Homeland security in Kentucky

Nice to know Kentucky’s state legislature has its priorities straight:

The 2006 law organizing the state Office of Homeland Security lists its initial duty as “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.”

Specifically, Homeland Security is ordered to publicize God’s benevolent protection in its reports, and it must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.” …

As amended, Homeland Security’s religious duties now come before all else, including its distribution of millions of dollars in federal grants and its analysis of possible threats.

The language in question was inserted into the bill by State Rep. Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister, and overwhelmingly approved by lawmakers two years ago. Social Services for Feral Children writes:

That must explain why Kentucky has fared so well in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. That and the utter absence of any strategic or even symbolic targets within the state….

And to the extent the agency does serve a necessary function, I wonder whether it can attract the sort of seasoned anti-terrorism talent it needs with a stated mission that sounds more appropriate for a congregation than for a cop.

About Walter Olson

Fellow at a think tank in the Northeast specializing in law. Websites include overlawyered.com. Former columnist for Reason and Times Online (U.K.), contributor to National Review, etc.
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