Commentary: Ky. Homeland Security office shouldn't be promoting God

Someday, when state officials have added up all of the taxpayer money that will be spent on the lawsuit filed this week by an atheist group, I hope they will send the bill to state Rep. Tom Riner.

To help him pay it, Riner could then take up a collection among the legislators who supported his floor amendment.

American Atheists Inc. sued the state because Riner, a Louisville Democrat and Baptist minister, inserted the amendment two years ago into legislation organizing the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. The amendment designated the office's first duty as "stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth."

The amendment requires the office to publicize God's benevolent protection in its literature, and to post at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center a plaque with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."

"This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky," Riner told Herald-Leader reporter John Cheves last month. "Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap."

As a person of faith — and a fellow Christian — I agree with Riner's views about God's role in the security of our state, nation and world.

As an American citizen, though, I don't think it is government's place to promote God.

To read the complete column, visit The Lexington Herald-Leader.