When David Niose, a lawyer who happens to also be an atheist, brought a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Court and argued that the Pledge of Allegiance violated the Equal Rights Amendment of the state’s constitution due to the phrase "under God." The argument over the separation between church and state is one that secular Americans have been having with the religious right for years, but as the secular movement has gained steam, the argument has become louder.
During an episode of the Fox News show "The Five," co-host Dana Perino went on a rant, attacking Niose and all atheists for their disagreement with the required pledge and noted that they should all just leave the country.
“I’m tired of them. 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."
The separation of church and state has long been established, but because of the murky shades of gray that surround the issue, an argument could be made for both sides. While both religious and secular Americans often argue their side of the coin, Dana Perino's suggestion that atheists should leave the country is just not logical. For a conservative Christian who follows the path of forgiveness and tolerance, Perino isn't living up to title. Niose's lawsuit probably won't amount to much, but the reason why it was brought up is valid. If Dana Perino or other conservative Christians have a problem with the secular nature of the United States, maybe they should be the ones who consider moving out.