RSS

Judge: Homeland Security can’t require dependence on God

August 26, 2009 | | Comments 248

By John Cheves – jcheves@herald-leader.com

State Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville

State Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville

A judge on Wednesday 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.”

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the law violated the First Amendment’s protection against the establishment of a state religion. Homeland Security officials have been required for three years to credit “Almighty God” in their official reports and post a plaque with similar language at the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort.

“Even assuming that most of this nation’s citizens have historically depended upon God by choice for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now,” Wingate wrote.

“This is the very reason the Establishment Clause was created: to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority,” he wrote. “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.”

State Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, a Southern Baptist minister, placed the “Almighty God” language into a homeland security bill without much notice.

Riner said Wednesday that he is unhappy with the judge’s ruling. The way he wrote the law, he said, it did not mandate that Kentuckians depend on God for their safety, it simply acknowledged that government without God cannot protect its citizens.

“The decision would have shocked and disappointed Thomas Jefferson, who penned the words that the General Assembly paraphrased in this legislation,” Riner said.

The Herald-Leader reported on the law last November, prompting jokes about Kentucky on late-night television shows and a lawsuit by American Atheists of Parsippany, N.J., and 10 non-religious Kentuckians. Wingate was ruling in that lawsuit.

“We’re delighted,” said Edwin Kagin, a Boone County lawyer and national legal director for American Atheists, on Wednesday. “It’s what a judge should do. This law was unconstitutional on its face.”

“I think we can all feel a little safer now,” Kagin said. “The real threats to our society come from within, not without, and that includes building a theocracy here in Kentucky.”

Attorney General Jack Conway defended the law in court, arguing that striking down such laws risked creating a secular society that is wholly separated from religion. A Conway spokeswoman said the attorney general’s office is reviewing the ruling and will decide whether to appeal.

Filed Under: KY General AssemblyState Government

About the Author:

RSSComments (248)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. بن تن says:

    Thanks for sharing, guys! Also nice you’re participating!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this with us today.

  3. Happy to see your blog as it is just what I’ve looking for and excited to read all the posts. I am looking forward to another great article from you.

  4. iPhone 5 says:

    It is a very informative and useful post thank it is good material to read this post increases may knowledge

  5. nike air max shoes 65% discount free shipping,cheap air max sneakers,discount air max shoes,airmax 2009,air max 95
    http://www.okcheapshoes.com

  6. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

  7. Thanks,some great data here keep up the good work. I actually allow for a more creative comment as I’m a bit out of my deph but I will be checking back here for further updates.

  8. Thanks for taking this opportunity to discuss this, I feel fervently about this and I like learning about this subject. If possible, as you gain information, please update this blog with more information. I have found it really useful.

  9. It is my pleasure to read this page,I look forward to reading more.
    http://www.belowbulk.com

  10. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own Blog

  11. thanks for sharing such informative and fantastic post..

  12. mlb hats says:

    i love the post

  13. The September sun was shining brightly into the windows of 221B Baker Street,and London was enjoying a beautiful late summer.I had finished my breakfast and was reading the newspaper.As usual,Holmes had got up late,and was still eating.We were expecting a visitor at half past ten,and I wondered whether Holmes would finish his breakfast be fore our visitor arrived.

  14. Well,Watson,’Holmes said to me,’I'm afraid that a doc tor from Devonshire won’t bring us anything of real interest.His letter doesn’t tell us anything about his business though he says it’s very important.I hope we can help him.’

  15. Shopping is more popular in recent year especially for women. Women want to do more and more shopping and look different to others. Today, online shopping is also so popular and most of the people like it.

  16. very good.the post can let me learn a lot

  17. thank you for sharing your article. I genuinely enjoyed it. I place a url to my website to right here so other group men and girls can research it.

  18. looks absolutely perfect. All these tinny details are made with lot of background knowledge. I like it a lot. This was a useful post and I think it is rather easy to see from the other comments as well that this post is well written and useful.

  19. The content of your blog is exactly what I needed, I like your blog, I sincerely hope that your blog a rapid increase in traffic density, which help promote your blog and we hope that your blog is being updated and placed can always be richer and more colorful.

  20. Brian Atwood says:

    Great blog article about this topic, I have been lately in your blog once or twice now. I just wanted to say hi and show my thanks for the information provided.

  21. Very happy to see your article, I very much to like and agree with your point of view. Thank you for sharing. At the same time,i love best pram very much .Welcome to look at my website and blog articles.Hope we can become good friends, and exchange and to help each other! Thanks!!

  22. OBD says:

    The content of your blog is exactly what I needed, I like your blog, I sincerely hope that your blog a rapid increase in traffic density, which help promote your blog and we hope that your blog is being updated and placed can always be richer and more colorful.—myefox

  23. Amazing website! Your style is so contemporary in comparison with many other writers. Thank you for writing when you have the opportunity to, I will be sure to save your website!

  24. r4dswiki says:

    Thank you for sharing. I like this article

  25. Took me time to study all the feedback, but I seriously loved the publish. It proved to turn into Fairly useful to me and I?m positive to all the commenters right right here It?s constantly exceptional if you can not just be informed, but additionally entertained I’m positive you had enjoyable writing this publish.

  26. men jeans says:

    I genuinely enjoyed it. I place a url to my website to right here so other group men and girls can research it.

  27. Nokia Price says:

    very nice idea thanks

  28. This type thing happened to Robert DeNiro’s much anticipated film “Stone” also. and many more films. it was written that the TIFF’s local media was not completely prepaired, who knows, but keanu’s movie was not alone in this. There is video of DeNiro being so frustrated that the press at his “Stone” movie press conference had not seen his film, that Robert DeNiro got smart alecky! when asked a question. Lol!!! Keanu didnot do this,thankfully, he was as charming as ever.

  29. shapewear says:

    Nice work! It looks that you are highly expert blogger. Your post is an excellent example of why I keep coming back to read your excellent quality content that is forever updated. That was exactly what I needed to read today.

  30. I don’t suppose I have read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject

  31. asics nimbus says:

    trengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, http://www.asicsshoesking.org/ per

  32. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post

  33. Thanks for sharing your article. I really enjoyed it. I put a link to my site to here so other people can read it. My readers have about the same interets .

  34. Thanks for sharing. Definitely a great article. thanks.

  35. Pandora says:

    You seems to be an expert in this field, Great article and keep up the great work, my friend recommended me your blog.

  36. A lot of things you can learn from other people. thanks for sharing.

  37. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading.Nice blog,I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  38. sellnfl says:

    This article is novel, I really love it. I also have some ideas written in my article, you can have a look if you have the interest.mlb jersey
    We can also discuss different topics.

  39. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post

  40. Nobody can casually succeed, it comes from the thorough self-control and the will.

  41. Nice one, there is actually some good points on this blog some of my readers may find this useful, I must send a link, many thanks.

  42. There’s visibly a new bundle in order to identify relating to this. I just believe you’ve made various good points inside elements likewise.

  43. Thanks for the posting. Loads of excellent writing here. I wish I had found this site sooner

  44. nintendo ds says:

    Thank you for sharing. I like this article.

  45. NFL Shop says:

    Thank you for sharing!
    Certainly, dry-cleaning is often a most secure means, the actual clerk in the dry-cleaning store is usually skilled, and so they really realize the proper way to shield a person’s jersey very good. Nevertheless dry-cleaning are normally as well high-priced,so you can go to the NFL Shop.

  46. Eric Wurm says:

    Thomas Jefferson was the author of the idea separation of church and state. Mr. Jefferson, build up that wall!