A group called American Atheists, Inc. is suing the state of Kentucky because their homeland security department is openly admitting its incompetence. Okay, maybe that's a bit too harsh.
A group of atheists filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to remove part of a state anti-terrorism law that requires Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge it can't keep the state safe without God's help.So it wasn't too harsh. Seriously, here's what the hubbub is over.
Of particular concern is a 2006 clause requiring the Office of Homeland Security to post a plaque that says the safety and security of the state "cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon almighty God" and to stress that fact through training and educational materials.Personally, the plaque alone isn't a huge deal for me, but stressing that security can't be achieved without help from God is a problem, and not just because it allows for the biggest of scapegoats should something go wrong. The problem really is that God is just no good at this security thing. I think history is a pretty good indicator of that.
The plaque, posted at the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort, includes the Bible verse: "Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."
Go back to the Old Testament. Sure, there are claims for great victories--Hezekiah and the kingdom of Judah defeating Sennacherib and the Assyrians, the drowning of the Egyptian Pharoah's armies in the Red Sea, the downing of the walls of Jericho, etc.--but God's chosen people took it in the teeth an awful lot too, culminating with the destruction of Solomon's temple by the Babylonians.
And it doesn't get much better in the New Testament. Jerusalem is under Roman control, and the Romans pretty much stomped the Jewish state into the ground. So much for homeland security.
And in the post-Bible era, it gets even more confusing, since most of the wars on the European continent in the last several hundred years have been fought between groups all claiming to worship the same god--and not even stretching it to say that Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God--I'm talking about Christians fighting Christians, at times even members of the same sect from different nations going at each other. I wonder how the people who were on the losing side felt about how God was doing his job at homeland security?
Maybe the problem was just that God hadn't been officially tapped for the position, and He didn't want to interfere, didn't want to overstep his bounds, but now that Kentucky has him on the payroll, so to speak, he's going to look out for them.
It's just sloppy thinking all the way around, and this isn't a partisan political issue either. Look who's openly supporting the plaque:
But Democratic state Rep. Tom Riner, a Baptist minister from Louisville, said he considers it vitally important to acknowledge God's role in protecting Kentucky and the United States.Anyone else find it odd that a minister, who should have a basic understanding of scripture, thinks that God can help provide perfect security? Okay, I don't either. The notion that perfect security can be achieved, with or without divine aid, is another sign of weak-mindedness. It's a fairy-tale in the old school sense, by which I mean that it's likely to end badly for the people involved.
"No government by itself can guarantee perfect security," Riner said. "There will always be this opposition to the acknowledgment of divine providence, but this is a foundational understanding of what America is."