Religious liberty is under threat. Not by non-believers, but by Christian fundamentalists who want to turn America into a Christian state governed by their twisted version of Biblical law instead of the Constitution. Fox News host Dana Perino disagrees. She not only has no problem with forcing Christianity down our throats, she thinks anyone who has a problem with that can flee the country.
On Wednesday’s edition of The Five, Perino whined about a lawsuit in Massachusetts challenging the use of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance because it is a violation of the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state as well as a violation of the Massachusetts state Constitution. Rather than demonstrate journalistic objectivity or proper historical and legal knowledge, Perino showed clear bias and attacked the non-believers who filed the suit, remarking that if they don’t like government sponsored religion, they are free to leave.
“I’m tired of them,” Perino stated. “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.”
Here’s the video via TopWorldNews:[youtube:http://youtu.be/-rYJQgJzlwc]
The fact is that the Pledge of Allegiance does violate religious freedom by including the Christian deity within it. It gives the false impression that America was founded as a Christian nation devoted entirely to God and renders other religious beliefs and those of non-believers to a second-class status or inferior. But that’s not how the Constitution was written. The Constitution expressly forbids government from respecting an establishment of religion. In 1954, after nearly 180 years, a Republican-controlled Congress did exactly that by adding “under God” to the pledge and “In God We Trust” to our currency, thus violating the religious rights that had been enjoyed in this country since its founding.
Prior versions of the pledge had not contained those two words. First written in 1892 by socialist Francis Bellamy, the Pledge of Allegiance read thusly:
“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
For the next 62 years, new words were added to the pledge by Democratic-controlled and Republican-controlled Congresses alike. None of them ever added a reference to God. Only after Christian extremists infiltrated the GOP did Congress do so. And the definition of religious liberty hasn’t been the same since, and those same Christian fundamentalists have total control of the GOP and want to declare America a Christian state. You know, in the way that Iran is an Islamic state.
How can all religions be equal if the government sponsors the deity of a particular religion on our money and pledge? Non-believers certainly cannot be. America is a more diverse nation now than ever before in history. Christianity is not the only religion practiced in this country. Even the founders had diverse religious beliefs. That’s why they never included God, Jesus, or Christianity in the Constitution, so that America would be governed by reason and the rule of law instead of religious doctrine. They specifically sought to avoid the kind of religious interference in government that had soaked Europe in blood for centuries. They knew that religious doctrine is a threat to the civil government that is charged with protecting our rights. Thus, the founders built a wall of separation between church and state. That wall doesn’t just give people freedom of religion, it also gives people freedom FROM religion. And if people like Dana Perino can’t accept that fact, she’s free to leave the country.
“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. We have solved the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.”
~President Thomas Jefferson, Speech to the Virginia Baptists, 1808