Kentucky: A Year in Jail for Not Believing in God?

This guy has hit upon the answer for insuring the myth that America is a “Christian” Nation continues; acknowledge God or go to jail. Seems I recall something similar…Oh yeah, the Roman Crusades when it was ‘convert or die’.   

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.'”

The law requires that plaques celebrating the power of the Almighty God be installed outside the state Homeland Security building–and carries a criminal penalty of up to 12 months in jail if one fails to comply. The plaque’s inscription begins with the assertion, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.” Tom Riner, a Baptist minister and the long-time Democratic state representative, sponsored the law.

“The church-state divide is not a line I see,” Riner told The New York Times shortly after the law was first challenged in court. “What I do see is an attempt to separate America from its history of perceiving itself as a nation under God.” A practicing Baptist minister, Riner is solely devoted to his faith–even when that directly conflicts with his job as state representative. He has often been at the center of unconstitutional and expensive controversies throughout his 26 years in office. In the last ten years, for example, the state has spent more than $160,000 in string of losing court cases against the American Civil Liberties Union over the state’s decision to display the Ten Commandments in public buildings, legislation that Riner sponsored.

Although the Kentucky courts have yet to strike down the law, some judges have been explicit about its unconstitutionality.

“The safety and security of the state cannot be achieved apart from recognizing our dependence upon God,” Riner recently told Fox News. “We believe dependence on God is essential. … What the founding fathers stated and what every president has stated, is their reliance and recognition of Almighty God, that’s what we’re doing,” he said.



3 comments on “Kentucky: A Year in Jail for Not Believing in God?

  1. I guess God was on a coffee break during Hurricane Sandy. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both believed God would provide for their illegitimate children. Those wonderful founding fathers showed us the way to rely on God.

  2. Here’s the problem with these kind of laws. If you legitimize it today it can be used against Christians in the future. Remember when the christian right mobilized to ban “gay marriage” in some states [No I am absolutely not in favor of gay marriage]. Voting one’s moral view over a minority is a legitimate thing to do now. What happens in the distant future when the knowledge of God is even less prevalent in the society. The tools of state the christian right have used could very well be turned against Christians in the future. Those claiming to be Christians should stop using Cesar’s power to do God’s work. How ironic it is that Christians talk about persecution coming to the US and the people potentially setting the stage for such are Christians!

    • Here’s the problem with these kind of laws. If you legitimize it today it can be used against Christians in the future.

      Amen. For years i’ve been saying my belief is “when” and “if” persecution of Christians arrives in America, and im talking about real true persecution, not all this imagined persecution we hear about today, it will be Christians themselves who will have laid the foundation for its arrival.

      I may not live long enough to see it’s arrival, but mark my words….it will happen and actions taken by Christians like this guy, will be the reason.

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