No thanks, Dana Perino, atheists will stay right here in America and protect it from you.

This story about Dana Perino at Fox News saying that if people don’t like the presence of exclusionary language in the pledge of allegiance for a nation that presumably values equality, that they can go live in another country.

“I’m tired of them,” Perino complained on Wedneday. “I remember working at the Justice Department years ago when I first started right after 9/11 and a lawsuit like this came through, and 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 really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here,” she added.

“Yeah, that’s a good point,” co-host Bob Beckel agreed.

“If you don’t believe then why do you care?” Perino wondered. “It’s just like some guy’s name.”

A good point, you say?  “Good” wasn’t the adjective that leaped to mind.

America does not belong to the religious.  It is a welcome place for people of all faiths and creeds.  By claiming that it’s one nation under god, the pledge is saying that it’s not a home for atheists, and that just ain’t the case.  If the pledge said one nation, without god, I’d be pissed too on behalf of religious people.  If you don’t think this country is exclusively the property of the religious, you should be angry too.  If you do think this country belongs to the religious then it might be time to stop talking up the nation’s founders (the ones who were pressured to include Jesus in the Constitution and didn’t).

And what of the Christians who wanted “under god” added to the pledge before 1954 when they got their wish?  Hell, what of all the Christians who want more of their religion in our government right now and gripe about it non-stop?  Should they be met with “If you don’t like it, live somewhere else”?  Of course not, but far be it for me to expect that believers treat their opponents with the same standards as their allies in their quest for superiority.  For those believers, like Perino, I’m sure the presence of atheists not backing off when the faithful try to evict non-believers from a country they don’t own does bug them.  I’m sure they are tired of us.

We are not in the wrong for not letting you hijack a country intended for all manner of poor and starving masses yearning to breathe free for only the faithful (and, let’s be honest, only the Christian).  In fact, any patriot, whether atheist or theist, is obligated to protect this country from hostile takeover from any force that threatens the notion of liberty and justice for all.

I think it’s the other way around: if Perino doesn’t like the idea of a government that equally represents all its citizens out of deference to religion, she can go live in the Middle East, where theocracy is common.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • 23cal

    she part of the group that is always whining about “taking our country
    back”? We just want to take it back to the original pledge. What’s her

    • baal

      E pluribus Unim! (so said-eth the founders)

  • Art_Vandelay

    I think it’s the other way around: if Perino doesn’t like the idea of a
    government that equally represents all its citizens out of deference to
    religion, she can go live in the Middle East, where theocracy is common.

    That’s the great irony isn’t it? They hate them while at the same time envying the shit out of them. There are very few things that you can justify with the Qur’an that you can’t justify with the Bible. If these dominionist a-holes yearning for a Christian theocracy in the US ever got their way, we could look like Saudi Arabia in no time.

  • Umlud

    To put the shoe on the other foot, one can easily use Dana’s argument against her:

    “If these people really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here. If you truly believe, what do you care? You don’t need the name of God to know he’s there.”

  • baal

    Maybe we should ask the UN to create a Christian homeland (ala Isreal). We’ll just rip a section out of some part of Iran/Iraq/Syria/Egypt (pick not more than 2 of them) and declare it a new country. Dana Perino etal can go enjoy their new fundy land and we’ll send ambassadors and NGOs to get them to allow their women education and get them to outlaw rape.

    • Justin

      Or an atheist homeland. That’d be better, I think. They can give us Hawaii. And while they are teaching that God created the earth in 7 days 6000 years ago, we’ll be too busy advancing humanity and tanning on the beach to actually care that they are sending themselves back to the stone age.

      • Feminerd

        I don’t think we’d all fit on Hawaii :/

        They can give us Washington and Oregon, though! Nice weather if too chill for my tastes, great amounts of fertile soil for food crops, and pretty far away from a lot of the worst of the Bible-focused sections of the US.

        • Justin

          True. Though, I don’t really care for being on the same continent as the Bible-thumpers.Give them a theocracy, and they’ll be marching on any heathens within shooting distance.

          • Feminerd

            It’s the US. Everywhere is within shooting distance. Our military is quite large and well-equipped.

        • JTEberhard

          What shall we call this Utopia?

          • Terren


          • Jasper

            Logica, or maybe Epistemologica

          • Feminerd

            Hmm. I do like Jasper’s suggestion of Epistemologica, but I could also go for Rationality.

          • Artor

            Ecotopia of course. Hat tip to Ernest Callenbach. We can take northern California too, and a bit of BC.
            Yeah, I know the original book cast it as a kind of neo-pagan culture, but read the prequel; Ecotopia Emerging. It’s much better, and reads like it was pulled from recent headlines.

      • Jeff

        I’d prefer someplace that won’t be mostly underwater in a century, but that’s just me :-P

  • Mick

    The sad thing is that right up to the last minute the theocrats will think they’ve got it right. They won’t get even a split second of revealing insight where they suddenly realise, “Oh Christ, it was all bullshit, all the time.”

  • Terry Williams

    So, if it’s just some guy’s name, we can insert any name we want right? So, can it be “One Nation, Under Hitler”? “One Nation, Under Putin”? Those just happen to be some guys’ names. She forgets the connotation and meaning people have ascribed to those names.

  • Kodie

    They hate America.