Demonstrating His generosity and love, God did not smite the State of Kentucky with a terrorist attack today, even though a judge has ordered that references to the almighty in the law creating Kentucky's Department of Homeland Security be stricken:
Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said in Wednesday's decision that references to a dependence on "Almighty God" in the law that created the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security is akin to establishing a religion, which the government is prohibited from doing in the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions. Ten Kentucky residents and a national atheist group sued to have the reference stricken.
"It is breathtakingly unconstitutional," said Edwin Kagin, national legal director for American Atheists Inc. in Union, "and Judge Wingate goes to great detail as to why it is."
The judge wrote in the 18-page ruling: "The statute pronounces very plainly that current citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be safe, neither now, nor in the future, without the aid of Almighty God. 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."
Earlier reactions from around the blogosphere to Kentucky's "God of Homeland Security law" may be found here and here. My own view is that, to the extent that God protects us all from evil men, He does not need a special prayer, or a special dedication from a government bureaucracy. Despite prayers to the contrary, God did not protect early Christians from the fury of the Northmen. They protected themselves.
Of course the law's sponsor, Democrat Tom Riner of Louisville, disagrees that his bill has anything to do with religion:
Riner said he planned to ask Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to seek a reconsideration of the order. Conway has 10 days to do that, and 30 days to appeal.
"They make the argument … that it has to do with a religion," Riner said, "and promoting a religion. God is not a religion. God is God."
The terrorists who menace Kentucky no doubt would agree. The Northmen could not be reached for comment.