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.