Friday, November 23, 2012

Kentucky's Worst Sin - Obligatory Religious Belief

Alter Net reports
In Kentucky, a homeland security law requires the state’s citizens to acknowledge the security provided by the Almighty God--or risk 12 months in prison. 

The law and its sponsor, state representative Tom Riner, have been the subject of controversy since the law first surfaced in 2006, yet the Kentucky state Supreme Court has refused to review its constitutionality, despite clearly violating the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.
"This is one of the most egregiously and breathtakingly unconstitutional actions by a state legislature that I've ever seen," said Edwin Kagin, the legal director of American Atheists', a national organization focused defending the civil rights of atheists. American Atheists’ launched a lawsuit against the law in 2008, which won at the Circuit Court level, but was then overturned by the state Court of Appeals.
The law states, "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.'"
Are they hillbillies or just rednecks? Whatever they are, they make the United States of America look ridiculous on the world stage. I wonder what ranking Kentucky has on the child well-being scale?

10th-worst state for kids: Kentucky (tie)

Child well-being index score: -0.47

Kentucky leads off the list in a tie for 10th-worst state for children, due in large part to the state's less-than-stellar record in supporting children's health programs. In 2007 state legislators decided to do something about the state's poor record in this area and created the "Blueprint for Kentucky" to promote legislation that better supports young people. After four years in action progress is incremental, and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has made it a priority to expand health coverage to the "over 67,000 Kentucky children who are qualified to receive care through the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program or Medicaid but are not yet enrolled."

Kentucky ranks number 14 for worst education.

It's no surprise that the Brady Campaign assigned Kentucky number 47, 1 being the best, in gun control laws. Only three states are worse, Alaska, Arizona and Utah.

Of all the strikes against the great state of Kentucky, none is more damning than the legislating of Christian beliefs.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. No one can enforce such a law; someone should challenge it. Where is the ACLU? Where are groups like Freedom from Religion?

    Sheesh! This must be unconstitutional.

  2. As presented in the Alternet article, it certainly would be unconstitutional and outrageous. But this article in the Louisville Courier-Journal suggests that things are not so bad:

    The New York Times gives a similar article (also quoted in Alternet):

    The Fox News article also quoted on Alternet makes no mention of prison time, but Fox News isn't popular around here.

    Now, Mikeb and Dog Gone, before you get defensive, understand that I don't want to see even a plaque like that, but the every article on-line that talks about a year in jail refers back to the Alternet report.

    Still, the notion of any god being officially celebrated by our government is offensive to liberty and to religous belief. The Supreme Court has declared things like "In God We Trust" to be "ceremonial deism." In other words, effectively meaningless. The Court has routinely overturned laws that put any teeth into belief.

    Believers in America who want an official religion should look at nations that do have one. Many European countries (yes, Dog Gone) have official churches, but atheists are in the majority in Europe. Iran and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have an official religion, and look at the violations of human rights there. In America, we specifically bar the government from establishing an official religion, and we have three quarters of the population as believers. Freedom of choice apparently makes for a stronger religious experience, contrary to the fears of many fundamentalists.

    On another matter, Kentucky's gun laws are excellent, but I only mention that because you, Mikeb, brought it up.

  3. What was the actual issue in this blog post?

    orlin sellers

  4. "What was the actual issue in this blog post?

    orlin sellers

    Why would you need to know Orlon? Would it make you say something more nuanced than, "I likez me some gunz, and I kin haz them all, too, also!!"?

    The very idea of such a law (KRS 39A.285(3)), never mind the fact that it actually got on the books speaks volumes about the moronz in the KY state house.

    And this is not the first time it's been in court (

    And mikeb302000 is not saying it, afaia, but reliance on gunz, GOD and Gish galloping seems to be a trait of the ReiKKKwing in Kentucky, as it is elsewhere.