The laywer representing the freethinkers says the lawsuit is designed to fight a “breathtakingly unconstitutional” law now on the books in Kentucky. He is absolutely correct.
American Atheists sued the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security over a provision that makes recognizing divine protection part of its duties.
The suit filed Tuesday asks a state court to throw out unconstitutional language in the law setting up the office, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. It also seeks financial compensation for 10 plaintiffs, claiming they suffered mental anguish from knowing “their very safety as residents of Kentucky may be in the hands of fanatics, traitors or fools.”
State Rep. Tom Riner of Louisville, a Democrat and Southern Baptist minister, inserted the language into the 2006 law, but it apparently went unnoticed until recently.
Edwin Kagan, a lawyer in Boone County who serves as American Atheists’ national legal director, said he learned of the language last week. The law requires the office to install a plaque recognizing God as the state’s protector in its emergency operations center and to include that language in its reports.