The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth."There is one (only one!!!!!!) group, American Atheists, that filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of the law. The suit faced tremendous criticism because they were seeking monetary redress for 'damages.' However, apparently they had no choice. According to a ruling of the US Supreme Court, citizens cannot sue the government for church/state separation issues without damages. SO the very thing which is drawing the most flack with regard to this lawsuit is necessary in order for it to even have legal standing. (I'd love to know how was behind that ruling, because it certainly seems to hamper legitimate constitutional challenges.)
Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God's benevolent protection in its reports, and it must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."
State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, tucked the God provision into Homeland Security legislation as a floor amendment that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved two years ago. As amended, Homeland Security's religious duties now come before all else, including its distribution of millions of dollars in federal grants and its analysis of possible threats.
The time and energy spent crediting God are appropriate, said Riner, D-Louisville, in an interview this week. "This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky," Riner said. "Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government."
However, there was a veritable pantheon of the Lunatic Right Fringe's most luminary arrayed on the other side, including defrocked Alabama Chief Supreme Court Justice Judge Roy Moore, president of the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Ala. Moore was kicked out of office as Attorney General for refusing to abide by a court ruling ordering the removal of the 10 commandments monument he installed on the Alabama State Court House rotunda in the dead of night.
Moore is also one of 35 attorneys defending Kentucky's God Defense law. His foundation just happened to be the hosts of the 2010 Alabama Secession Day Commemoration, which featured speakers such those from the "League of the South, a neo-Confederate hate group that considers slavery 'God-ordained' and advocates for 'the cultural dominance of the Anglo-Celtic people and their institutions.'" (Quote from Ed Hensley, of American Atheists). Hensley also notes that while the Foundation for Moral Law denies sponsoring the event, they did end up raking in all the proceeds.
So. the suit prevailed, and is currently under appeal by the state of Kentucky. Apparently, the state government, far from being relieved of the burden of such an inane law, actually will go to great lengths (to say nothing of great expense, footed by the taxpayers), to restore it! Ironically, those same taxpayers will froth at the mouth because government isn't spending enough on creating jobs for them, and is constantly raging about taxes being too high. I wonder if they know how much is spent on stuff like this?
And, we learn that those who wish to challenge the constitutionality of a blatant violation of separation of church and state are not only forced to appear as money-grubbing ambulance chasers for being required to seek damages, they must then run a gauntlet of barely legitimate Religious Right loonies, funded by secessionists and white supremacists. Yay.