Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, September 04, 2009

But it works just as often as random chance!

I don't know if I've ever remarked upon this,* but for the last few years Kentucky has had a law on its books requiring that its Department of Homeland Security stress, "dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the commonwealth." No, this is not a joke. I bring it up because, recently, this law was struck down:

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled that the law violated the First Amendment’s protection against the establishment of a state religion. Homeland Security officials have been required for three years to credit “Almighty God” in their official reports and post a plaque with similar language at the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort.

“Even assuming that most of this nation’s citizens have historically depended upon God by choice for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now,” Wingate wrote.

“This is the very reason the Establishment Clause was created: to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority,” he wrote. “The commonwealth’s history does not exclude God from the statutes, but it had never permitted the General Assembly to demand that its citizens depend on Almighty God.”

I agree more or less with the judge's position on the subject, thought I think I would add that the citizens of this nation do not appear to have ever depended upon god for their protection. And if you don't believe me, just check out our military expenditures. U.S. expenditures alone make up about 43.3% of the estimated total global spending on the military. So, really, I'd say that however much Americans like to praise the lord, we sure as hell ain't relying on him to do diddly-squat when it comes to protection. This, I would say, is a sound policy, even if I don't necessarily think we need to be quite as well armed as we are. Still, as you might guess, not everyone agrees with me:

State Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, a Southern Baptist minister, placed the “Almighty God” language into a homeland security bill without much notice.

Riner said Wednesday that he is unhappy with the judge’s ruling. The way he wrote the law, he said, it did not mandate that Kentuckians depend on God for their safety, it simply acknowledged that government without God cannot protect its citizens.


Attorney General Jack Conway defended the law in court, arguing that striking down such laws risked creating a secular society that is wholly separated from religion. A Conway spokeswoman said the attorney general’s office is reviewing the ruling and will decide whether to appeal.

Yes. A "secular society that is wholly separated from religion." I don't think there's any reason we should worry about that happening. On the other hand, if what Conway meant was "a secular government that is wholly separated from religion," well, shit, that's what we're supposed to have.

Now if only we could get the military to stop forcibly indoctrinating its members...

* That is to say I feel like I have, but can't seem to find the post in question. Not that surprising given the number of posts this blog contains over the period that I've been blogging. Gold star to anyone who can find a post where I mention this subject.

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