American Atheists recently won a lawsuit against the state of Kentucky regarding certain language in some 2006 legislation which Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. At first, the judge was all like NUH-UH:
“The statute pronounces very plainly that current citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be safe, neither now, nor in the future, without the aid of Almighty God. Even assuming that most of this nation’s citizens have historically depended upon God, by choice, for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now.”
And then the “Democratic” Party’s state Representative/”Christ is King Baptist Church” Pastor Tom Riner of Louisville, who originally inserted the language into the bill in 2006, was all like YEAH-HUH:
“They make the argument … that it has to do with a religion,” Riner said, “and promoting a religion. God is not a religion. God is God.”
It just kills me when believers talk about their particular religious position (which are always and inevitably an incredibly small minority amongst the rest) as if it were just a simple fact of life, like death and taxes. That’s the only way one could possibly justify thinking that talking about a deity is somehow “not religious.” It is as if Riner thinks the question of whether or not he’s right about God is just a settled matter, with no consideration for others whose ideas about a god might be slightly, or even very, different.
It’s not even about just pleasing us cranky, litigious atheists. Deists believe in God just as much as the fundamentalist Christians, but they would also object to the idea of God being something upon which we should depend. Even other Christians could object to that based on their own beliefs. If he wants to ignore objections others might raise to his theology, he’s going to have to keep that kind of approach in the pulpit and in his private life, and leave it behind in what is supposed to be the modern civilized world of government under our secular Constitution.
And I have to wonder, if this God is supposed to be so all-powerful, why would it even need to know that we’re depending on it? Is it keeping tabs on the Kentucky State Office of Homeland Security to make sure people are thinking of it? If people were so dependent, wouldn’t it just know that fact? This thing supposedly created the whole Universe, and it’s acting like an uber-insecure teenage girl, according to Riner. This kind of crap makes me feel bad on any deity’s behalf, if it turns out there really is one.