People in Kentucky are just now hearing about one of the state’s priorities in fighting terrorism, as stated in the 2006 anti-terrorism law. The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security’s list of core duties includes “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.” This includes the duty to post a plaque at the Emergency Operations Center praising the Almighty. It is the work of State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, who not only does not appear to accept the separation of church and state but believes that he has every right to use homeland security to advance his religious views.
The legislatively required plaque contains a 88-word statement that begins: “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”
This duty to advance belief of God now takes precedence over other homeland security duties. Riner, however, sees nothing wrong with his use of the homeland security law: “This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky. Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government.”
I get it now. God allowed those thousands of people to die in New York on September 11th because New York did not properly praise the Almighty. Of course, there are those godless people in Oklahoma, who would still be alive if they praise the Almighty as an official requirement. Then there is the massacre in Mecca and the stampedes in India: faithless people killed for their lack of praise.
It was not until this week that many learned of the plaque from coverage by the Herald-Leader.
Thomas Preston, Gov. Beshear’s Homeland Security chief, has decided to ignore the obvious abuse of both the constitution and homeland security legislation with a shrug: “I will not try to supplant almighty God. All I do is try to obey the dictates of the Kentucky General Assembly. I really don’t know what their motivation was for this. They obviously felt strongly about it.” That is what we need in a homeland security chief: passivity in the face of extremism.
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