AMERICAN ATHEISTS, INC.
For more information, please contact:
Ed Buckner, President 908-499-9200 (cell) or 770-803-5353 (office/fax) Edwin Kagin, National Legal Director 859-384-7000
ATHEISTS WIN IN KENTUCKY CHALLENGE TO HOMELAND SECURITY PLAQUE CALLING ON GOD
A Kentucky Circuit Court ruled today that the state Office of Homeland Security violated the separation of church and state when it erected a plaque calling upon”Almighty God” to protect citizens from “acts of war or terrorism.”
In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Kentucky legislature created the state office, and ordered the placement of the display. It also required that the theme of dependence on a deity be included in “agency training and educational materials.”
American Atheists and other plaintiffs filed suit. Today, Judge Thomas D. Wingate ruled that the purpose of the legislature’s action “was to declare publicly that the position of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that an Almighty God exists and that the function of that God is to protect us from our enemies.” The Judge found that the legislation violated both the Constitution of the United States and Constitution of Kentucky.”
Ed Buckner, President of American Atheists, hailed the ruling.
“Kentucky lawmakers tried to exploit the threat of terrorism to promote religion, and ignored the many citizens of the Commonwealth who are Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists and other nonbelievers. We are pleased to see that the court saw through this charade.”
Edwin Kagin, National Legal Director for American Atheists and the attorney who argued the case for the plaintiffs issued the following
“The plaintiffs, and all citizens of Kentucky, are more safe as a result of this thoughtful ruling by Judge Wingate. Threats to our security from within are even more frightening than threats from without. Those who seek to attack our freedoms by imposing their religion upon us have been pushed back a bit by this ruling. The Wall of Separation between government and religion continues to hold. I think Thomas Jefferson would have been pleased.”
AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for Atheists; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.
American Atheists, Inc.
PO BOX 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel.: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402