Atheists = 1, Kentucky = 0

Nelson-HahaIt’s been almost two weeks, so the most dedicated atheist newshounds out there will already have seen this. A Kentucky circuit judge ruled that the 2006 statute that created the State Office of Homeland Security is in violation of the establishment clauses in both the U.S. and Kentucky Constitutions.

Ten brave Kentucky residents and the American Atheists sued the state and WON! In their case, they successfully argued the following:

“It is clear that the purpose underlying the display of the plaque and the contents of Office of Homeland Security training materials is not to celebrate the historical reasons for our great nation’s survival in the face of terror and war. Its purpose is to declare publicly that the official position of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is that an Almighty God exists and that the function of that God is to protect us from our enemies. Consequently, a reading of the statute’s plain language makes that clear. Effectively, the General Assembly has created an official government position on God.”

Judge Thomas Wingate delivered an 18-page decision in favor of reason stating:

“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.””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 have to admit: I didn’t think Kentucky was going to do the right thing on this one. A tip of my hat to Judge Wingate for proving me wrong.