facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Atheists ask high court to review Ky. law

Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:09 PM   |   Comments

FRANKFORT, Ky., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- The advocacy group American Atheists is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge of a Kentucky law giving God credit for the safety of the country.

In a petition, attorney Edwin Kagin argued that Kentucky lawmakers disregarded the constitutional prohibition against public sponsorship of religion, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal reported Sunday.

At issue is a law passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in which a 2002 "legislative finding" said the "safety and security of the commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God," The Courier-Journal said. A 2006 act that created Kentucky's Office of Homeland Security required its leadership to publicize "dependence on Almighty God" in training and educational materials, as well as in plaques.

In 2008, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate upheld a challenge, ruling the state "created an official government position on God."

The state Court of Appeals in 2011 voted 2-1 to reverse the decision, saying the law "merely pays lip service to a commonly held belief" in the power of God.

The Kentucky Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

In his petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kagin wrote, "This new legislation should not be swept under the ceremonial deism rug, especially as it ostracizes atheists from politics."

The legislation, Kagin wrote, implies that atheists are "dangerous to the post-9/11 security of the Commonwealth" while contributing to "bias and stereotypes about atheists," and was part of a broader "misguided push to improperly mix religion and government" by Kentucky lawmakers.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Jessica Arrendale dies shielding daughter from boyfriend with gun Jessica Arrendale dies shielding daughter from boyfriend with gun
2
Great white shark circling surfers photographed by drone Great white shark circling surfers photographed by drone
3
Caitlyn Kovacs' death likely 'alcohol-related,' prosecutor says Caitlyn Kovacs' death likely 'alcohol-related,' prosecutor says
4
Virgin America plane diverted after man tries to open cabin door Virgin America plane diverted after man tries to open cabin door
5
Sarah Palin defends family's involvement in drunken party brawl Sarah Palin defends family's involvement in drunken party brawl
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback