Monday, December 01, 2008

Atheist group sues homeland security

American Atheists and a group of 10 plaintiffs from Kentucky (including a couple people I know) are suing to get this silly law repealed:

39G.010 Kentucky Office of Homeland Security executive director -- Duties -- Delegation of duties -- Notification of disaster or emergency.

(1) The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security shall be attached to the Office of the Governor and shall be headed by an executive director appointed by the Governor.

(2) The executive director shall:

(a) Publicize the findings of the General Assembly stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth by including the provisions of KRS 39A.285(3) in its agency training and educational materials. The executive director shall also be responsible for prominently displaying a permanent plaque at the entrance to the state's Emergency Operations Center stating the text of KRS 39A.285(3). . . . .

And KRS 39A.285 (3) says:

39A.285 Legislative findings.

The General Assembly hereby finds that:

(1) No government by itself can guarantee perfect security from acts of war or terrorism.

(2) The security and well-being of the public depend not just on government, but rest in large measure upon individual citizens of the Commonwealth and their level of understanding, preparation, and vigilance.

(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.' "

Effective: March 28, 2002
History: Created 2002 Ky. Acts ch. 82, sec. 2, effective March 28, 2002.

See the problem? As my friend (one of the plaintiffs) has said, if this is allowed to sit on the books, it is likely to be used as a justification for further erosion of the separation of church and state in the future.

It is a blatant violation of both the US Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution.

The Section 5 of the Kentucky Constitution states the following:
No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society or denomination; nor to any particular creed, mode of worship or system of ecclesiastical polity; nor shall any person be compelled to attend any place of worship, to contribute to the erection or maintenance of any such place, or to the salary or support of any minister of religion; nor shall any man be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed; and the civil rights, privileges or capacities of no person shall be taken away, or in anywise diminished or enlarged, on account of his belief or disbelief of any religious tenet, dogma or teaching. No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.

Text as Ratified on: August 3, 1891, and revised September 28, 1891.
History: Not yet amended.


Here is a story about the suit in the Lexington Herald-Leader: Atheist group sues homeland security

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