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December 03, 2008

A God of Anti-terrorism

This story has been brewing for a couple of weeks in Kentucky. Here's the summary.

In 2006, the Kentucky legislature created the state Office of Homeland Security. The legislature described one of its duties as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth." The Office of Homeland Security must publicize God's protection in its reports and post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."

Is there anyone who wants to argue that this isn't a violation of the Establishment Clause? Do you think the Kentucky legislature simply didn't know that requiring a state agency to spread the word that God is protecting us from terrorism is patently unconstitutional?

A group of atheists is suing (second link above) and they have a good point. Now if only they had learned that hysteria and name-calling is not very attractive:

In the suit, American Atheists argues that Homeland Security should focus on public-safety threats rather than promote religion. The suit notes that the federal and state homeland security agencies were created as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists, and it refers to those attacks as "a faith-based initiative."

The plaintiffs ask for the homeland security law to be stripped of its references to God. They also ask for monetary damages, claiming to have suffered sleeping disorders and "mental pain and anguish."

"Plaintiffs also suffer anxiety from the belief that the existence of these unconstitutional laws suggest that their very safety as residents of Kentucky may be in the hands of fanatics, traitors or fools," according to the suit.

Classless again. But, please, don't let that stop you from making a scene.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:22 AM

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