider getting out.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
        • Mike from CT

          http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-07-25-muslim-special-treatment-from-schools_N.htm

          http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=6610

          September 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Bible Clown©

          "If you can not pledge allegiance to this country, then you should consider getting out." So, you are the kind of patriot who punches people in the head for being anti-Obama, right? Your allegiance to this country forbids you to call the president a Muslim Traitor or offer to shoot the First Lady, right? I'm proud to meet a guy who'd take a bullet for the President in these disloyal times.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
        • Tony

          Mike,
          Thanks for the articles, I'll look into them.

          There’s a distinction to be made between equal treatment and special treatment. Technically you’re right, everyone is on an equal playing field because they are saying the same words (which some don’t believe in). However, mentioning a god is fundamentally opposed to the separation of church and state. Equal treatment is being given to everyone, but special treatment is also given to Christianity, which is forbidden.

          Your last paragraph misses the point. Some atheists do, in fact, want to pledge allegiance. However, the default is not conducive to their beliefs. Now we get in to pledging something that the pledger doesn’t believe.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
        • Richard Cranium

          Mike from CT
          "If you can not pledge allegiance to this country, then you should consider getting out."

          Normally I don't resort to name calling, but that has to be the most pompous arrogant, moronic offensive thing you could say to a patriot, a veteran who has a family history going back 400 years on this land. My ancestors have fought in every conflict that has been on this land or for this land.

          Try showing a little respect. religon haas NO PLACE in the oath of loyalty to one's country. You want to waste your time praying to your own imagination fine, but don't try to force others down your deluded path.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
        • Mike from CT

          @Clown
          "So, you are the kind of patriot who punches people in the head for being anti-Obama, right? "
          I don't resort to punching people, but it is very frustrating that people do make fun of the commander and chief and show no respect. A little time in the army would fix these as.s clowns that are all brave behind the keyboard.

          @Rich
          "Normally I don't resort to name calling, "
          Now that is funny

          " My ancestors have fought in every conflict that has been on this land or for this land."
          Then grasp what they fought for and understand their faith to fight for things on the battle field that are now being overturned by one ent.itle family in state court.

          Try showing a little respect.

          " but don't try to force others down your deluded path."
          That has to be the most pompous arrogant, moronic offensive thing you could say

          So your going to force others to not force others?
          And if you read the post above. Realizing their is a God over your life does not equate to an established religion

          September 12, 2013 at 9:25 am |
      • Observer

        Mike from CT

        "I also noticed you didn't even touch the equality issue, so you must understand the fact that everyone has to recite the same pledge IS the definition of equality."

        Do you think about what you write? "Everyone HAS TO RECITE" does not make equality.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Mike from CT

          it does.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Yes, it's equally oppressive.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "you must understand the fact that everyone has to recite the same pledge IS the definition of equality."

        Coerced conformity is *not* equality. Can you not see the difference?

        I always thought forcing children to recite the pledge was no different to North Korean indoctrination of children that the Dear Leader loved each and every one of them.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Freedom is the right to have differences in opinion and belief.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        '"If you don't want to pledge Allegiance to this country you can leave. "
        is no more bigoted then
        if you don't want to pay your grocery bill you can go without food.'

        not really. A better analogy to what the you can leave comment and grocery would be.........if you dont want to be forced to buy sweet potatoes you can go without food.

        And the same pledge that all can say without having to make a choice would be equality, If you have sections of the populace that has to actually make a choice as to what they say then it isnt equality.

        September 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

      equality: the state of being equal

      I think David hit the nail on the head and it is you who does not understand the definitions of these words. There is no doubt that making the statement that people who don't believe like you do should move to another country. I don't want Christians to get out, I want them to simply refrain from imposing their religious will on our secular society and leave their faith out of our politics.

      It's very simple. Think of the pledge as a bowl of chocolate pudding. Everyone loves pudding. Then in 1954 religous conservatives bullied congress to add an additional ingredient, chicken livers because there was a majority of Americans who at the time thought that liver cured our ailments. Now, years later science has proven that liver does not cure anything and many people would rather eat their chocolate pudding without the chicken livers, and they are complaining about the chicken livers being added at all. Those who still like the flavor however and saying "Whats the problem! You can pick them out if you want to!" without every realizing that it would be far easier to serve the chocolate pudding without the livers and let any who like that chocolate liver flavor can add their own livers. The fact is that the liver lovers really just want to force their livers on others because they still believe that liver is healthy and believe they know more and are better than those who dislike liver and tell them if they don't like it they should move.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
      • Jake

        I like the analogy, although I'm not sure I agree with your opening statement of, "It's very simple." 🙂

        September 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          I believed the thought of someone liking chocolate pudding and not liking chocolate liver pudding was the simple part.

          September 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices"

        To be fair, that describes everybody.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
      • Mike from CT

        "bullied congress"?

        Was Congress also bullied in 2002?

        Be honest with yourself.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
        • Just the Facts Ma'am...

          "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." – First amendment to the U.S. Constltution.

          Rep. Charles Oakman (R-Mich.), introduced a bill adding the words "under God" to the pledge. Congress passed the necessary legislation and Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954."

          How is this not a violation of the constltution. Now, be honest with yourself.

          In regards to 2002: "In a 2002 case brought by atheist Michael Newdow, whose daughter was being taught the Pledge in school, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the phrase "under God" an unconstltutional endorsement of monotheism when the Pledge was promoted in public school. In 2004, the Supreme Court heard Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, an appeal of the ruling, and rejected Newdow's claim on the grounds that he was not the custodial parent, and therefore lacked standing, thus avoiding ruling on the merits of whether the phrase was constltutional in a school-sponsored recitation."

          Yeah, wow, they ruled he didn't have standing because he was not the custodial parent, that sure proved the constltutionality of the addition to the pledge...

          September 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
        • Mike from CT

          " ....or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; " - The rest of that statement in First amendment to the U.S. Constltution.

          September 12, 2013 at 9:29 am |
        • Mike from CT

          "they ruled he didn't have standing because he was not the custodial parent, "
          And it hasn't been contested on the federal years in almost 10 years.

          September 12, 2013 at 9:31 am |
      • acidgrin0

        I enjoyed that analogy. Thank you.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Manfred

      Yeah, this is the guy in his own words about Bibles in the hotel room,

      “We need to do something with them,” he says, ticking off ideas with his assistant: Recycle them, give them away, put them outside the doors, perhaps even destroy them."

      –Destroy??? really??

      September 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
      • Just the Facts Ma'am...

        Would you complain about a stack of junk mail getting burned in the backyard? I doubt it. Just because it has printed words on it does not make it a valuable docu ment that needs to be preserved. The fact that nearly every hotel room in America has a Gideon bible puts it more in the realm of junk mail than endangered docu ment.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
      • Ryan

        Right!

        This guy has no business pointing fingers at others, when in fact he is the epitome of 'bigotry'.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
      • Bible Clown©

        If you burn a Bible, God dies, right? Maybe not? Just leave the Gutenbergs alone for historical reference.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        I agree with you, Manfred, they should definitely be recycled. Let's go green.

        September 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
        • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

          Pale horse devotee. The gubmint is all!!

          September 12, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • Al

      I say we change it to "one nation under pizza". Who doesn't like pizza? You can actually see, touch, and taste pizza.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Thor

        you know, that is actually a VERY GOOD idea, something that everyone can really sink their teeth into!

        September 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "proves he doesn't know the definition of bigotry or equality" Apparently you don't know either. What a waste of time posting THAT. Someone send this guy a clue.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • cedar rapids

      ' Still waiting for dave to bring a law suit against the Michigan schools for their prayer rooms .'

      are the schools making the kids go to these prayer rooms and having them opt out instead if they dont want to go?
      if not then your comparison isnt exactly making a point is it?

      September 11, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  13. Reality # 2

    Doing the blog shuffle this afternoon in honor of rational thinking in the 21st century hopefully soon to be free of the supernatural.

    September 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
    • Thor

      well you all did forget about me didn't you? (until they brought me back as a comic book character...I wonder if Jebus will get any powers if they make a comic out of him? He's pretty useless right now except for the peace and love thing...)

      September 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • acidgrin0

        Jesus may be the most popular, but damn if he isn't also the most boring.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Oh really? We'll see how clever you feel next time you're at a party and run out of booze, fish and bread.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
        • Joey

          Just what we need, another gay guy bringing a bottle of wine to a party.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  14. the AnViL™

    i really don't care if there's gods in the pledge of allegiance – but there shouldn't be. it doesn't really matter to me because i don't have to say it.

    they can leave the gods in the pledge, but they should definitely add "with liberty, justice and equality for all".

    the argument can be made that monotheism negates the ideal of equality – which is all the more reason to specifically add that word to the end of the pledge.

    eventually – as more children are raised to think critically, and shed the ignorant mantle of religion – they'll cease to recite "under god" all on their own.

    September 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I once read a post of yours advocating the removal of voting rights from the religious. How could you hold an extremist view like that yet not be concerned by inst.itutionalized support of monotheism?

      September 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • the AnViL™

        I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that asks:

        "I once read a post of yours advocating the removal of voting rights from the religious. How could you hold an extremist view like that yet not be concerned by inst.itutionalized support of monotheism?

        only once? ha!

        i think it's funny as heck to suggest revoking the rights that xians seek to remove from atheists in several state constitutions. people get all bent out of shape.

        so basically – my "extremist" view / opinion hasn't changed. no one should be subject to the ideals of delusional people.

        until the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders is changed, i'm sorry to inform you that we're going to have to keep dealing with the foolish idiocy of those trapped firmly in the grips of the mass delusion that is religious thinking.

        as for my concern over the institutionalized support of monotheism... it's there – just not aimed at the pledge of allegiance or gods on money.

        i'm far more concerned with those who feel their religious beliefs entitle them to deny equality to other americans. i'm also far more concerned with those who feel that they can legislate their theistic morality onto the rest of the populace. also – i'm greatly concerned with the fact that these people seek to install their religious idiocy into our public school science classes.

        it may be an unpopular opinion – but i do not believe that those who seek to deny liberty, justice, and equality for other americans deserve any of those things.

        maybe, just maybe, if we add the word equality to the end of that pledge, it'll start to sink in to the next generations heads that equality isn't just for those who believe as they do.

        and finally...

        it's my firm opinion that tolerance of religious idiocy is actually worse than religious idiocy itself.

        ~

        ffrf.org

        September 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      "One Nation, Under Canada"

      September 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        'under Canada' – funny.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
      • Observer

        Amen.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Aardvark

      Best Post of the Day Award!! 🙂

      September 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  15. DarwinTheIdiot

    And (splat on screen) I'm done. (Lights ciggy) Thanks, guys! 😀

    September 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • Henry

      But darwin wrote the origin of species, which was a best seller.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
  16. Henry

    I believe in God and evolution!

    September 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      I believe in beer and the Falcons (it's their year).

      September 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • Henry

        The falcons don’t have the defense.

        I’m thinking it will be Broncos and Seahawks or the niners.

        September 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I'm hoping the league's strongest offense can do the business. Otherwise, Hawks probably.

          September 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
        • RC

          GO HAWKS!

          September 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jake

      Henry, if you believe that a god started the universe and then evolution took off from there, ok. But if you believe in the Christian view of God, it's illogical to say you believe in that god and evolution. Christianity asserts that God created the universe thousands of years ago. Evolution asserts that the universe has been evolving for billions of years. They're two different, mutually exclusive positions.

      September 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
      • Johnny

        Also, without a literal Adam and Eve Christianity falls flat on its face.

        September 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Yeager

          Yeah without original sin all the Dinosaur were vegetarians and played nice together.

          September 11, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
        • Henry

          I am a Christian. I believe that God created the subatomic particle that was the universe before the big bang.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
        • Johnny

          As long as you acknowledge that the Big Bang took place, I have no problem with that. Although I do wonder why god would sit around for about 9 or 10 billion years before creating the solar system that his chosen people were to live in.

          September 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
        • Yeager

          @Henry so why the Christian God why not Mother Nature. It could very well be that some higher intelligent creature started the whole thing but a long way from believing that the Bible in all its convoluted glory is the supreme word of God and that 2000 years ago miracles were routinely performed but yet now they only appear in obscure ways. Maybe God abandoned us.

          Remember Who Mourns for Adonais?

          September 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Aardvark

      that would mean that you think your god created evolution...BUT...for that to follow and given that Humans have been bobbing around Earth for probably over 120,000 years but your little dude just showed up for the last 2....AND if you actually understand that we do not look the same as we did 120,000 years ago NOR will we be looking the same in the eons to come.....well then that whole 'made in my image' bit just looks like pus...

      September 11, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      So, you think God is behind "river blindness?" That madman should be arrested for making a terror bioweapon like that. And look at what he's done to the female hyenas! It's disgusting. God and Evolution are too much like Gorillas and Whiskey.

      September 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
      • Alien8

        I saw Gorillas and Whisley warming up for Slash in Detroit back in '99. Helluva show.

        September 11, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
    • Ken

      So, how did God evolve then?

      September 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
  17. So Obvi

    Watch Wendy squirm....LOL

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AS6rQtiEh8

    September 11, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Observer

      I watched the entire video. He didn't exactly mop her up. She hung in there nose-to-nose for the most part. Her silly laughter at serious questions was really ignorant. She did stress being open-minded and presenting all the facts and surprisingly, he didn't have much to argue with her about that. She never claimed to want Adam and Eve in the classroom, but rather a discussion of possible intelligent design. He also never raised the point that there were relatively few fossils available when she kept bringing up the argument about "isolated cases". He could have argued that point much better. He won the battle, but it was more by decision than a knockout.

      It was an interesting and entertaining video and I hope people will take the time (1 hour plus) to see it when they can.

      September 12, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  18. Bored

    I don't get it. So many countries reference God in their national anthems and the like.

    America, Canada, France, Britain, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, the list goes on.

    Can't we just move on?

    September 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • DarwinTheIdiot

      Simply because the cartoonist, creationist, atheist idiots are whining as usual.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Idiot, How can atheists be creationists?

        September 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • Henry

          An atheist can believe that aliens created the universe.

          September 11, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
        • ME II

          Creationism is usually the belief that the universe was created by a supernatural deity. I don't know if Aliens, even super advanced ones, would qualify.

          September 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • Observer

          Henry,

          A Christian can believe that God came from nothing and then created everything from nothing.

          They also can believe in unicorns, talking serpents, and dragons.

          So what was your point?

          September 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
      • Henry

        Why are you calling Darwin an idiot? I get the impression you believe in evolution.

        September 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
        • DarwinTheIdiot

          Atheists believe that alien created the world? What color where these aliens?

          September 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
        • ME II

          @DarwinTheIdiot,
          "Atheists believe that alien created the world? What color where these aliens?"

          You are incorrect.

          September 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
        • Henry

          I was just saying that they could believe that and it would be compatible with creationism.

          In the movies I’ve seen, most aliens are green.

          September 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
        • Bible Clown©

          "In the movies I’ve seen, most aliens are green." Yes, you are really contributing to this discussion. SO helpful, thanks.

          September 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Some of those countries don't have church/state separation. Also, national anthems aren't recited daily by children. The best thing to do would be to abolish the pledge completely. It's like something out of Nazi Germany.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Jessica

      I agree, having Under God in our Pledge of Allegiance does not offend me and for those that are offended, they (kids included) should be excused from saying it. But the Fox News chick does offend me. This country was founded on freedom of religion, including freedom not to practice religion or believe in God. What a backassward thing to say for anyone, but especially a "journalist". Our freedom of speech allows her to say it, but I'd prefer she just leave...at least the airwaves.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        It's nothing to do with offense. It's about church/state separation and stopping the purposeful alienation of a large portion of society.

        September 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Which one of these countries do you think Dana Perino will move to? And you guys stop talking to the child/troll before he wets himself.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • BU2B

      This is a really simple case. The first amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion. When the phrase "under god" was added in 1954, the first amendment was clearly violated.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Bored

      I love how the question has never been addressed. We've now moved on to whether aliens created the universe.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The national anthems of other countries are irrelevant.

      The Queen is both the head of state *and* the chruch in Britain. We don't have a system like that. We don't have a country based on religion.

      September 11, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Doobs

      Since you're bored, why don't you google the US Constitution and read it? Maybe then you'll understand why we can't "just move on".

      September 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • Bored

        Yes, because two words comprising of eight letters and a space, nine total characters, threatens your Const.itutional rights! Mountain out of a mole hill much?

        Aren't there bigger things to worry about? Are your rights really being "infringed upon" by those two words? Is anyone telling you that you have to say it? Are they saying you have to believe in any god, let alone the Abrahamic God? I'm just saying, the fact that taxpayers are paying all of this money over this minutae so that certain individuals can "make a point" is a bit riduculous.

        September 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm |
  19. Bible Clown©

    So, here we are on 9-11, talking about a religious fanatic who claims the right to dispose of our lives, and it's not Osama bin Laden. Nice going, Perino. Way to step up to the crazy plate and swing.

    September 11, 2013 at 11:58 am |
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About this blog

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