“Love it or leave it”: Bush’s former press secretary says atheists should leave the US

A report at Opposing Views (and also many other places) describes a Fox News program in which participants discussed the Massachusetts court case about removing the words “under God” from the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. (I’ve written about this case here.) Those words weren’t added to the Pledge until 1954, and were a response to the “godless” Russians during the Cold War.

On the show, Dana Perino, a Fox News commenter and former press secretary under George W. Bush, shamed herself by saying that those people who are urging the removal of “under God” should just live elsewhere if they didn’t like the words.  In the Sixties we war protestors often heard similar words: “Love it or leave it,” i.e., if you don’t like U.S. policy, go elsewhere.

That, of course, is completely antithetical to democracy in America, where if you don’t like something, you can both vote against it and publicly protest it. The OV report notes:

 Perino, a participant in the discussion, when asked how she felt about arguments that challenge religious references in government-sponsored ceremonies, said she was “tired of them.”

“Our representatives have spoken again and again, and if these people [really] don’t like it, they don’t have to live here,” said the onetime Bush mouthpiece.

“Yeah, that’s a good point,” responded the show’s host, Bob Beckel.

. . . Gutfeld pointed out that, though atheists are “a minority,” atheism “is not an extreme idea.” Another panelist, Kimberly Guilfoyle, former first lady of San Francisco, responded, “But why should they be catered to? Why are they so special?”

Listen for yourself:

Guilfoyle also notes that, through this lawsuit, atheists are trying to “Inflict their belief system on everybody else.”  Well, atheism isn’t a belief system, and both Guilfoyle and Perino show a profound misunderstanding of the First Amendment—one that surely would have annoyed founders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

“If you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen”—Perino’s words—could be used to justify all sorts of religious incursions into public schools, including daily prayer, which is illegal.

The point is that public schools shouldn’t be forcing students to even listen to religious views. Such schools, as an arm of the U.S. government, should be religiously neutral, and such neutrality doesn’t inflict anything on anybody. Christians are just butthurt because they want to pray everywhere and inject God into everything. I wonder how Doyle and Guilfoyle would feel if “under God” were changed to “under Allah” or “under Vishnu”.

There’s also some discussion in the show about whether the words “In God We Trust” should continue to appear on U.S. currency. That seems to have become a laughable issue—of course they should remain, everyone says, for they’ve been on the bills for years.  But those words should be removed as well, for they’re another religious incursion into the government, and every time an atheist uses paper currency, she is passing those words along with the buck. In fact, those words have appeared on U.S. bills only since 1957. (At their annual meeting, the Freedom from Religion foundations raffles off “clean money”: pre-1957 dollar bills.)

Somehow the use of the word “God,” if it persists for a long time, is construed as having assumed overtones of secularism. That’s ludicrous. Custom doesn’t stale the illegality of government-sponsored religion, and any words denoting or approving of the supernatural should be ruthlessly expunged from the government.

That, of course, won’t happen, and I expect the Massachusetts Supreme Court will keep “under God” in the Pledge.  If they do, I’ll be curious to see the tortuous legal arguments they use to justify that decision.


  1. Posted September 8, 2013 at 2:53 am | Permalink

    As Tony Blair said about his government, despite being a devote Catholic when he was Prime Minister, “we don’t do God”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 3:04 am | Permalink

      I would be proud of that if he wasn’t such a congenital liar about everything else. Like Weapons of Mass Delusion…

      • teacupoftheapocalypse
        Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        I think he converted to catholicism so that he could go to confession, be absolved of his sins, and then start from scratch, secure in the knowledge that, no matter what he got up to, he could go through the confessional washer again.

        • Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          If so, then what silly bunny he is. We have much better religions for that sort of thing over here — the kind where you only have to accept Jeebus into your heart once, and then you can be a prick the rest of your life, no problem. What was he thinking?

      • Gary W
        Posted September 8, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        I would be proud of that if he wasn’t such a congenital liar about everything else. Like Weapons of Mass Delusion

        That claim seems rather implausible.

        Would you rather have had a Tory Prime Minister and government? Because, you know, they’re such peackniks.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

          Speaking as a lifelong left-wing voter – I don’t know that a Tory government would have been any worse. Wasn’t Jacques Chirac on the right? – and look how far Dubya’s WMD fairy stories got with him. Tony might have been a nominally Labour prime minister but he seemed to want to crawl up Dubya’s trouser leg every chance he got.

          Just google ‘Tony Blair weapons of mass destruction’ or ‘Chilcot inquiry’ if you need more information about fake WMD stories…

    • Bartman
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 3:07 am | Permalink

      It was Alistair Campbell who said ‘we don’t do god’, and Tony didn’t convert until after he was PM, but it was clear where his sympathies lay.

      [Just correcting factual errors]

  2. Posted September 8, 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    “Another panelist, Kimberly Guilfoyle, former first lady of San Francisco, responded, ‘But why should they be catered to? Why are they so special?’”

    Same questions to you, Kimberly, m.m.: But why should Christians be catered to? Why are they so special?


    • Gordon Hill
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      It’s their idea of “forming a more perfect Union.” Of the many ways to improve a culture, two of the more common are to work at doing so or denigrating those one despises. Only the latter gets media attention, yet yields little or no benefit.

  3. Jesper Both Pedersen
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 4:05 am | Permalink


  4. staffordgordon
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Scary! But revealing; better this kind of mentallity expresses itself in the public arena than be kept underground.

    Although of course Creationists/Intelligent Design merchants keep their heads down, working covertly to influence education policies.

    I’m glad I live in the UK despite the clear, present and constant danger from religionists here as well.

  5. Posted September 8, 2013 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    “they don’t have to live here”

    Actually, I kind of do.

    This shows a very poor understanding of other countries’ laws. First of all, comparatively few countries are as secular as the U.S. Having lived in Canada with permanent resident status, I know that the mix of religion and public life is more common place and accepted there than it is here. Few places have as strong laws regarding the separation of church and state as does the U.S., and, at least for me, that makes more of a difference than the percentage who call themselves atheists in polls. I can choose my friends, but the laws affect me whether I like it or not.

    Secondly, each country has its immigration laws. I would not be able to move to Canada today because they have (or had) an age limit. After a certain age, which I am surely past, you can’t emigrate there. A person just can’t pick up and go to another country because they like it better. It’d be nice, but other people can’t come here and I can’t go there, not to live and work. I don’t know the laws regarding immigration in France, which is the country that comes to mind first when I try to think of a government with a strong separation of church and state.

    Religious people have been desperately trying to take over our government since 1980. They haven’t been successful because we *are* a secular country.

    • tony bryant
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      France is an EC country as is Romania so has had a big influx of Romanian Gypsies escaping persecution and poverty at home. Immigration from former African colonies also occurs.No country except perhaps North Korea is free from immigration and religion.

      • Alektorophile
        Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        North Korea is largely free from immigration (unless we count kidnapped foreigners), but surely the Kim cult of personality is as religious as ideologies get: miraculous births, supernatural omens, sacred texts, brainwashing from birth, mandatory worshiping, and essentially evil.

      • Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

        Your comment is a little confusing to me, I’m afraid. I hardly meant to imply that France did not have immigration. I’ve been there quite a few times and my last boyfriend was a Frenchman whose parents were from Algeria. However, all countries have laws regulating who can stay permanently and work. I’m a U.S. citizen, so the fact that E.U. (no longer E.C., I believe) residents have, I believe, the liberty to go to other E.U. countries is of no benefit to me or other U.S. citizens, which would be the group of people Dana Perino was addressing.

        I’m also aware that France is far from “free of religion.” Last December, I was at a protest rally in Paris for marriage equality. Just like here, much of the opposition to that comes from the religious. As I said in my comment, I’m more interested in the laws that might affect me than in the overall level of religiosity. Here in the U.S., for example, I personally know very few highly religious people. I’ve read studies and I know that they are, or should be, all around me, but it has little real effect on me.

        France has very strong “laws of laicité”, as they call what we in the U.S. would describe as a separation of church and state. In fact, that has been a sticking point in attempts at greater political integration in Europe. I believe it was France which objected to a clause stating that Europe was Christian. (I’d have to look that up to be sure.)

        When I say that I can’t go someplace else, I very much mean that I can’t go someplace and live permanently and work legally. If Dana Perino thinks that people should not only leave their homeland, but to go to another country and live an underground life is because he or she does not believe the Christian mythology is true is even more bizarre.

        I did, in fact, legally emigrate to Canada, (I came back.) and I’ve looked into the question of trying to live in France on a temporary basis for a couple of years, so I wouldn’t describe myself as “knowledgeable” about immigration laws, but I’m not entirely unfamiliar either.

        Frankly, I find it quite insulting that you would think that I was so stupid that I didn’t know that there was immigration in France. I’d appreciate it if you would treat me with a little more respect.

    • Merilee
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      I’ve been a permanent resident in Canada for 30 years and find that there is much less talk of g*d here than in the States. The current PM is an evangelical Christian, but despite spouting a lot of other nonsense he doesn’t spout much religiosity publicly.

      • Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        True, except for recent years when he’s been emulating the US penchant for high patriotism: “God bless Canada!”

      • Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Perhaps I did not make it clear that I was not talking about individuals or how much they talk their god or gods. I was specifically talking about the legal safeguards which are in place. I suppose I didn’t mention that I was aware that the U.S. has a high percentage of religious people in comparison to other countries. I am. However, that has significantly less of an effect on me than the laws since I can choose where to live and with whom to associate.

        The last thing I want to do is engage in a contest of which country is better, the U.S. or Canada. I often use Canada as a reference because I know the country, not because I like it less. It’s the same reason I tend to use France. I don’t use the U.K., for instance, because I’ve never been there except as a tourist. The highly vocal nature of the politically active religious people in the U.S. often overshadows that we do have highly protective laws on the subject of religion here. Again, I’m not talking about individual feelings.

        My ex-husband received religious instruction in Canadian public school as a child. Although the same age, in the U.S. I did not.

        We had to marry in Vermont because Quebec did not make accommodations for non-religious ceremonies. (Since changed.)

        I used to vote PQ (Yeah, I know this will make Canadians hate me.) due to their positions on secularism.




        This was changed in 2006, but it would have been far less likely to have happened in the U.S.

        I don’t mean by any stretch to imply that Canada is a less than wonderful country. In fact, I only wrote this comment in response to Dana Perino’s comment that I can go elsewhere if I don’t like it here. I can’t. Sorry if you missed my point.

        To be clear: Canada is a wonderful country full of wonderful people. Canada does not have the equivalent of the First Amendment or France’s laws of laicite. Their laws have improved on that front since I lived there twenty years ago. However, even if they are currently better than the laws in the U.S., I still couldn’t move there because I’m over forty and unemployed.

        • Diane G.
          Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Forty? The upper age limit is forty?!

          • Posted September 9, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            I’m quoting from a memory that’s twenty years old. If you need to be certain, contact immigration Canada. Countries do have limitations about who can move to them, including things like age limits. You also need to have a physical exam. I don’t know what health conditions could cause you to be rejected because I was in good health and didn’t ask questions about that. I was all well under any age limit, but I met someone whose mother wasn’t.

            I don’t know if Canada has changed their system or not, but they use a points system. You get a certain number of points for speaking English, for speaking French, for having a degree. You need to be above a certain number of points to be able to move there.

            Countries don’t want people coming who are going to be a drag on them. They want people who are going to be an overall benefit. All countries do this to the extent that they can.

            I should add that refugees and people arriving for humanitarian reasons are excepted. A also had a friend whose mother was a professor at the University of Windsor and she had temporary resident status. I remember she couldn’t get permanent resident status for some reason.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

              I don’t know how hard it is to get in to Canada now but my mom came here and she was unemployed but also marrying a Canadian.

              • Posted September 10, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

                That changes everything. That falls under the “humanitarian” definition. I know that because I married a Canadian, too.

            • Diane G.
              Posted September 9, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

              Thanks for the elaboration. Yes, I realize all countries have criteria such as you mention–I’m just at an age where 40 seems incredibly young to me.

              So much for our US-ian “give me your tired, your poor…”

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      the mix of religion and public life is more common place and accepted there than it is here.

      I’m not sure what you’re referring to but religion is for the most part not welcome as part of public life. The prime minister’s religion is rarely thought about, we don’t really care what a prime minister believes as long as he/she can govern well. There are no formal religious government meetings other than the odious new Office of Religious Freedom formed this year (from modelling off the US). The biggest issue with religion in public is the insertion of “god” in the English Oh Canada, the “crois” of the French Oh Canada & the funding of the Catholic school system.

      As for no clear separation of church and state, that is true, however there are two things that ensure separation of church & state: the special protection of minorities in the Charter of Rights & Freedoms & of course the relevant Fundamental Freedoms: freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief. This was put to the test recently where an atheist had gideon bibles removed from schools.

      • Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        I spent a lengthy time responding to the person above you. I’m afraid I really made myself unclear. It was not in anyway meant as an attempt to put down Canada or Canadians.

        My main point is that Dana Perino is wrong in this atheist’s case. I probably cannot move to a country with greater legal safeguards for atheists. First, the U.S. already has fairly strong legal safeguards, so there would be few countries which would qualify. I mentioned Canada as an example because I am familiar with its laws and most people, I assume, view it as a highly successful, modern country and expect that it has a fairly decent set of human rights protections, which it indeed does. If you want to talk about immigration laws, I actually favor the Canadian laws over the ones in the U.S. Healthcare, needless to say, is no contest; Canada is better. I hope I can reassure you that I don’t think that the U.S. is “better” than Canada. I was talking very, very specifically about the separation of church and state.

        As far as the statement you pulled out, it is a very subjective statement of my personal experience, but I do stand by it. I grew up in a religiously, and ethnically, diverse town in New Jersey and spent much of my adult life in New York City. At twenty-eight I married and moved to Quebec City. Had I moved from the deep South to Vancouver, I’m sure my experience would have been very different. Furthermore, I didn’t leave Canada due to their laws about religion. I left because I got divorced it just didn’t make much sense for me to stay there. I was still struggling to speak French and therefore the only job I could find was part time, etc. Lots of personal reasons having nothing to do with the country of Canada overall.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

          I think Quebec has probably changed quite a bit since you were there. Despite it’s deep roots in Roman Catholicism, it’s actually Canada’s most non religious province and there are now laws in place that ban religious paraphernalia in public buildings (though I suspect a lot of this is racist unfortunately as they’ve taken it too far – saying Sikh boys can’t play soccer if they where a light head covering (patkas).

          • Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            It probably has changed. I understand that there’s been a really high level of immigration in Canada which, I think, started a little bit before I left, but while I was there Quebec was still almost solidly of French descent, especially the region near Quebec City. As far as the relationship with the church goes, it always seemed very complicated to me. I met few people who were devout believers, my ex-husband called himself and atheist, but most people identified as Catholic even if they didn’t believe. Several self-described atheists while we were trying to figure out how to get married said to me, “Just get married in the Church. I did.” When I said I wasn’t Catholic, they were taken off guard because they just assumed.

            Just as in the U.S. it can be difficult to make generalizations about the culture, and even the laws, because regions and states have their own, my experience in Canada is very specific to Quebec and I’m highly aware of that since my ex was very big on being Quebecois.

            Actually, it’s a little weird sometimes, because, while it seems that religion has retreated there over the past twenty years, it has become more public here. In fact, I would love to not be active as an atheist, but the religious won’t let me rest. I say we have safeguards here, but if we don’t make sure they’re enforced they don’t matter.

  6. Larry Gay
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    Perino sure is a fast talker. I have always wished desperately that she slow down and think.

    • Pete Moulton
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      That’ll never happen. People like Perino are totally incapable of introspection.

  7. Posted September 8, 2013 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Now, asking rational people to leave seems a bit like shooting yourself in the foot: I doubt any of these people would like to live in the Middle Ages — which is bound to happen if they get their way and religion is allowed to reign supreme.

    Also, I never cease to be amazing by the poor understanding most Americans have of the laws of their own country…! I bet Europeans, on average, know the history of the USA better than most US citizens. When I went to school in Sweden, learning about the founding of the USA and the civil war were set parts of the curriculum, to guarantee students had a fair amount of ‘common knowledge’ by the time they graduated.

    • Martin
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      I don’t know if Europeans have a better understanding of US history than most Americans, I would guess not, but I do have a small anecdote. A friend of a friend did one school year as an exchange student in the US, and just a few days after her arrival, the class had a test on US history. She was the only one that got everything right. I would not consider her especially knowledgeable, though perhaps more than average.

    • Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Now, asking rational people to leave seems a bit like shooting yourself in the foot…

      Hitler “asked” lots of rational people to leave Germany as soon as he rose to power. It’s more like shooting yourself in the head — that’s where rationality resides.

    • Gary W
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      I bet Europeans, on average, know the history of the USA better than most US citizens.

      I very much doubt that.

      • Notagod
        Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Sarah Palin is probably a typical USian regarding history of the USA. Not much knowledge evident there.

  8. Jeff Johnson
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    “But why should they be catered to? Why are they so special?”

    The thoughtless ignorance of this remark really kills me.

    She would have some point if Atheists were trying to change money to say “God is dead”. Simple neutrality is not catering to anyone.

    They are free to pay for and print signs that say “God will roast your skin off if you don’t bow down to him.” Why is it persecution to lose the special privilege of the Treasury Department including your message on every piece of currency?

    I could almost tolerate putting God on our money if they changed the coercively inclusive “In God We Trust” to the admonition “You Can’t Serve Both God and Mamon”. It would be an improvement because it would expose their hypocrisy in tagging money with the name of their deity.

    The other bit of stupidity is the majority rules mentality. Some things simply violate rights, even if supported by a majority. It’s why we have a bill of rights, duh.

    Imagine someone saying “what makes blacks so special? Why should they be catered to?” for wanting to be able to sit down to a meal at Woolworth’s lunch counter.

    • Gary W
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Imagine someone saying “what makes blacks so special? Why should they be catered to?” for wanting to be able to sit down to a meal at Woolworth’s lunch counter.

      Be sure and let us know when you find a quote from Perino advocating or defending forced public segregation for atheists.

      I think her comment was pretty stupid and thoughtless. But she didn’t anything like what you’re pretending she said.

  9. Gordon Hill
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    This is a growing distinction of the New GOP which is expanding their big tent to include everyone… excepting those they don’t.

    It’s America folks. The exit is available to everyone, but not under the control of fanatics… theists could move to Vatican City.

    • Notagod
      Posted September 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      I prefer to try changing it instead of just accepting “It’s America folks”.

      • Gordon Hill
        Posted September 10, 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        While not clearly stated, by “it’s America folks” I mean we change all the time and those who don’t like it can leave. I was in Mississippi in the fifties and couldn’t leave the base with my black buddy or we would have been arrested for disturbing the peace.

  10. Hempenstein
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Apparently she’s never heard of Thomas Paine:

    Whenever we read … the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind. And, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel. — Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    • Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      It is very instructive to re-read how we Americans collectively treated Paine in his later years and after his death.

      At least we had grown less fond of public burnings by then.

  11. MAUCH
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Here is an example of the fear of the religious that athiest scientists are polluting the minds of our children. The following link details the decision by the Wisconsin Catholic Diocese to prohibit student field trips to Wisconsin Institute for Discovery because it airs facts that young impressionable minds should not hear.


    What has my state come to?  The worst of all is it comes from Catholics who claim that they see no incompatability between science and religion. 
    Here is the true example of how the feel.

  12. Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    What bothers me most is the acceptance by many people that it is ok to denigrate a portion of the population by spewing hate speech on national television. If you substitute atheist with Jews, Blacks, Gays or Muslims her comments would be appalling and leaders of those communities would immediately demand an apology from both her and Fox News.

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Yeah, of course, Fox might still talk about Obama’s birth certificate. Isn’t it nice to know that there are still a few bigotries left that you don’t have hide in even a thinly veiled way.

    • Gary W
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      What bothers me most is the acceptance by many people that it is ok to denigrate a portion of the population by spewing hate speech on national television.

      Perino said that if atheists don’t like certain religious activities involving the government, “they don’t have to live here.”

      I disagree strongly with her implication that atheists should move to another country rather than fight for political reform in this one, but calling her statement “hate speech” is absurd.

      • Notagod
        Posted September 9, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        It might be a bit of a stretch technically but, certainly not absurd. In fact, given the irrational reinterpretation of the positions of those they oppose, calling Perino’s statement “hate speech” isn’t out of line at all.

  13. Quantumbee
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I just love the dodge after the question of whether the words ‘under god’ were added in later. These people are shameless and represent exactly what Jefferson was referring to when he used the term “tyranny of the majority”.

  14. freethinkinfranklin
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Perino has always been ignorant and arrogant about it and cares not about the lack of facts to back up her statements as well as those of her former boss GW Bush…. how much of a sell out would one have to be to push the gibberish GW put out there as facts??
    E Pluribus Unum ….

    • Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Want to know what else stinks to high heaven? Read her bio.

      …especially the part that says: “Perino was appointed in November 2009 to the Broadcasting Board of Governors by President Obama and confirmed in June 2010.”

      Meet the new boss.

  15. Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Which God, precisely? Why don’t they add Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Parabrahman, Adi Parashakti, Shiva (and the tens of thousands of Hindu Gods and Goddesses), N’gai, and even the Flying Spaghetti Monster after the word God…

    Where has the separation of religion and state and the freedom to practice any or no religion gone?


  16. Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Why can’t I love my country (despite it’s flaws) AND be an atheist?

  17. godsbuster
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The heights of irony reached in these 3.5 minutes can hardly be topped; The screecher in the red dress toward the end:

    “I find it offensive that a few people; these children are pawns for their parent’s, you know, political statements or beliefs to try and enforce it on everybody else it’s incredibly selfish and small minded”

    May we ask how most of the children of religious parents became religious if not as pawns of their parents who “enforced” their religion on their children?

  18. Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen”

    Even more true is “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to look” (I can close my eyes, but not my ears)

    So there goes any argument for banning porn, or indeed anything else, from TV or any other medium.

  19. Dave
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Well, that’s why we go to Faux – for the solid intellectualism.

  20. Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The article and one of the comments contain the model for an excellent tactic. Rather than trying to remove the “in god we trust” stuff, how about an effort to have the names of actual gods (Vishnu, Allah, Thor, Minerva, etc.) substituted randomly on all currency and other places where the official appeal to a generic god is found. If there were substantial support for that, I bet the goddies would fight to drop all references to sky fairies.

  21. lezurk
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Dana Perino is a vacuous knucklehead. When she was Bush’s press secretary she didn’t even know what the Cuban missile crisis was. See http://wonkette.com/331981/dana-perino-dumber-than-everyone-else-in-history

  22. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    So sad that she can’t see that atheists fighting for neutrality with religion is inclusionary. No one will feel left out. I remember David Silverman’s argument with Bill O’Reilly (I think during the tide goes in, tides goes out hilarity) when Silverman said he was a patriot & O’Reilly should be supporting him. It’s so true but of course it really ticks off Christians who want to continue to enjoy their unfair privileges over others.

  23. peltonrandy
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink


  24. Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    always good to see TrueChristians lying again. Perino is no better than the liars at Hobby Lobby with their lies about how the US is a “Christian Nation”. The FFRF did an excellent review of the lies used: http://ffrf.org/hlr/HobbyLobby.html

  25. Darth Dog
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I think Fox News should keep those few seconds where Perino says “…if they don’t like it, they don’t have to live here…”. Then every time they have one of their pundits complain about health care, or gun control, or whatever, they should insert that ten second film clip.

    They could use it a half dozen times on every Bill O’Reilly show alone.

    • Richard Olson
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Make it a 10-second split screen clip. One side shows viewers a fatuous ignorant speaker mouthing ignorance, the other shows the “objective analyst” panel participants nodding in agreement and saying ‘amen’ or ‘hallelujah’ in unison.

      Avoid discussion of the merits of an argument in question by isolating the set of minority opponents, then change the subject under debate by targeting that group.

      Smoke/mirrors divert attention from the inherent weakness of one’s own (special privilege) position with a Tu Quoque counterstrike. Page one in the political propaganda handbook.

      Doesn’t work so well for anti-gay marriage fervor these days, of course, but a strategy still useful in this context. Good job, there, Beckel, you sell-out dick.

  26. Diana MacPherson
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I think this Onion article approximates how Perino & Fox see atheists. 🙂

    • Posted September 8, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Apparently, the strategy is working!

    • Jeff Johnson
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      That’s exactly why I voted for him…lol.

      I have literally seen a commenter on another website claim that if atheists controlled the government, they would be slaughtering believers.

      I think this is the downside to the atheist arguments about all the wars and killing that have been perpetrated in the name of religion. It leads to such reactions.

      The argument, to be stronger, should probably not claim religion causes these things (humans have been good at killing each other long befor religion existed). Instead it should be that religion fails to prevent such atrocities, and can be as complicit as any other ideology. Religion fails in its claims to make people more moral than they otherwise would be. There are a variety of ideologies, religion included, that can in fact make otherwise decent people do horrible things, but I think to argue that this is unique to religion is a flawed argument.

      • Notagod
        Posted September 9, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        Who’s claiming that it is unique to religion? The christians claim that their crap does have a positive influence and atheists call them out by showing evidence that it isn’t true.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

      Was that The Onion? I thought it was Fox News. Surely 100% of Republicans believe all that 100%?? 😉

  27. Posted September 8, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I am shocked that fascism’s spokes-model would say something like this. Shocked.

  28. John
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    How does a person like Perino lose their footing in reality, like she so clearly has done. Do one just hear garbage talk until one just “falls” for it. Surely, there is some need in her psyche that requires her extremist thinking. Of course, she is hardly alone. Its a shame, anyway, that a so-called patriot would say something so unpatriotic.

  29. dougindeap
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Why some, like Perino, would direct their ire at those who seek to uphold the Constitution, rather than those flouting it is not apparent. The government’s inscription of the phrase “In God we trust” on coins and currency, as well as its addition of the words “under God” to the pledge of allegiance in 1954 and adoption of the phrase “In God we trust” as a national motto in 1956, were mistakes, which should be corrected. Under our Constitution, the government has no business proclaiming that “we trust” “In God.” Some of us do, and some of us don’t; each of us enjoys the freedom to make that choice; the government does not and should not purport to speak for us in this regard. Nor does the overnment have any business calling on its citizens to voice affirmation of a god in any circumstances, let alone in the very pledge the government prescribes for affirming allegiance to the country. The unnecessary insertion of an affirmation of a god in the pledge puts atheists and other nonbelievers in a Catch 22: Either recite the pledge with rank hypocrisy or accept exclusion from one of the basic rituals of citizenship enjoyed by all other citizens. The government has no business forcing citizens to this choice on religious grounds, and it certainly has no business assembling citizens’ children in public schools and prescribing their recitation of the pledge–affirmation of a god and all–as a daily routine.

    • Diane G.
      Posted September 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more.

      E pluribus Unum always worked for me.

  30. harrync
    Posted September 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Although it is true that it was only in 1957 that “In God We Trust” was legally required to be on US currency, its first appearance actually was in 1873 on the $10 National Bank Notes issued by the First National Bank of Jacksonville, Florida. Since these notes were printed by and distributed to the banks by the US Treasury, they are generally considered to be US currency. The Seal of the State in which a National Bank was located appeared on the back of each banknote; since the Florida seal has the words “In God We Trust” on it, these words appear on the banknotes of Florida banks (until 1908, when the design was modified.) And a similar religious motto – “God and our Right” – appeared on the $20 interest bearing legal tender notes of 1863. (Yes, there once was a time when the US government paid interest on the money it issued!)

  31. Posted September 9, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Just like your Bush’s “You are either for us or against us” mentality. Other options are available. Grow a brain and a heart!

  32. Dominic
    Posted September 9, 2013 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    I guess there are many natives who would say that you should ALL leave!

  33. Posted September 10, 2013 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Religion is like a process of press-ganging children on to a ship full of controlling beliefs which has an imaginary man at the helm. Then by the time the child becomes an adult, a thing called Stockholm syndrome takes effect and instead of the adult rejecting this ridiculous idea the individual starts to defends it, just as any Stockholm syndrome victim would.

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