Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Atheists Sue Kentucky

American Atheists Files Lawsuit Over Kentucky Law

American Atheists, Inc. filed a lawsuit on December 2 2008 against the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The lawsuit, filed in the State Court, is over a 2002 law that requires the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security acknowledge "God's role" in keeping the state safe from terrorists and other threats.

In 2006 a new clause was added required that the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to hang a plaque that specifically states that the security of Kentucky "cannot be acheived apart from reliance upon almighty God." The clause also states that "God's role" has to be reinforced during training and in educational materials distributed by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.

Ironically, the legislation and law passed unnoticed and would likely have gone unchallenged had it not been for the actions of Rep. Tom Riner, who is also a Southern Baptist minister, complained that the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security failed to mention "God's role" in its mission statement, on its Web Page, and in its latest report.

Rep. Riner's angst caught the attention of the press, which caught the attention of American Atheists.

Edwin Kagin, Legal Director for American Atheists, said, "It is one of the most egregiously and breathtakingly unconstitutional actions by a state legislature that I've ever seen."

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