Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Just wanted to make note of this, in case you missed it:

Under state law, God is Kentucky's first line of defense against terrorism.

The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth."

Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God's benevolent protection in its reports, and it must 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."

State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, tucked the God provision into Homeland Security legislation as a floor amendment that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved two years ago.

As amended, Homeland Security's religious duties now come before all else, including its distribution of millions of dollars in federal grants and its analysis of possible threats....

"This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky," Riner said. "Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government." ...

Non-belief -- it ain't illegal yet.

American Atheists, a New Jersey-based group, and ten Kentucky citizens are suing to overturn this requirement.


I'm struck in particular by Representative Riner's reference to "perfect security" -- a phrase that also appears in the law itself:

The General Assembly hereby finds that:
(1) No government by itself can guarantee perfect security from acts of war or terrorism....

The law also references a couple of presidents:

(3) The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God as set forth in the public speeches and proclamations of American Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln's historic March 30, 1863, Presidential Proclamation urging Americans to pray and fast during one of the most dangerous hours in American history, and the text of President John F. Kennedy's November 22, 1963, national security speech which concluded: "For as was written long ago: 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.' "

I dunno -- does it seem odd to you that Riner invokes God's ability to provide "perfect security" while invoking two quoting words meant to be delivered by one president on the day he was assassinated, and invoking a proclamation by another assassinated president?

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