JesusLand Security

You may remember a year ago or so a report that the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security had been required to pay lip service to Almighty God “as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth” (Kentucky is one of, I believe, four Commonwealths in this country). My first reaction, albeit an uninformed one, was: Since when does a state have a separate Office of Homeland Security? I thought the “homeland” was the entire US, not just one state. So if the Homeland of Kentucky is preparing a defense against outside aggression, exactly who do they fear? Tennessee? Indiana? But I digress.

Last Wednesday the law that required this was struck down by a Kentucky Judge, as a violation of the Constitution’s proscription against the Establishment of Religion. According to Judge Thomas Wingate:

“This is the very reason the Establishment Clause was created: to protect the minority from the oppression of the majority,” he wrote. “The commonwealth’s history does not exclude God from the statutes, but it had never permitted the General Assembly to demand that its citizens depend on Almighty God.”

That, of course is a very reasonable decision, based on the history of this country and the intent of the Founding Fathers. Of course, there are always dissenters.

State Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, a Southern Baptist minister,… said Wednesday he is unhappy with the judge’s ruling. The way he wrote the law, he said, it did not mandate that Kentuckians depend on God for their safety, it simply acknowledged government without God cannot protect its citizens.

I’m having a hard time with that last sentiment.  As a student of History, I’m pretty much familiar with all of the wars this country has been involved with and other threats it has had to deter, from the Revolution to the present debacle in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not once do I remember any of my history books mentioning a role of god in the defense of our country. Patriots, the Blue and Gray, The Rough Riders on San Juan Hill, Doughboys in trenches, Marines at Iwo Jima, grunts in Vietnam, and so many more men and women who formed the backbone of our multiple  engagements in wars of the American Experience. But no god. Not once did god smite an enemy of ours.

Oh, sure, many of those who fought those wars believed god was on their side, but you know, so did many of the people that we vanquished. Since only one side won, did god fight himself? And why didn’t he win? So to say that our government, without god, might have a bit of a disadvantage, or in the words of Representative Riner, “government without God cannot protect its citizens”, is just not realistic, nor does it bear even a remote connection with history. This secular, godless country of ours has never been protected by god, and never needed any gods protection. We have won every war we’ve been involved in (with the exception of Vietnam – the jury’s still out on Iraq and Afghanistan, and they’re not looking good) and we’ve done it every time without the assistance of any supernatural power.

(Wait. There was Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nope. Nevermind. That was good old science that won those little battles. )

I wish these pandering politicians could be honest for once and just admit that they sponsor these laws to garner votes with their constituents, because if my representative is this ignorant (and he probably is) about history, he should not be representing me in the State House.

“I think we can all feel a little safer now,” Kagin [Edwin Kagin, a Boone County lawyer and national legal director for American Atheists] said. “The real threats to our society come from within, not without, and that includes building a theocracy here in Kentucky.”

Now compare that with one of the comments of a citizen of Kentucky:

kentucky citizens need to hang this Judge.

Or how about this?

America will not force a religion on you but on that same coin you have NO Right, NO RIGHT, NO RIGHT WHATSOVER to force America to abandon its CHRISTIANITY for you.

This Country was NOT founded on atheism and you have NO RIGHT to force it on America.

Here is a much better solution for you athesists, mudlims, budists and whatever alien “religion” you think you have a right to import into this CHRISTIAN Nation:

You have the Right to leave and live in a Country that does not follow God but you have NO RIGHT to change my Country. The “minority” has NO RIGHT to force their crap on the majority.

I do beleive there will be war and I cannot wait. I so look forward to the final battle because God always wins!

Don’t you just love the clear contrast between reason and religion?

19 thoughts on “JesusLand Security

  1. Know what I think, Cuspidor? I think that you think, (deep down) that you can be as big an asshole as you want to be, in this life, and, that even on the outside chance that there IS a God, He’ll have to let you off.

    All this talk about states… and “commonwealths”…

    *Snicker*

    I guess you know your government, seated in DC, a sovereign SEPARATE jurisdiction, (like the Vatican) signifies your foreign ownership? Your ass still belongs to the British, boy, an entity of Rome, and the fact that you’re a member of the BAR, (British Accredited Registry) proves it. Would you like to explain that to your atheist cronies? How you have to pledge allegiance to the Crown in order to practice law in your country? Explain, also, to whom your allegiances belong, too… if, in fact, you even know!

    “We have won every war we’ve been involved in (with the exception of Vietnam – the jury’s still out on Iraq and Afghanistan, and they’re not looking good) and we’ve done it every time without the assistance of any supernatural power.”

    I don’t think so. In fact, you’ve pretty much lost every war you’ve been in, the last 200 years. The civil war = national disgrace. WWI & II were fought to armistices… with the lion’s share of the spoils going to European countries, the Soviet Union, etc. Korea… the troops pushed south, almost into the ocean, settled by an armistice. Vietnam = disaster. Iraq = disaster. Afghanistan = disaster. I think you owe it to God that you even have a country at all!

    Man, you don’t know how much you owe God… and, you never will, either, with the mouth and attitude you have…

    … until it’s too late, that is!

    “The Crown Temple”

  2. Gideon:

    Trust a god-botherer to come across as a sanctimonious arsehole. Do you really not understand that atheists just really don’t believe in your god, or any others? You seem to manage this with Krishna, Allah, Poseidon etc. Is it so hard for you to imagine someone else doing the same for yours?

    And what’s this about the British? I thought there was a little revolution not too long ago? And why the fuck would an atheist care about someone pledging allegiance to the crown?!

    It seems you’re just another ignorant, god-bothering, anti-american fool, doing drive-by trolling. I don’t think we owe anything to your god. If S/he/it is all powerful and omnibenevolent, then S/he/it really dropped the ball on this one.

  3. …it did not mandate that Kentuckians depend on God for their safety, it simply acknowledged government without God cannot protect its citizens.

    Priceless. Imagine if I tried something like that with students…

    I’m not saying that you should depend on completing your assignments for a good grade, I’m simply acknowledging that I can’t give you one unless you complete your assignments.

    But perhaps it lends itself more to a mafioso statement…

    No one’s forcing you to depend upon me for the safety of you and your family, but I have to acknowledge that a man without my protection cannot protect his family, capiche?

  4. Philly,

    That last statement was absolutely, nail-on-the-head right. Now, if we take it that one logical step farther and substitute “mafioso” with Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, The Yeti, God or the Little Man Who Lives in the Refrigerator Turning the Light On and Off… well, then you’ve got a future as a political speech writer.

  5. Man, you don’t know how much you owe God… and, you never will, either, with the mouth and attitude you have…

    … until it’s too late, that is!

    I find the schadenfreude to be very revealing. Positively Tertullianesque.

  6. OBITUARY:

    The Little Man in Chappy’s Refrigerator Who Turned the Light Off and On died on August 31, 2009. A memorial service will be held at 7:00 p.m. on September 3, 2009 at the Little Refrigerator Men’s Legion Hall. A cremation ceremony will take place promptly at 7:30 p.m. that evening, will be followed by a BYOB BBQ/pot luck dinner.

    P.S. Anyone who dares to bring fried chicken, jello, or potato salad will be cremated alongside Chappy’s Former Refrigerator Man.

    HELP WANTED:
    Chappy has a full-time position available for a Little Man/Woman in the Refrigerator Who Turns the Light Off and On. Must provide own boots, hat, scarf and overcoat. This is a 365/24/7 position with no pay, no vacations and no benefits. But, the successful candidate will be allowed to eat all of the leftovers before they grow moldy.

    The successful candidate will also serve as Chappy’s Director of Home Security, who, upon apprehending an intruder, will rapidly and continuously flash the refrigerator light in the perpetrator’s eyes until authorities (to be named later) arrive to take control of the situation. This position does not require the knowledge of any prayers, mantras or hymns.

    P.S. Experience preferred but not required.

    Applications may be sent to the chapel.

  7. SI,

    I really do try to understand you, SI, and we agree more often than I think you’ve ever realized. For example, you and I agree that those who say, “America is a Christian country” are intellectually amiss, but then you turn around and pull the opposite spiel:

    This secular, godless country of ours..”

    Now, I realize the difference between you as a blogger saying “godless country” and state representatives saying “God’s country” (or something similar). Still, our country – America – is a collection of individuals; it can’t be “Christian” or “Muslim” or “atheist” or “secular.” Certain percentages of our country’s populace can be those things, but our country doesn’t have religious beliefs. Think about the feelings that well up inside you when some fundie blathers on about how America is a Christian nation. Those feelings are exactly what you encourage when you say ours is a godless country. America is neither “A Christian nation” nor “A godless country.” If it’s problematic for Christians to say “God’s country” – as I know you believe it is – your statement is equally problematic for all the same reasons, right? Nothing to get pissed off about, just something to think about.

    Don’t you just love the clear contrast between reason and religion?

    As atheists often do, you’re making the logical error of conflating fanaticism with religion, taking the attitudes of select individuals and making blanket statements. History you know, logic not as much so. 😉

  8. cl

    You’re right in the sense that all of the individuals of this country are not all godless. You’re wrong, in the context of this post, where the government wants us to declare our allegiance to god in the statute that was struck down, with the author of that statute claiming that America can’t succeed without god. Our government is godless and secular. That is what I was referring to.

    I think you knew that, but you just can’t help yourself, can you? 😉

    As for your second point, I’m not conflating anything. I just don’t write with the precision you demand. A better way of saying what I meant would have been

    Don’t you just love the clear contrast between reason and certain religious thinking?

    I think most people who read that understood what I meant, and chose not to correct my imprecision.

  9. SI,

    I understood every word of what you meant. Is it at all possible for me to criticize anything you say without you implying that I’ve misunderstood your point? Fercryin’ out loud… I understand and respect separation – both in general and in the specific context of this case – and I stated that explicitly in my comment, but apparently you missed that or chose to ignore it.

    Nevermind. Most people who value reason and rationality do not like to exhibit the characteristics of non-reason and irrationality, but go on provoking the same feelings in others that you yourself decry. I was just trying to let you know that I (and probably others like me) perceive you the same way you perceive the fundies in the lunchroom cackling to their fundie brethren about how “this is a Christian nation.” This is not a Christian nation. This is not a godless nation. Regardless of who makes a stupid statement, the statement is still stupid. Yes, the stakes are higher when government officials make the stupid statements – but that’s not the point.

    As for your second point, I’m not conflating anything.

    Yes, you are. You’re taking the attitudes of select fundies from Kentucky that are pissed off at the moment and spouting inanity, and you’re calling that “religion.” Plain and simple.

    As for me, I respect atheists and I know better than to call anger “atheism.” All I ask is that maybe you could consider doing the same for the other folks here in this US of A.

  10. Well, I’m not going to argue your first point, because I can see where it’s going and I’m not interested in going there.

    AS for your second

    You’re taking the attitudes of select fundies from Kentucky that are pissed off at the moment and spouting inanity, and you’re calling that “religion.” Plain and simple.

    I’m not calling it religion. I specifically changed it to religious thinking, and only certain religious thinking at that. And, “plain and simple” it IS religious thinking that both motivates and rationalizes those kinds of statements. They see the Judge’s decision as an attack on their religion, or their right to practice their religion, nothing more, nothing less. They simply get defensive. If they didn’t have that mindset, they may or may not agree with the judge, depending on how they view the legal implications and the constitutional arguments. With their religious thinking, though, its a knee jerk response. No reason involved.

  11. I specifically changed it to religious thinking, and only certain religious thinking at that.

    Cool. Emendation noted.

    And, “plain and simple” it IS religious thinking that both motivates and rationalizes those kinds of statements.

    No, it’s not. It’s fanatical thinking that motivates those types of statements – regardless of the particular clothes the statements are dressed in – and anybody can think fanatically.

    They see the Judge’s decision as an attack on their religion, or their right to practice their religion, nothing more, nothing less. They simply get defensive.

    Correct, but defensiveness is not synonymous with religiosity, and I’m not necessarily saying you’ve claimed it is.

    With their religious thinking, though, its a knee jerk response. No reason involved.

    I agree, and that’s too bad.

  12. No, it’s not. It’s fanatical thinking that motivates those types of statements – regardless of the particular clothes the statements are dressed in – and anybody can think fanatically.

    I really don’t need you to agree with me cl, I really don’t care if you do. But lets say you’re right. For the sake of argument. It’s fanatical thinking. It’s not fanatical fashion thinking. It’s not fanatical baseball thinking. It’s not fanatical literary thinking. What kind of fanatical thinking is it?

    But I’ll go a step further. I don’t even think you need fanaticism to get those kinds of responses. Normal religious upbringing is sufficient to elicit that kind of response; normal, but pervasive, and thoroughly indoctrinational. Will every religious person have that response? No, because most people are nice, and wouldn’t try to offend. Good manners and all that. But without religion, they wouldn’t respond at all, much like that.

    Feel free to have the last word. I’m done with that one.

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