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A Year in Jail for Not Believing in God? How Kentucky Is Persecuting Atheists


Society & Culture  (tags: atheism, religion, civil rights )

Freya
- 756 days ago - alternet.org
In Kentucky, a homeland security law requires the state's citizens to acknowledge the security provided by the Almighty God--or risk 12 months in prison.



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Comments

Naoko I. (260)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 5:45 am
Insane
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:14 am

That's a good article but a shameful and anti-American law. We live in a republic that uses a democratic system of laws and voting. We do have a constitution and the first amendment ranks above the tenth amendment. If the states now rule individual thought, and they attempting to do just that; what than is left of freedom?
 

Roger M. (0)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:26 am
Breathtakingly mad.
 

Just Carole (338)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:37 am

Of course, Tennessee is one. [sigh]

Thanks for posting, Freya . . . and for promoting, Miss Kitty!

 

TomCat S. (231)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:45 am
Needless to say. that law is an establishment of a state religion, forbidden under the first amendment,
 

Jae A. (321)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:45 am
Christian Taliban at work. The Feds need to step in a.s.a.p. and jail these insane judges and prosecutors in the land of Kentucky InsaniTea ! By pass the state as citizens...no going there...no buying the product and the fed needs to stop all funding into the state NOW !
 

Anne P. (251)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:46 am
Frightening. Whatever happened to separation of church and state? Thanks for sharing, Freya and Kit.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 8:05 am

This just may be another of many that the ACLU will be forced to take to the Supreme Court. In that case, I hope it takes a few years, till we have a real Supreme Court, once again.

The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
 

JL A. (276)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 8:21 am
And here I was thinking I had religious freedom to be thankful for today (Thanksgiving)............
 

John Farnham (53)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 8:26 am
If one deliberately wanted to plot hate, state religion is one of the oldest ploys to terrorize the population.
 

Jim Phillips (3201)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 8:33 am
OMG...

A year in jail for not believing in god... Hmm, brings to mind as to which one...
I asked Google this question: How many Gods are there? The state of Kentucky may have to define
as to which god, one, to believe in court or even in as part of the syaye "law".

Kentucky is also the state that believes Man and Dinosaurs existed together at the same time.
Kentucky also is the state that believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

The other states, which ban atheists from holding office, are Arkansas, Texas, Maryland, South Carolina,
Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Tennessee. I had a hard time reading the small print in the above image.

Good comments by Kit.

Ty, Freya.
.
 

Vallee R. (253)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 9:47 am
Well seems the reason that all 50 states have petitions to secede from the Union - they have thrown out the Constitution!!!!
 

Phil R. (29)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 9:47 am
"The law requires that plaques celebrating the power of the Almighty God be installed outside the state Homeland Security building--and carries a criminal penalty of up to 12 months in jail if one fails to comply. The plaque’s inscription begins with the assertion, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

It appears that the penalty would only be applied to those responsible for posting the plaque in the designated area. While this is certainly egregious enough so as to be unconstitutional, the law doesn't really make it illegal not to believe in god. So if i were to live in Kentucky and openly announce my Atheism, i couldn't, by this law, be arrested and prosecuted. This being the case this law doesn't really qualify as "persecution of Atheists". It does, however, violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. It's an obvious attempt to challenge the separation of church and state.

The laws that exclude Atheists from holding public office are clearly discriminatory and unconstitutional (Violates Article 6) and i believe are being contested by various organizations. IMO it's well past time these laws were struck down.

The Ten Commandments are also unconstitutional in that the First Commandment violates the First Amendment. That being the case they have no place in any government building or property.
 

Kit B. (276)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 9:49 am

In a world of nearly 3,000 known religions, and those who are free thinkers, humanist, atheist or agonist; just who decides what the word "god" means? I think it may be time for mass exodus of sane people from the south. What's next "witch burnings" on the town square?
 

pam w. (191)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:01 am
Maybe they'll put us into STOCKS, Kit, and the self-righteous GODLY can pelt us with wads of biblical verses, dipped in holy water!

I guess the "good news" is that, unlike Islam, they haven't taken to stonings and beheadings.......YET!

I just doubled my annual contribution to ACLU.....

THANKS to Freya for this very important story! Anyone who considers themselves an AMERICAN should be irate about it. If you don't speak out against it.....if you don't stand with your fellow citizens, atheist or not...YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!

We always hear people say "WELL, not ALL Christians are like that!" Uh, huh! If you're not speaking against this.....you ARE "like that."

 

Robert S. (115)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:19 am
A need has always existed for protection FROM and of religion. The establishment clause, though perhaps not clearly enough for some, non the less does provide the former protection with no less force or urgency than the latter. In fact....as it is written, protection FROM, is stated as the prerequisite to whatever else comes after.

All that is needed to find clarity, in interpreting the meaning of the clause, is a look at the circumstances from which our forebears sought escape and relief and subsequent remedy. That remedy and relief are found in the interpretation of the establishment clause to demand that government shall embrace no religion, and therefore for all intents and purposes, reject them all equally, separation of church and state while non the less in no way prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

This protects us ALL, from the desires of ANY, to compel a people to believe or not believe, through the power of government edict.

The knowledge, wisdom and foresight, within this warning to us, made law.... is a man made miracle, decreeing by its creation or right as citizens to disagree on all but one thing which shall NOT be abridged......Our right to disagree freely, without consequence, and in perpetuity with the beliefs of any and all others, regardless of their number, and likewise, go our own way unfettered by the desire of some that others conform.

I am thankful for our forbears wisdom, and hopeful that it is understood and valued by enough people, so that it's intent is never undone.
 

Michael Carney (212)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:23 am
Hard to believe there are so many brain dead people in our Country...It's quite embarrassing...
 

Angelika R. (144)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:25 am
WHAT???? I had to look twice at the date of that article, -no, it was NOT from Apr 1. Can't believe this!
I am also quite confused about that plaque.""The law requires that plaques celebrating the power of the Almighty God be installed outside the state Homeland Security building--and carries a criminal penalty of up to 12 months in jail if one fails to comply". vs Phil: "It appears that the penalty would only be applied to those responsible for posting the plaque in the designated area."- What now, penalty for posting or for not posting?
It would be interesting to know if there are actually any individuals already in jail by this law.-?
The author got an interesting German name btw, (= God's servant)
 

Angelika R. (144)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:35 am
Now this really puts the US on one level with Iran, -and they complain about an islamic"God's state"?
 

pam w. (191)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:36 am
She's talking about SEVEN States....not all of them! This would NEVER happen in California, for example, or any of the others where logic and intelligence prevail over superstition and nonsense.

 

Arielle S. (317)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:49 am
I'm surprised GA is not one of them - not yet, anyway. If the citizens of these states put up with this, they may deserve to live in these places. "It is better to be an atheist than use religion in order to manipulate people."
 

pam w. (191)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 10:51 am
It's better to be an atheist and live according to reason and principle than some mandated, manipulative myth!
 

Abdessalam Diab (150)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 11:25 am
The holy Quran says :

1 - قل ياأيها الكافرون ، لا أعبد ما تعبدون ولاأنتم عابدون ماأعبد ، ولا لأنا عابد ماعبدتم،ولا أنتم عابدون ما أعبد ، لكم دينكم ولى دين

" IN THE NAME OF GOD , THE MERCY- GIVING , THE MERCIFUL
* SAY 'O DISBELIEVERS
I DO NOT WORSHIP WHAT YOU WORSHIP
NOR ARE YOU WORSHIPPING WHAT I DO
I WILL NOT WORSHIP WHAT YOU HAVE WORSHIPPED,
NEITHER WILL YOU WORSHIP WHAT I WORSHIP
YOU HAVE YOUR RELIGION
AND I HAVE MY RELIGION

2 - " وقل الحق من ربكم ، فمن شاء فليؤمن ومن شاء فليكفر" ( الكهف 29)


“Say Truth is from your Lord; let him who will believe, and let him who will disbelieve “(Alkahf: 29)

3 - " ولو شاء ربك لآمن من فى الأرض كلهم جميعا ، فأنت تكره الناس حتى يكونوا مؤمنين "( يونس 99 )
“If your Lord had so wished, everyone on earth would have believed, All of them together “(Yuns (Jonah): 99)


 

pam w. (191)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 11:30 am
What on EARTH made you think this is the time and place for proselytizing?
 

Past Member (0)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 1:41 pm
@ Abdessalam, how's that working out for you?
 

Vicky P. (466)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 2:42 pm
that's pretty scary :/
 

Nancy M. (202)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 4:50 pm
Hey- read Abdessalam's words. I don't think he in proselytizing.

Great article and plan to stay just north of Kentucky.
 

Robert B. (58)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 6:04 pm
None of these funnymentalist laws will stand up to ultimate legal scrutiny. They will be challenged and struck down. We don't allow "taliban" thinking in our legal system.
 

Yvonne White (233)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 6:33 pm
Oh come on, the South is full of hypocrits - you can just SAY you're a Christian (like the 47% who voted for Romney!;)... It's not like you have to Really CONvert - tell them you're a Democrat & God is a Black WOMAN and soon they'll Pray for Athiests!!!
(My goddess is not really black, but she has a Black Soul!;)
 

Angelika R. (144)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 7:29 pm
ok Pam, sorry for my wrong choice of words, I rephrase that, meant those 7 states are on a level with Iran if they impose this. I hope you did not assume that I would actually believe this would be or become nation wide law.
As for your other remark, obviously directed at Abdessalam, I think I also need to speak up for him. He was certainly NOT proselytizing but rather trying to show us that the Quran actually preaches tolerance toward others, in stark contrast to what this news article is about. No reason to get harsh with Abdessalam.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 8:41 pm
I will suggest that every atheist in Kentucky surrender herself/himself to the police and demand to be prosecuted. It would be amusing to watch a velocity of legislators' back-peddaling after a whole world starts rolling from laughter.
 

Nimue Pendragon (275)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 9:11 pm
Good grief, now I've heard everything.
 

Kathleen B. (37)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 9:31 pm
I cannot believe my state is one of the seven deadly states. I would never have guessed that such a law existed and add to that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's validation of what amounts to no political employment for non-believers.
But here's the rub, take the state to court and make them PRoVE you're an atheist - keeping in mind there is no need to incriminate yourself.
 

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 9:41 pm
I think I am with you Nimue. Thanks for the post and the very interesting conversation that followed everyone.
 

caroline s. (79)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 11:09 pm
I first thought it was a joke....!!!
Totally insane.
 

Robert S. (115)
Thursday November 22, 2012, 11:13 pm
I agree Nancy and Angelica. Abdessalam was on topic
 

Tom C. (11)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:00 am
Well there you go! Look at the ROOT of the problem here!
Dept of "homeland security". As in ALL the LABELS! "Oh YOU
are a "terrorist" (because you don't BOW down to "US") "TSA"
"national security" 911,and ON and ON and ON! For those sheep
that STILL don't GET IT (because of being programmed,drugged and
ALL the other dumb down techniques "they" have been using on the
public) well THERE it is, TRANSLATION OF ALL THIS>> "WE (all the
previously mentioned "departments AND the gov itself) ARE GOD"!
and "If you even try to think for yourself,or DISOBEY ANYTHING we
say or tell you, BAM we will slap one of our "terrorist" or any of "OUR"
countless LABELS on you and haul you away"!
 

Robert S. (115)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:07 am
Tom.....You need help.
 

Louise D. (38)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:09 am
So if that is the case then security firms should not exist in Kentucky as God is in charge. This does suggest either they are really cheap bastards or the sort of forget the phrase "acts of God" as face in the Bible he did sort of raze cities or was that due to poor civic construction and planning. As for not believing in God, funny how the ones who claim to be are such a pile of dicks.
 

Tom C. (11)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:21 am
The very CONCEPT of "religion" is,was and always will be
created by mankind and for ONE sole purpose that pupose
being: To scare others (which the religion "creators" use to force what
"they" also like to call "lesser beings" into submission and
servitude to them,and kill those "lesser beings" if they are
not submissive or of great enough "service" to the "creator"
of the "religion" !
 

Past Member (0)
Friday November 23, 2012, 2:11 am
Are Nonbelievers the Last Minority to face Discrimination?
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (80)
Friday November 23, 2012, 2:16 am
My first reaction was, 'I don't believe it!' I was totally dismayed!

Then I read thru the first comments, & when I got to Phil R's & realized how much better it is to read the post before jumping to possibly erroneous conclusions.

Thank you Phil for your clarification! Of course, as he, too, points out, it isn't much better the way the law stands, even if it doesn't allow for wholesale discrimination of atheists ! Bad enough that it totally ignores the separation of Church & state.

But there are unfortunately enough Christian crazies in the US to seek to repeal that & act & legislate as though it didn't exist. So much for the oft-claimed love of the Constitution.

I loved Jim's comment about WHICH god one is legally bound to believe in!

I totally agree with Nancy & Angelika-- Abdessalam is NOT proselytizing; he's quoting the pertinent sections of the Quran that teach the acceptance of different beliefs, different religions, & which show Islam's inbuilt tolerance. Kudos to Pam for supporting the ACLU, but her attack on Abdessalam's comment is out of line.
Once again, a problem due to NOT READING!

Jelica's suggestion that every atheist in Kentucky surrender herself/himself to the police and demand to be prosecuted would be great ...IF the Kentucky law were what we were first led to believe: We could imagine the jails filling up bursting with mass arrests & causing administrative mayhem, just the way Gandhi's strategy did!
However, in actual fact, if only 10 or 12 people came forward, which would be more likely, well, that wouldn't be too impressive.

I'm relieved by Robert B's assurance that "We don't allow "taliban" thinking in our legal system" but all the extremisms & fundamentalisms, whether Christian or Muslim, are just too dangerous for his jokey 'funnymentalist' There is NOTHING funny about these guys (& gals) they'd eat up all our freedoms.
We have to stand firm against all infringements on our liberties by the Christian Talibans; & support those abroad who are defending theirs against Islamic Talibans.

I guess you could say I'm an atheist, but I prefer the term 'humanist' - 'good without god,' as they say. I believe in ethics. And I very much like John Lennon's 'Imagine No Religion.' But I don't mind people trying to bring about good within a religious framework: Look at the Quakers, fighting against injustice and human rights abuses in prisons! They're fantastic!

I'm OK with people believing in god, as long as they don't try to impose their doctrines on others and/or get them into legislation...or subvert science with their ideology! The separation of Church & state is a very important basis to assure freedom of religion for everyone, & freedom from religion for those who don't want any.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday November 23, 2012, 3:14 am
WTF
 

Craig Pittman (47)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:52 am
I thought at firsts this story was a bit of dark humour. What can one say about this kind of mentality. This kind of legislation absolutely has no place in a democratic republic.. The word fundamentalism should be linked with synonyms such as ignorance, prejudice and intolerance. The lawmakers in these States are giving the word Christian a bad name. Great comments here. Sanity does prevail.
 

Craig Pittman (47)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:55 am
Thanks for the story Kit and for your insightful comments.
 

Dandelion G. (383)
Friday November 23, 2012, 8:06 am
The Patriot Act is more dangerous to our way of life than any foreign enemy and in additon to we have the NDAA.
Entire sections of the Patriot Act are verbatim and identical to two of the most frightening laws in World History:

The 1929 Bolshevik Communist Criminal Act established Communist control in the age of Joseph Stalin. It created a security apparatchik unparalleled in its intrusion into the lives of ordinary, non-political families. For enforcement, it created the Gulags, which quickly filled with intellectuals and dissidents, poets and hard luck Russian people who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was enough for a neighbor to point a finger secretly for that individual to disappear to the Siberian work camps for life. Secret charges, secret evidence, secret accusations figured prominently— identical to the Patriot Act and now the NDAA who upon one Presidents say so, or their designated representative can have anyone of us disappeared.

Our privitized prisons filling up more and more with people for all sorts of so called "crimes".....we now have more of our citizens in prison per population than any other Country in the world. We also have Gitmo that even a 15 year old Canadian citizen Omar Khadr was caught up in, Bradley Manning, and why are we not helping people with medical issues, why are they tossed into jail for having drug addictions, various types of mental illness, or maybe a skin tone that people don't like.

Germany’s Enabling Act in 1933. Such comforting words, “the Enabling Act” established the legal framework for Nazi Fascism. The Enabling Law lay the parameters for the Third Reich of Adolph Hitler.

That this Homeland Security, a very dangerous entity in my mind, would stamp itself with God, in any State, is giving itself the same type of credence of the Spanish Inquisition, where does it end, all these slippery slopes start at some point. Maybe it states only the failure of one individual to put this plaque on the building could spend a year in jail, but the need to even add God on the plaque is saying a lot in my mind.
 

kara evans (17)
Friday November 23, 2012, 8:28 am
What year is this? Seems like the middle ages if you ask me!!
 

Terrie Williams (773)
Friday November 23, 2012, 8:30 am
Sheeeeeesh. Well, I live in this armpit of a state that hates everyone NOT American Taliban. I was serious about selling my property. Still am. I want the hell OUT of Texas. NOW. Before they come for me to burn or imprison. I am an Agnostic and that will not change. I will not be 'converted' unless 'God' or 'Jesus' comes down and removes these hatemongering hypocrites in one fell swoop. I don't see that ever happening. Aliens on the other hand......they may do it before any 'God' or his Son. :)

Hey, if one can believe in a 'God', his Son, 'angels' with wings and 'Saints'....why is it so hard for them to believe there may be alien life on other planets????? Rmoney believes he will get his own personal planet when he is called to the hereafter! Christians can believe in their Bible but not in aliens more intelligent than our species.....c'mon already!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, nit here to agrue religion........just to say, these states have left their logical, normal brains at the state lines and become the American Iran. This is sick, unhealthy, hateful, discriminatory and above all, UNCONSTITUTIONAL. They bellow about the Constitution all the time yet they are always the first ones to use it for toilet paper at every opportunity. Dawg, I am so sick of religion in general and Xtian Fundies in particular. Just leave me the hell alone and I'll give them the same courtesy. Man, I so want to MOVE to the Pacific coast I can't stand it.
 

Gloria picchetti (300)
Friday November 23, 2012, 9:37 am
What a creative way to "bring in the sheep." Inbred idiots!
 

Phyllis P. (389)
Friday November 23, 2012, 12:48 pm
Pursecuting someone with no religion or faith, is just the same as persecuting me who believing. So what's the difference???? We need to appreciate each other's beliefs. Plain and simple.
 

Joanne Dixon (40)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:23 pm
Unfortunately, Pam, just when one thinks one lives in or knows of a state "where logic and intelligence prevail over superstition and nonsense," someone there will unpleasantly surprise you. Alas, no state has a monopoly on logic and intelligence, or on superstition and nonsense. Both are everywhere.

I do agree with Phil we should never claim more than what actually exists, or we put ourselves on our opponents' level. As he also points out, the actual laws are plenty un-Constitutional as they stand.
 

Henrik Thorsen (28)
Friday November 23, 2012, 1:31 pm
Unbelievable! You just can't make this shit up ...
 

Christopher Fowler (84)
Friday November 23, 2012, 2:57 pm
Not only is this an unconstitutional law, but it persecutes more than just atheists; it puts Pagans, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, Buddhists and every other non-Christian in their state at risk.

This guy desperately needs to be removed from office as does everyone that votes for this idiotic bill.
 

Lois Jordan (58)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:04 pm
Thanks, Freya. When I first saw this earlier today, my jaw dropped...then I started laughing. Who are these people? I just don't understand how this could be allowed to happen in the first place. Should've never passed through the state legislature. How can this be a "Homeland Security Law?" I'm a little surprised that a large group hasn't yet walked up to a member of law enforcement and stated, "I don't believe in god. What're you going to do about it?" So many good comments here...excellent questions: "Which god? Whose god?"
 

Kate Lopez (0)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:51 pm
Wow...
 

donald Baumgartner (6)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:51 pm
BOYCOTT Ky!!!!!
 

jo M. (3)
Friday November 23, 2012, 4:59 pm
Interesting. Acknowledging God was never a problem for our forefathers, apparently they were smart enough to know that such an act was not even close to being an establishment of religion. And they would certainly be able to discern the difference. Nevertheless, our country contains citizens of many different faiths ( Almighty God would cover at least 3 of them), not to mention the faithless, so even though I understand this admirable desire to acknowledge God,I think he's chosen the wrong way to do so. The courts will decide and I for one will not freak out. Comparing this to Iran's grip on it's population is ridiculous at best.
 

Anne K. (134)
Friday November 23, 2012, 7:07 pm
David Lilja - my thoughts exactly.

What happened to the first amendment?
 

janet f. (31)
Friday November 23, 2012, 8:36 pm
Are there really enough cells for all the non-believers?
 

Bee S. (206)
Friday November 23, 2012, 8:51 pm
OMG
 

Marie W. (67)
Friday November 23, 2012, 9:15 pm
Clear violation of the Constitution.
 

John B. (122)
Friday November 23, 2012, 10:01 pm
Thanks Freya for posting the link to the article by Laura Gottesdiener. I really hope the petition to the SCOTUS is served and the court hears the case as the law IMHO is unconstitutional. Read and noted.

 

Susanne R. (249)
Friday November 23, 2012, 11:36 pm
The Fox News link that appeared within the original article offered some interesting information:

"Edwin Kagin, an atheist who is now suing Kentucky over the law, disagrees.

"Oh, it requires much more than that," he said.

Commonwealth law commands the state's Department of Homeland Security to prominently display a plaque outside its offices that says: "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."

State law also requires all department literature to state the same.

"It's outrageous," said Kagin. "It is something that is specifically prohibited by the constitutions of both the United States and Kentucky."

Kagin said the requirement sounds like something more likely to be demanded by religious extremists in the Middle East.

"What if the law said we cannot be safe without reliance on Allah, perhaps, or the flying spaghetti monster or anything you could come up with?" he said. "A law such as this is a step toward establishing a theocracy in our state."

In his lawsuit, Kagin claims that Kentucky is forcing religion on its citizens as well as on a federal agency.

"The Constitution states that there shall be no attempt by the government respecting an establishment of a religion and that's precisely what (Riner's law) is doing," he said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/15/taking-liberties-almighty-security/#ixzz2D7hCftSX
 

june t. (66)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 12:24 am
This has apparently been an issue in Kentucky for a few years now, since 2008 if I read correctly. Has anyone been charged or otherwise persecuted because of it? The state of Kentucky probably wouldn't actually throw someone in jail over this because they wouldn't want a challenge over it. It's a strange law.
I hope someone will keep us posted as to the outcome of the lawsuit.
 

Kathy Chadwell (365)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 12:49 am
So when are we dismantling Homeland SS?
Because they remind me of NASI SS
hitler would be proud,, so is book burning next on Homeland SS list?
 

Julie W. (22)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 2:07 am
Too bad if you are a Buddhist.
 

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 2:41 am
The superstitious have always imposed their superstitions on the rest of the world, even by force.
I assume they can't stand having rational individuals around because deep down even they know
that what they beleive in, does not exist. Otherwise why impose it on others?
Unfortunately, the human race is still young, and the superstitious people outnumber the rational
people. So, it is safer to pretend to be one of them. After all I am not threatenned by their stupidity,
I have nothing to prove.
 

Marianna molnar woods (9)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 2:43 am
better one year in jail then ETERNITY IN DAMNATION~!! YOU GO KENTUCKY!!
 

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 2:47 am
Great comment Pam W. To bad I could not send you another star
 

Marie Therese Hanulak (30)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 3:37 am
The Koran and the bible teach one thing, the followers do another.
People use religions to beat each other over the head.
Nothing has ever caused more bloodshed than religions.
 

Lynne Buckley (0)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 3:40 am
Crazy.

Marianna B. if you don't believe in God, you have no concern about eternity in damnation, so spending a year I jail is still insane. I don't think that you should be punished for not believing in God.
 

Terrie Williams (773)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 4:31 am
Uh, Jo M......you don't live down here in the midst of these fanatics, I do. To some extent so does Kit in upper TX. But down here on the Gulf, this IS American Taliban country and they DO go out of their way to persecute people who are 'different' or 'other' or have tolerance of all beings. They thump their Bibles at every opportunity in public and at school functions and at public meetings. They want a THEOCRACY down here and are very much on their way to getting it in this small backwoods town I live in. Churches outnumber fast food restaurants here! No exaggeration.

It's creepy and it's dangerous when one has to be constantly aware of who's around you and what they are saying and not saying with their body language. Sad part is, this used to be a fairly sane town where everyone smiled and greeted everyone with a hello. Everyone! Not now, not in the last 5 years and they certainly do NOT greet strangers anymore other than to stare at them like they are 'aliens' from another planet outside their little bubble. They certainly do not smile anymore and when they do look at people, even their neighbors whom they may have known for 15 or more years, are now subjected to stern looks, suspicious eyes and either a sarcastic greeting or dead silence.

Everyone is constantly judging everyone else here and I am so freekin tired of it and them and life in general in this part of the deep south. I am tired of the not so low whispers from women who think me, or any other female not of their biblical persuasion, a 'witch' or 'Devil Worshiper', etc, because I wear a lot of black, I wear my hair unbound and I wear, OMG what heresy, pants!

This town has gotten so bizarre in it's race to the past and the Dark Ages that I can't make this crap up or exaggerate it. It is just how it is in so many small towns, burgs, spot-in-the-road, spec-on-the-map places here. I am living this bad dream and I want out.
 

paul m. (93)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 5:32 am


What ?????
 

Angelika R. (144)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 5:40 am
@ jo M. -allow me some self defense here: as you can see I am not alone with my assessment. If a state aims at creating a theocracy and even attempts to persecute and punish the "infidels" a comparison with Iran is certainly justified.
Not clear what exactly you mean by "grip on its population", but if people live in an environment of suspiciousness, distrust and hate, as desribed here by Terry, and even can be sent to jail for disobedience, frankly, I call that "grip on people". Christianity does not have a sharia so there's no need to also bring that in the picture.
Please know that I am saying this as a non fanatic, non fundamentalist christian.
 

F Wilson (0)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 5:42 am
Why do you have a Constitution if it is apparently so easy to ignore?
 

Dandelion G. (383)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 6:19 am
Marianna B. Molnar, as you seem quite content with pushing your theological views upon others who would rather follow the Constitution, I suggest then that for those who do not have such eagerness as you to give up the human rights they have, that you might do the honorable thing and serve their sentence.
 

Robert S. (115)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 6:22 am
better one year in jail then ETERNITY IN DAMNATION?

Did someone say the Taliban connection was silly? Marianna B's thinking heads right down that road...

Given a little power and those like her become a problem for the rest of us....just like in Kentucky
 

Nyack Clancy (451)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 6:26 am
I wish they would put me in jail for my beliefs so I could sue the entire state of Kentucky!!!!!

1779- Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed:

"[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."
 

Anne Thorsen (6)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 6:46 am
Hm. Wonder what they would give us who beliewe in someone else than God...
 

Susan E. (7)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 6:55 am
I wonder what would happen if the person in charge were to post a plaque referring to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the real God of "creationism"?
 

Phil R. (29)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 8:57 am
I think it's important to remember that the Establishment Cause and Article 6 protect all religions as well as provide the freedom not to believe in any of them. That was their primary function. They're not there to disavow or to exclude any religions. Their purpose is, in fact, the opposite of that.

As for religions or religious people being inherently intolerant or violent, i'd say that although many religions might be, and have been, used to oppress people and justify war, it doesn't follow that all those who follow a religion agree with this. There have been many good people (i won't even begin to list them here) who were very religious and who championed peace, tolerance and human rights.

Having said this, i think we are very fortunate to live in a country where we have a secular government and separation of church and state....and we should do everything possible to keep it this way.
 

lee e. (114)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 9:54 am
When a state enacts laws that are contrary to the Constitution, the state ought to be invited to secede, or immediatelhy retract said law!!! This is UNF*ING believable!!
 

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (80)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 10:09 am
Your two comments, Terrie, are just terrible, frightening, appalling testimony to the conditions & atmosphere in which you live. Terrifying! 'Bible Belt' is not just an expression...
 

Allan Yorkowitz (448)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 11:19 am
Wow- enlightening article, and really interesting comments.
 

l L. (1)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 11:35 am
Trying to learn from history, so far I find as many of you have already about the blind leading the blind. as well the hazards of believing and following concepts that are unhealthy and unhealthy in the wrong hands. Especially in the hands of tyrants and the opportunists and the unjusts.
These are sll apart of the human condition.
Until it is well known and proven, our collective origin in the higher order of things (i.e we are not alone.. we co-exist with a higher order of things). Until such times we suffer. Another way of saying it is.. Until it reveals itself... we fight and destroy each other.
To me.... Old England.. France and Italy and the Old church ruling their societies and the constant fight between laxity and ridgity of the same faith; depending on the beliefs of the ruler or ruling class depended on whose head was chopped off or burned at the stake. To me it was sad. I saw so many flaws to that way of thinking. Yet history is yet again trying to repeat itself. Repeat itself with what model of laws we are going to live by.
I t is again that the deficits of the Old world rears its ugly head.
Personally; I would rather people choose what they want to believe and trust in, rather than be FORCED into or made to believe in any certain religion. So as we can see America is changing. One because of fascism and control and exploitation of human living. So the battle is still with us.
It was just the early last century when we had the 3rd reicht and I thought it was defeated but it wasn't. Now we are barking on the 4th reicht. Why? because the remnants of that concept thrives and is alive and well and whatever the religion that kept it going, still keeps it going.
The sad part is we are all part of each other and everything isn't bad but is good or bad determinely by how the people touting it .... demonstrate its qualities...
The story of us... sadly... but laced with people of good works too.
Combinations.....
 

l L. (1)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 11:41 am
BTW.. I don't believe in jailing people for not believing.. It is illogical and serves no purpose but rob rob a person from their life and quality of life and puts them in hazardous living conditions, lack of protections from evil ,wrongful adversities.
 

danny m. (1)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 1:43 pm
Looks like one more reason I am embarrassed to say I live in Kentucky.
 

Linda Danielson (18)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 1:52 pm
Unbelievable in this day and age. So glad you bring these issues to everyone's attention.
 

Jane Mckenzie (20)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 3:20 pm
land of the free? I don't think so
 

Gysele van Santen (213)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 4:52 pm
that's some scary shhit.
 

Tom C. (11)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 5:23 pm
@Dandelion G.
WELL SAID!
It would have more truly been called the Dictator Act,
but that "might" have gave it away for what it REALLY
is/is all about. I am and have never been shy to say:
"The MOST powerful weapon is NOT a gun,nuke,missile,etc."!
So what is it?
PSYCHOLOGY! If you can program someone to believe
something unconditionally,even if it is a LIE,they will follow
that,EVEN if proof to the contrary is placed right in front of them.
 

Lin Penrose (92)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 5:56 pm
Noted and thanks to Freya, Kit B., and so many commentators. I've given out more stars and learned so much from all of you. Thank You. I'm a believer in Universal Chaos - change, beauty, and wonder with bits of violence mixed in to achieve the momentary beauties and wonders of the infinite. All of the universes are particles of the whole, yet individual, subject to Change, the one Absolute law . No gods of good or evil needed.

Who put Homeland Security in a position to change laws of this country or states? The individual state power hungry politicians? Boot them out of office A.S.A.P. with impeachment charges against the Constitution of the U.S.A. and/or religious cultist charges.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (280)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 6:15 pm
How can this happen?
 

Edith B. (145)
Saturday November 24, 2012, 9:38 pm
Thanks, Phil R. for your clear explanation of this. The article distorts the facts, although the facts are sad enough. I was prepared for the onslaught of nasty comments about Ky and the south, and they were there, of course. How nice to live in the north where everything is perfect. NOT
 

monka blanke (85)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 12:04 pm
...and they are a part of the worlds leading nation, that's frightening. This is so out of order; it's unbelievable !!
Kudos for Abdessalam - it's worth reading.
I hope those "cowboys" will be persecuted, why don't they do one year in jail themselves ?
 

Kathy Chadwell (365)
Sunday November 25, 2012, 10:30 pm
Marianna B Molnar Really?
Not sure why you think a atheists would be damned. Can you enlighten me?
I believe in God, but I have known many atheists who are great, very kind people who would give somebody the shirt off their backs. I have also known christians who go to church every Sunday then spend the rest of the week ripping people off, or just being plain hateful. So please explain this to me.
 

Klaus Peters (13)
Monday December 10, 2012, 9:08 am
I thought the USA were a democracy preaching freedom and freedom of speech and beliefs. How come this is only for muslims, who as you know have made full use of your laws trying to put you down. I am really confused here. I would rather have an atheist as a neighbour rather than a religious fanatic. I know several people who are atheists and I have no problem with that at all and I must admit I can understand their thinking.
Even though, I have strong beliefs in GOD and JESUS CHRIST (I am a Lutheran), I do respect other religions who preach peace, understanding and tolerance. But I am finding it very difficult to accept Islam as a tolerant religion, I think that Islam has distanced itself from God (Allah). But in the end, on the day of judgement GOD will decide who is worthy of his forgiveness. No matter if you are Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu,Christian, Muslim and not to mention a lot other religious beliefs including Atheists, it is for God to decide , not a state court.
 

Nancy C. (810)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 3:27 am
Let's help these states in 2013...
 

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 3:56 am
Christianity, along with all other theistic belief systems, is the fraud of the age. It serves to detach the species from the natural world , and likewise each other. It supports blind submission to authority. It reduces human responsibility to the affect that god controls everything, and in turn awful crimes can be justified in the name of divine pursuit. And most importantly, it empowers those who know the truth but use the myths to manipulate and control societies.
The religious myth is the most powerful device ever created, and serves as the psychological soil upon which all other myths can flourish.

There is something blind faithers can’t seem to get through their thick heads. You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion.
 
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