In a story that is sure to get Dick Cheney out of his undisclosed location, a Judge in Kentucky struck down a 2006 state law that required the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to stress:
dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the commonwealth.
That's right. State Law required the state's Homeland Security office to give God the credit for keeping Kentucky safe from terrorist attacks. For three years, the office has been required to credit "Almighty God" in their official reports and post a plaque with similar language at the state's Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort.
Because Al Qaeda is falling all over themselves to attack the Kentucky Derby unless the Almighty Christian God steps in?
Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the confounding law violated the First Amendment's protection against the establishment of a state religion:
This is the very reason the Establishment Clause was created: to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority. The commonwealth's history does not exclude God from the statutes, but it had never permitted the General Assembly to demand that its citizens depend on Almighty God.
And who was the person who put the law in place to begin with? That honor goes to Southern Baptist Minister and State Rep. Tom Riner (D-Louisville), who slipped the language in during a vote on a homeland security bill.
Riner is none too happy about the ruling. He claims the law
did not mandate that Kentuckians depend on God for their safety, it simply acknowledged that government without God cannot protect its citizens.
Except for the nagging detail that it did require the HSO to include the "praise be to God" language in every report and signage in the office. Not to mention that his statement contradicts itself (all in one neat sentence!).
But the crazy lack of logic doesn't end there. Attorney General Jack Conway had to defend the law in court. His argument for keeping the law? That "striking down such laws risked creating a secular society that is wholly separated from religion."
Umm, isn't that the idea not establishing a state religion, as described in the Establishment Clause? I think the AG might not have understood the question...
So be afraid, Kentuckians. It looks like God won't be swatting away missiles aimed for the Blue Grass State anymore because you aren't paying homage to him in your state security documents.
Oh the humanity...