Jump directly to the content

Atheists Sue Over Ky. Law Tying Homeland Security to God

The American Atheists have sued the commonwealth of Kentucky after learning that a law requires the state's Office of Homeland Security to declare its reliance on God for safety.

The New Jersey-based atheist group filed suit Tuesday in a Kentucky court seeking a ruling that a 2002 law stating that "the safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance on God" is unconstitutional.

The atheists are particularly concerned about a 2006 law that calls for the divine-reliance wording to be spelled out on a plaque at the entrance of the state's Emergency Operations Center.

"It's part of the law to publicize that God is necessary for homeland security," said David Silverman, spokesman for American Atheists. "That's part of the law and it's patently unconstitutional. It's so offensive, not just from an atheistic point of view but from an

American point of view because these people are trying to bring the

religious debate into homeland security."

The laws were both sponsored by Democratic delegate Tom Riner of Louisville, Ky., who also is a Southern Baptist minister.

"It's a frivolous lawsuit that American Atheists has launched to attempt to censor and suppress the publication of a key law that acknowledges divine providence," said Riner, pastor of Christ is King Baptist Church.

He said the laws did not get much attention when he sponsored them. But he's getting attention now, and the state is being sued, after the Lexington News-Leader wrote a story about them in late November.

Jay Blanton, a spokesman for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, said he couldn't comment on the specifics of the lawsuit but added: "There's a law in place and it's our intent to follow the law."

Related Topics:Politics
Posted:December 3, 2008 at 4:18PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.
Recent Posts
Lecrae Brings Reformed Rap to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show
Performance with The Roots will be the first by a Christian rapper on late-night TV.
James MacDonald Asks Forgiveness for Unbiblical Discipline of Harvest Bible Chapel Elders
Megachurch pastor confesses board slandered three elders as 'false messengers' last year.
Does Islam Encourage Violence More Than Other Religions?
New Pew survey examines who says yes and no.
How 727 Megachurches Spend Their Money
Leadership Network and Vanderbloemen find what determines pastor salaries (and who might be most underpaid).
Christianity Today
Atheists Sue Over Ky. Law Tying Homeland Security to God