Rant: Dana Perino Doesn’t Have to Live Here, Either

This week, Fox News commentator (and Colorado native) Dana Perino caused a stir when she said she was “tired” of atheists’ efforts to have the phrase “under God” legally removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. She added, “If these people really don’t like it, they don’t have to live here.”

The “love it or leave it” platitude has been leveled since at least the 1960s against anyone who’s rattled the national status quo. It’s a pithy way for those who fancy themselves to be patriotic, God-fearing, American exceptionalists—AKA, “real Americans”—to mute the criticism of anyone who dares to think our nation hasn’t, in fact, been expressly blessed by the Big Guy himself.

Let’s pretend for a moment that this assumption isn’t ludicrous, or that anyone could even begin to prove it. If He has bestowed his grace upon us as an entire nation, then He must have bestowed it upon our Founding Fathers. He therefore intended that they create the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. (Some would actually argue those two historic documents owe their very existence to divine inspiration.)

All this means that if you want to contend that God smiles uniquely upon the United States, you must also accept that he green-lighted principles such as the First Amendment—you know, the one that mandates the separation of church and state.

Here’s the thing: I could care less whether “under God” is in the Pledge of Allegiance. I’ve said that oath hundreds of times and never once exited it feeling any more or less emboldened by a Creator—or for that matter, any more or less convinced that America is more awesome than every other place.

But if indeed our nation sits atop some mythical throne, the catalysts that landed us there were some visionary men—mortals all—who contructed a set of guiding values that haven’t been bettered since their inception. Our longstanding ability (until recently, anyway) to express our differences without fear of governmental reprisal has contributed far more to our reaching an apex as a country than has the puppeteering of any Supreme Being.

People in the exceptionalist camp often rail about how “elitist” intellectuals, liberals, atheists, and others don’t appreciate our greatness and thus don’t belong here. What they’re really saying is that anyone who doesn’t agree with their narrowly defined worldview isn’t fit to live on our hallowed soil. This is why no one is more elitist—or more wrong about our nation’s origin and greatness—than a self-proclaimed “real” American.

Rave: Pepsi Center Metal Detectors a Sad But Necessary Reality

Also this week, Pepsi Center officials announced that from now on, all fans visiting the stadium would have to pass through “magnetometers,” or walk-through metal detectors. Before now some people attending certain sporting events could enter mostly unencumbered while those watching others were subjected to bag checks and pat downs.

The new detectors will subject everyone to screenings that, hopefully, will mitigate the entryway bottlenecks that the previous approach created. They’re a bit of a hassle, but added security at crowded events is something we all should appreciate, even if it does mean we’ve arrived in a somber new era for public safety.

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.