Pharyngula

Well? Can you name a single terrorist attack on Kentucky soil? Hmm? (Aside, maybe, from the occasional abortion clinic bombing or KKK fear campaign, but since those are by home-grown white boys, they don’t count). You can credit a law that has been on the books since 2006.

Under state law, God is Kentucky’s first line of defense against terrorism.

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.”

I try to explain to people that American politics has been dominated by lunatics for many years, and they just don’t believe me.

Comments

  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    November 28, 2008

    But what happens when the terrorists get their hands on IRON CHARIOTS?

  2. #2 LotharLoo
    November 28, 2008

    That’s really strange if you consider that these muslims terrorists also cite God as their greatest supporter. I think these fellas at Kentucky didn’t do a thorough background check on this God dude. Me thinks he could be a double-agent.

  3. #3 Zeno
    November 28, 2008

    I was a bit bemused yesterday when my family pounced on Thanksgiving dinner without pausing for communal prayer. I’ve seen it before, and it seems to me that my overtly religious father is at fault because he seats himself early at the dinner table and starts to feed himself the moment the first platters begins to arrive from the kitchen. Following his example, other family members drift in and begin to nibble. Soon there’s no pretense of waiting for a starting signal and the gorging is proceeding at flank speed.

    Since we did not invoke the protection and intercession of God at our meal, I presume this means that our feast was not divinely blessed and it was just a meaningless humanistic display of gluttony. I enjoyed it very much. I’m just amazed that terrorists did not burst in and destroy us all, since central California is every bit as devout and paranoid as Kentucky.

    We’ll probably have a similarly secular feast at Christmas, and the irony will be just as delicious as Mom’s stuffing.

  4. #4 Hank Fox
    November 28, 2008

    Criminy. That’s not just stupid, it’s offensive in the extreme.

    Dominionist Christian idiots. “We are the Borg. Lower your standards and surrender your nation.”

  5. #5 Anon
    November 28, 2008

    So, you’re saying Kentucky is pre-disastered?

  6. #6 black wolf
    November 28, 2008

    ah… ummm… oh.
    I believe it all right.
    Since nothing works without someone almighty, it follows logically that with someone almighty, nothing else is necessary. Otherwise it would prove that the almighty wasn’t. Any effort to undertake anything to increase security apart from invoking the deity’s name or occupational designation is therefore a blatant display of distrust in his benevolence or existence – a mortal sin.
    Through sound theological reasoning, I have arrived at the conclusion that all employees of Homeland Security who do anything but staying at home will go to Hell.
    Sorry folks, you better leave those jobs to the unChristians, they’re going anyway.

  7. #7 Larry
    November 28, 2008

    Is there like some invisible force field at the Kentucky border that repels evil-doers?

    Can we turn it into a really tall, impenetrable wall that will keep whatever is inside it inside?

  8. #8 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 28, 2008

    Unconstitutional. Someone sue them already.

  9. #9 Owlmirror
    November 28, 2008

    “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

    FACEPALM
    Because expressing how dumb that was in words just doesn’t work.

  10. #10 Somnolent Aphid
    November 28, 2008

    You can be sure if they are attacked some day they’ll find cause to blame it on atheists.

  11. #11 Riman Butterbur
    November 28, 2008

    Don’t those KY idiots know that God is a recluse? He has never shown himself to anybody who could be a credible witness. Obviously, he doesn’t want anybody to believe in him. He just wants to be left alone.

    Kentucky, take down all those damn signs right now, or you’re all going to HELL!!!

  12. #12 watercat
    November 28, 2008

    It would be a pretty lame god that needed 28 million dollars to defend Kentucky. Obviously, until they turn security over to human beings, they are in no need of federal funds and we can use that money elsewhere.

  13. #13 Cuttlefish, OM
    November 28, 2008

    Against my better judgment…

    BLASPHEMY WARNING: DO NOT READ IF EASILY OFFENDED

    Kentucky, since Byzantine Two-Thousand Six
    Has not had a nation attack it.
    The reason? God, clearly, has put in the fix–
    Yup, Yahweh is running a racket.

    Next, the economy’s put to His Touch,
    And soon it will run like a dream
    It won’t be a stimulus, won’t be a crutch,
    It’s Jehovah’s Grand Pyramid Scheme.

    Jesus runs numbers, Moses deals crack,
    The disciples brew “blood of Our Savior”
    Mary makes money while flat on her back
    Or engaging in kneeling behavior.

    The mafia know how to keep folks in line
    And the things that they do, they do well
    If you play along nicely, the place is divine–
    If you want to make waves… go to Hell.

  14. #14 watercat
    November 28, 2008

    It would be a pretty lame god that needed 28 million dollars to defend Kentucky. Unless and until they turn security over to human beings, who would need money, then we should use those federal funds for something else.

  15. #15 Troy
    November 28, 2008

    I’ve lower my head in shame for my state.

  16. #16 dave
    November 28, 2008

    If God can’t whoop guys in iron chariots, how’s he gonna kick Putin’s ass with all them nukilar weapons? I dunno, I suspect that iron could be a sort of hebrew kryptonite. So anything made of steel could kick God’s ass, and that’s a real problem.

  17. #17 BobC
    November 28, 2008

    #8:

    Unconstitutional. Someone sue them already.

    Yeah, this was my first thought when I read that the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security wants “Almighty God” on a plaque in a government building. I’m too lazy to do it, but somebody needs to take these theocrats to court. Every time the Christian extremists are allowed to get away with the little stuff, they are encouraged to keep doing it. It’s better to fight about this before they start teaching magical creation in Kentucky’s biology classrooms.

  18. #18 Jimminy Christmas
    November 28, 2008

    I’ve been thinking of moving back to Kentucky recently because my family lives there. Unfortunately, things like this keep popping up which cause me to question the wisdom of doing so.

  19. #19 Brownian, OM
    November 28, 2008

    Triglav protects my balls, which have also not suffered a terrorist attack since 2006, and I didn’t even have to put up a plaque or anything. Hell, I barely remember to wash ‘em.

    So, it looks like there’s more than one divine bodyguard in town, and Whitney’s all outta breath. Kentucky, are you ready to throw down?

  20. #20 Alverant
    November 28, 2008

    Somnolent Aphid #10
    Unfortunately you’re right. After 9/11 I remember several Letters to the Editor blaming Atheists for the attacks. The following Sunday I went to the community Outreach just to see what that church was going to do. They blamed it on the lack of mandatory prayer, abortion, homosexuality, and so on. I was pretty disgusted.

  21. #21 Copache
    November 28, 2008

    Kentuckian here…

    Bloody shame, that. Am I a terrorist now?

  22. #22 Rebecca C.
    November 28, 2008

    Criminy. That’s not just stupid, it’s offensive in the extreme.

    Ooh, ooh, don’t forget illegal!

  23. #23 Robster, FCD
    November 28, 2008

    C’mon back, Jiminy. We aren’t all nuts here.

  24. #24 Gilipollas Caraculo
    November 28, 2008

    Double facepalm.

  25. #25 Zeno
    November 28, 2008

    It might not be a bad thing if Jimminy Christmas moves to Kentucky.

    Some of my friends moved to Nevada. Oh, no! Don’t go! How can you leave California?

    Some other friends moved to North Carolina. Oh, no! Don’t go! How can you leave California?

    But they all went anyway. And then both states voted for the Democratic nominee for president.

    Now I’m looking for friends to ship to Texas. (I have some that are about to move to Idaho, but let’s not be ridiculous.)

  26. #26 Norman Doering
    November 28, 2008

    Want to see some more naked theocracy? Try this:
    http://www.christorchaos.com/TheLogicofOverthrowingChristsReign.html

    The Catholic Church has taught traditionally that she has the divine right to be the ultimate arbiter on all matters that pertain to the administration of justice by the civil state. That is, the Catholic Church, either in the person of the Supreme Pontiff or of a national primate or a local bishop, has the right to interpose herself if a civil authority, whether individual or collective, proposes to do something that violates the binding precepts of the Divine positive law or the natural law–and/or promotes conditions that are deleterious to the sanctification and salvation of human souls, thus harming the common civil good of society. The Church has the right also to punish such civil authorities after the fact if such violations have taken place (say, for example, by excommunicating a civil leader or by placing an interdict on his country). Although never perfectly or consistently exercised, the power of the Church to curb the excesses of the civil state served as a brake in at least some instances during the Middle Ages on the despotic designs of various individuals.

  27. #27 ggab
    November 28, 2008

    Are you cats making fun of my homeland?
    It’s alright. Just one of the many reasons I left.
    YEEEEEEEmuthafukkinHAAAAWWWW!!

  28. #28 quasarpulse
    November 28, 2008

    Clearly, this works. But it doesn’t explain why terrorists weren’t targeting Kentucky on a regular basis before this law. Was God protecting them anyway, knowing they were going to pass it in the future?

  29. #29 Sue Blue
    November 28, 2008

    Well, if god’s protecting Kentucky against terrorist attacks, why not depend on him for everything? Just think of how the state could reduce its budget by getting rid of police, fire, and emergency services. Come on, Kentuckians, just pray away crime, bad weather, disasters…you name it, god takes care of it.

  30. #30 Johnny Vector
    November 28, 2008

    …aaaaaand that does it. I’m buying the Cuttlefish book. <clickety-clickety> Okay, done. Even though of course that little bit of inspired blasphemy won’t be in it.

    Thanks for keepin’ that ol’ economy hummin’, C!

  31. #31 Yoo
    November 28, 2008

    I wonder how Kentucky could have even survived with all the chronic terrorist attacks before 2006 …

  32. #32 kermit
    November 28, 2008

    Apparently KY homeland security is admitting that simply praying is better than anything else they can do.

    So if God lets the terrorists attack the Commonwealth of Kentucky, that must mean they were being too easy on gays and atheistic Satanists. But if he continues to keep them safe, it’s obviously because they’re more righteous than those liberal states.

  33. #33 Boudica
    November 28, 2008

    I think it just shows that even terrorists have no desire to go to Kentucky!

  34. #34 Alan Kellogg
    November 28, 2008

    The one thing I most regret is that Kentucky had to go and give terrorists ideas. Now you know that the next Kentucy Derby Churchill Downs is going to be overrun by mad bombers taking all the good rooms and forcing race goers to take cheap accommodations out in the boonies. And who’s fault will that be?

  35. #35 JohnnieCanuck
    November 28, 2008

    God’s?

  36. #36 Red Nomad
    November 28, 2008

    However disillusioned I may get with NZ politics, I think this compares pretty favorably. (From a leaders debate prior to the election earlier this month)
    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1316907/2261927

    God?

    “Do you believe in God?” Sainsbury asked.

    Clark said she doesn’t and is on record as saying she’s an agnostic, which means nothing is proven. However, she said the principles of Christianity pretty much dictate how she lives.

    Key said he’s not a deeply religious person but also lives by Christian principles. He doesn’t believe in life after death, he added.

  37. #37 Mocular
    November 28, 2008

    Kentucky, is a very strange place. My niece’s high school band worked up a halftime show called “Redemption.” The whole show was about being “saved” by Jeebus. Totally absurd. However, the Kentuckians thought it was completely normal.

    My guess is that most Kentuckians are completely comfortable with the religious control of government.

  38. #38 Lago
    November 28, 2008

    I guess Kentucky is to “secure against terrorist attack” as being an, “Ugly virgin,” is to being “virtuous?”

  39. #39 Emily
    November 28, 2008

    But if they have God on their side, who needs homeland security? Isn’t that displaying a disturbing lack of faith?

  40. #40 ralph137
    November 28, 2008

    Why not subcontract the homeland defense to the god of Islam? A little protection money might be cheaper to the taxpayer.

  41. #41 Someguy
    November 28, 2008

    However disillusioned I may get with NZ politics, I think this compares pretty favorably. (From a leaders debate prior to the election earlier this month)
    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/1316907/2261927

    Yeah, you guys have it pretty easy compared to us.

    Those statements would have ended the career of any American politician running for office.

  42. #42 Tom Buckner
    November 28, 2008

    Completely off topic, but did ye see this off-tha-charts alien looking squid?

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/11/081124-giant-squid-magnapinna.html

  43. #43 Random Chimp
    November 28, 2008

    #24:

    Double facepalm.

    Better yet…

    The Epic FacepalmTM

  44. #44 Citzen Z
    November 28, 2008

    Oh, Owlmirror. You have opened a Pandora’s Box. You figure out how to post images yourself?

  45. #45 kamaka
    November 28, 2008

    Presupposition: When did you quit beating your wife?

    Presupposition: We must depend upon god.

    Which of course presupposes our god is sooo much better than that islam god that thinks we need to be destroyed. Our god thinks the worshippers of that god needs some destroying, too, so once again, I find myself caught up in the infinite regress.

  46. #46 Last Hussar
    November 28, 2008

    We keep hearing about Somali Pirates. Has any Pastafarian been attacked? I rest my case.

  47. #47 Lauren
    November 28, 2008

    I am sure that the people in Mumbai are wondering why that isn’t in their nation’s manifesto right now. It is stupid statements like that which make me feel so ashamed of America sometimes.

  48. #48 raindogzilla
    November 28, 2008

    In the words of my favorite Kentucky poet, Lawrence X. Tarpey;

    “We don’t get no car bombs in Kentucky.
    and Shi’ites is few and far between.
    Diplomacy is graduating high school and
    a firefight’s when we pass around Jim Beam…”

    And, for Larry(#7), I’m pretty sure that Ken Ham’s Idiot Museum has gun turrets trained on both Ohio and Indiana.

  49. #49 ggab
    November 28, 2008

    raindogzilla
    “And, for Larry(#7), I’m pretty sure that Ken Ham’s Idiot Museum has gun turrets trained on both Ohio and Indiana.”

    I’ve seen his attempts at explaining human history.
    My opinion is that his aim is so off the mark that I am safe here in Cincinnati.

  50. #50 Shaden Freud
    November 28, 2008

    Kentucky is the home of the Creation Museum. The bar for them surprising me is pretty high.

  51. #51 June
    November 28, 2008

    WTF – was God off duty on 9/11?

  52. #52 MikeG
    November 28, 2008

    KY, eh? They got God on their side, but their jelly tastes terrible.

    *ducks*

  53. #53 DaveG
    November 28, 2008

    Trying to fit “KY Jelly” into an actual joke. I’ll post it when I’m finished…

  54. #54 BobC
    November 28, 2008

    WTF – was God off duty on 9/11?

    No. God made 9/11 possible. Those wackos thought they were going to God’s heaven.

  55. #55 Benjamin Geiger
    November 28, 2008

    I have a coworker who is from Kentucky. He’s also a Jehovah’s Witness. We’ve had some interesting discussions, often including our Islamic coworker.

  56. #56 Cory Albrecht
    November 28, 2008

    No attribution? Where’s my 15 seconds of the closest thing I’ll ever get to fame? *sniffle* I’m gonna go complain to Phil Plait… :-)

  57. #57 Nick
    November 28, 2008

    Glad to see former judge Roy Moore’s legacy lives on…

  58. #58 Paper Hand
    November 28, 2008

    I was just going to send that link to you when I saw you were already covering it.

    That’s just astonishingly blatant …

  59. #59 Brownian, OM
    November 28, 2008

    I have a coworker who is from Kentucky. He’s also a Jehovah’s Witness. We’ve had some interesting discussions, often including our Islamic coworker.

    Now see, that just sounds fun.

  60. #60 JStein
    November 28, 2008

    This is frightening. It’s like letting the invisible friend guard the door to a nuclear silo.

  61. #61 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    November 28, 2008

    This show the great power and wisdom of the big sky daddy. Many years ago, it knew that the people of Kentucky would use prayer to ask it to protect Kentucky from terrorism. It preemptively answered their prayers by making sure the Kentucky had little of interest to make Kentucky a target for terrorism.

  62. #62 Wowbagger
    November 29, 2008

    As a foreigner (Australian, to be precise) here I have to ask – what exactly does Kentucky have going for it? All I can come up with is fried chicken, a horse race that you people mispronounce (hint: it shouldn’t rhyme with with Herbie) and a type of bourbon.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and wager that ‘the terrorists’ don’t have such places too high up on their hit lists.

  63. #63 Capital Dan
    November 29, 2008

    This is my favorite quote from that article:

    “This is recognition that government alone cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the people of Kentucky,” Riner said. “Government itself, apart from God, cannot close the security gap. The job is too big for government.”

    That’s just fucking astounding that these cave-dwellers can get out of bed in the morning. And, what the hell is “perfect safety?”

    Kentucky really failed a whole lot of folks with this smelly, little skidmark on the toilet paper our Constitution has been reduced to. Part of me wants to weep over the whole thing, and another part of me just wants to laugh for a very long time at the brain-grinding stupidity of these primitive people and their silly superstitions.

  64. #64 Rey Fox
    November 29, 2008

    “(I have some that are about to move to Idaho, but let’s not be ridiculous.)”

    The trouble with Idaho is that we got all the wrong Californians.

  65. #65 Penguin_Factory
    November 29, 2008

    That’s so stupid I can’t even put my derision into words.

    I wonder if there are any atheists in the Office of Homeland Security, and if so, how they feel about this?

    “The job is too big for government.”

    Maybe so, but how about admitting to that and facing up to reality?

  66. #66 IBY
    November 29, 2008

    I don’t know… I don’t think god has vested interest in Kentucky. I c’mon, what have they got there?

  67. #67 BobC
    November 29, 2008

    what exactly does Kentucky have going for it?

    1. Terrorists don’t know where it is.

    2. This song.

  68. #68 glitch
    November 29, 2008

    > As a foreigner (Australian, to be precise) here I have to ask – what exactly does Kentucky have going for it?

    In summary: natural beauty and natives that are, on average, very kind people…. if you are exactly like them.

    If you’re different, you can go to hell for all they care.

    One of the many reasons I left and moved to California.

  69. #69 Tommykey
    November 29, 2008

    If God Almighty is defending Kentucky, then why the fuck do they need a Homeland Security department to begin with?

  70. #70 Zaius
    November 29, 2008

    Any idea why they needed exactly 88 words? Here’s what the ADL web site says about the number:

    “The eighth letter of the alphabet is ‘H.’ Eight two times signifies ‘HH,’ shorthand for the Nazi greeting, ‘Heil Hitler.’ 88 is often found on hate group flyers, in both the greetings and closing comments of letters written by neo-Nazis, and in e-mail addresses.”

    Can’t google up any info linking Riner to neo-nazis, but in the 70′s he called desegregation busing “unnatural” and part of a Communist plot to overthrow the government. He said it was “highly sophisticated psychological warfare on the part of an elite intelligentcia.”

  71. #71 tigerhawkvok
    November 29, 2008

    I know its horrible, but I think it’d be seriously amusing if another terrorist attack hits the US, it hits Kentucky (assuming no deaths, of course).

    Then again, they’d pull “GODDIDIT” if there were no deaths. That’d be pretty damn hard to pull off with no fatalities but still be ironic.

  72. #72 BMcP
    November 29, 2008

    Aside, maybe, from the occasional abortion clinic bombing or KKK fear campaign, but since those are by home-grown white boys, they don’t count)

    Except there never been an abortion clinic bombing in Kentucky, but don’t let facts stop one from maligning a state (likely because it is Southern and stereotyping the South is always “ok” for some reason).

  73. #73 Hank Fox
    November 29, 2008

    It’s okay to heckle the South if you come from there. I was born in Texas, grew up in Texas and Alabama.

    A whole lot of Southerners are wonderful people.

    But some of them are complete dumbasses, and right proud of it. I think I can easily say it’s part of the culture: Sarah Palin’s campaign was based on it.

  74. #74 llewelly
    November 29, 2008

    As a foreigner (Australian, to be precise) here I have to ask – what exactly does Kentucky have going for it?

    Big Bone Lick .

  75. #75 wtfwmd
    November 29, 2008

    Got Mit Uns ?

  76. #76 Autumn
    November 29, 2008

    This explains Kentucky basketball for the last few years. God has been concentrating on security rather than offense.

    The UK football team, however, would lose even with Jesus at QB handing off to Shiva.

  77. #77 Capital Dan
    November 29, 2008

    Wasn’t there a quote that said something like fascism will arrive with a smile on its face and a Bible in its hand?

    I can’t remember it exactly, but something does need to be done to beat these sleazy, immoral, Christian bastards back into political irrelevancy where they belong.

    Do we need another Amendment to annotate the First Ammendment so that this sort of thing is maybe a little easier understood for these lying, immoral, sleazy, Christian window-lickers?

    I mean, just because you’re too rock-stupid to read and understand what the First Amendment says, that doesn’t mean that you get to replace it with something entirely different, and wholly self-serving to advance your bigotry, and claim it’s your interpretation.

  78. #78 Liberal Atheists
    November 29, 2008

    I’m sure these people want to replace medical science with prayer and witch doctors. Yes, they really are on that level.

    Once upon a time I was optimistic about the future of our civilisation. Apparently some people want to ruin everything instead of improving it.

  79. #79 Capital Dan
    November 29, 2008

    Liberal Atheists | November 29, 2008 2:26 AM

    Once upon a time I was optimistic about the future of our civilisation. Apparently some people want to ruin everything instead of improving it.

    Yeah. That whole legislation of ignorance and superstition kind of throws a big fucking monkey-wrench into the progress of humanity. Unless you’re a Christian. Then, it’s “Hooray! One step closer to the glorious Dark Ages!”

    Personally, I’m thrilled if Christians want to ignore medical science and beat the Rapture rush. Unfortunately, I don’t think America will have much medical science in the future anyway so long as these drooling plug-heads with their creationism insist on polluting America’s educational system with, you guessed it, their mythology and superstition instead of, you know, science.

  80. #80 Sman
    November 29, 2008

    But, would you expect anything different?

    Though, I couldn’t find Jerry Jeff’s cover, enjoy
    Johnny Russel’s

  81. #81 The Swiss
    November 29, 2008

    I bow to Cuttlefish’s beautiful blasphemy. I had never thought before of blasphemy as an art form, but of course I should have known better (e.g. what with PZ’s cracker “performance art”)

  82. #82 PlaydoPlato
    November 29, 2008

    Every good Kentuckian knows that God doesn’t need help to protect their great god-fearin’ state, so I suggest their Homeland Security funding be pulled and used for something more constructive.

  83. #83 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    Wasn’t there a quote that said something like fascism will arrive with a smile on its face and a Bible in its hand?

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” -Sinclair Lewis, 1935

    here’s a scary picture of what it might look like :
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3105/2881714346_d3d063280e.jpg?v=0

    btw, have you checked “American fascism” by Chris Hedges ?

    Here’s an extract that I found particularly à propos :

    Corporations, rapidly turning America into an oligarchy, have little interest in Christian ethics, or anybody’s ethics. They know what they have to do, as the titans of the industry remind us, for their stockholders. They are content to increase profit at the expense of those who demand fair wages, health benefits, safe working conditions, and pensions. . .this new class seeks to reduce the American working class to the levels of this global serfdom. After all, anything that drains corporate coffers is a loss of freedom–the God-given American freedom to exploit other human beings to make money. The marriage of this gospel of prosperity with raw, global capitalism, and the flaunting of the wealth and privilege it brings, are supposedly blessed and championed by Jesus Christ. Compassion is relegated to private, individual acts of charity, or left to the churches. The callousness of the ideology, the notion that it in any way reflects the message of the gospels, which were preoccupied with the poor and the outcasts, illustrates how the new class has twisted Christian scripture to serve America’s god of capitalism and discredited the Enlightenment values we once prized.

  84. #84 Mikael HafO
    November 29, 2008

    Some years ago, the political party Kristdemokraterna (Christian Democrats) in Sweden motioned for the inclusion of the phrase “The Swedish school system is rooted in Christian values” (a direct translation would read “The Swedish school stands on a Christian value ground”) into the School Act. Luckily that motion was trashed by the rest of the parties in the parliament, as they pointed out that the values are humanist and democratic rather than explicit Christian.

    But only last year there were some European nations (among those Poland, Europe’s newest crusader) that wanted to include phrases on Europe’s Christian heritage and that “Europe is a Christian continent” into the Lisbon treaty (popular name “The EU Constitution”).

    So what happens in Kentucky also happens on the other side of the pond. It kind of scares me that we still have to fend off stupidity and dogmatism in these supposedly enlightened times.

  85. #85 Mikael HafO
    November 29, 2008

    Blake Stacy @ #1: The funniest thing about The Brich Testament website is the disclaimer at the bottom:

    - CONTENT NOTICE -

    The Bible contains material some may consider morally objectionable and/or inappropriate for children. These labels identify stories containing:

    N = nudity S = sexual content V = violence C = cursing

    They use LEGO to depict the Bible but at the same time label all the included books as inappropriate for children *ROFL* :D

  86. #86 Nick Gotts
    November 29, 2008

    According to a book I have (Colin McEvedy’s Penguin Atlas of North American History), Abraham Lincoln is reported as saying in 1861: “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.” Kentucky in fact avoided taking sides as long as possible – it didn’t join the Confederacy but its governor declared neutrality when the Civil War started, which was a great help to the secessionists. Would Kentucky join a Christofascist Confederacy today?

  87. #87 Nick Gotts
    November 29, 2008

    Mikael Hafo@84,
    I to some extent share your apprehensions about dominionist tendencies in some EU states, but in the longer term the eastward expansion of the EU may spread secularism east rather than dominionism west. To take your example of Poland, millions of predominantly young and adventurous Poles have now lived in the UK for some period over the past few years. Now the UK economy is going down the tubes while the Polish one has improved, many have gone back, but I’d be surprised if many of those will let themselves be bullied by the Catholic Church after experiencing a far more secular culture.

    I’m actually more concerned about the neofascist and right-populist parties that have a lot of influence in western Europe; and indeed now rule Italy.

  88. #88 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    So what happens in Kentucky also happens on the other side of the pond.

    There’s a big difference, whereas in Kentucky that nonsense sits on the books, in Europe, it gets trashed. Ok ?

  89. #89 Paul Burnett
    November 29, 2008

    Unconstitutional. Someone sue them already.” – Yeah, this was my first thought when I read that the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security wants “Almighty God” on a plaque in a government building.” – Bob, #17

    My first thought was that the plaque cleverly doesn’t say which “Almighty God.” (After all “God” is an occupational title, not a name.) This plaque might actually be invoking Odin or Jupiter or Zeus or Ahura Mazda or Vishnu or The Flying Spaghetti Monster or whoever. I wonder if somebody is chuckling over this somewhere…

  90. #90 Jim Dicken
    November 29, 2008

    Ahh the liberal-cons are at their best when ridiculing the religious.
    I am from Kentucky. The people here can at times be a bit over zealous in their support of God. However the ignorant comments I see here are much worse than the law as written in 2006. Why? Because it proves the liberal bias against those who believe in a God. Because our lives are ruled by right and wrong, because we chose to responsibility for action instead of the blame the government mentality of liberals we are ridiculed.
    Because a people beseech God for help, is not ignorance. It is faith. God helps those who help themselves. Yes we need 28 Million to spend because God is not going to come down and stand at our borders to defend us. God does not interfere with our personal choices. He allows us to believe, reason, do – as we see fit. Hopefully directed by what is right. God does not make our choices WE DO. Whether God is Muslim or Christian, he set things in motion, but FREE CHOICE is what drives the bus.
    What is really interesting here is that Kentucky RECOGNIZES that there is a God, “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.”
    It simply means that we believe, and depend on his guidance.
    Explain to me why a belief that God is in the end the final arbiter is a bad thing?
    The Constitution recognizes a God, the Declaration of Independence recognizes God. So why do you ridicule a belief in God? We ask for his guidance and that of our enemies. They may not believe as we do, but they are children of God, and free to chose Terror, or Peace. We pray that they will see the benefit of peace.

  91. #91 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    Jim Dicken,

    used the word “God” 15 times in one post, and it’s all wrong !

    Gee, I thought Christians obbeyed a commandment that went “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God.”

  92. #92 Marc Abian
    November 29, 2008

    “Because our lives are ruled by right and wrong”

    Clarify please. Right and wrong according to the bible (meaning you’ll want to stone those who eat shellfish, wear mixed fabric etc)? Or right and wrong according to humanist values which the people here advocate (thus making your point meaningless)?

    “Because a people beseech God for help, is not ignorance. It is faith”

    What’s the difference?

    “Yes we need 28 Million to spend because God is not going to come down and stand at our borders to defend us. God does not interfere with our personal choices. He allows us to believe, reason, do – as we see fit. Hopefully directed by what is right. God does not make our choices”

    What does he do exactly?

    “What is really interesting here is that Kentucky RECOGNIZES that there is a God”

    Yes, that is interesting. One would have thought that the separation of church and state would apply in Kentucky, but apparently not.

    “So why do you ridicule a belief in God? ”

    No evidence for it. Involves unusual ceremonies that make no sense. Generally a childish school thought.

    Can someone tell me how to do blockquotes please?

  93. #93 Rick R
    November 29, 2008

    “Ahh the liberal-cons are at their best when ridiculing the religious.”

    Stop making it so easy (or so damn necessary).

    And what the hell is a “liberal-con”?

  94. #94 Wowbagger
    November 29, 2008

    Jim Dicken, #90

    I just don’t know where to start. You’ve managed to include more unadulterated stupid in one post than most manage to achieve in a lifetime.

    Ahh the liberal-cons are at their best when ridiculing the religious.

    Good grief. Did you really use the term liberal-cons? For real? Time for an English lesson: the suffix ‘con’ is an abbreviation for ‘conservative’. For example: ‘neo-con’means ‘new conservative’. So, the term ‘liberal-con’ is what we refer to as an oxymoron.

    Or an oxy-you in this case.

    Then you wrote:

    Because it proves the liberal bias against those who believe in a God.

    Funny that. Reality has a liberal bias.

    Next on our catwalk of stupid:

    Because a people beseech God for help, is not ignorance. It is faith. God helps those who help themselves.

    You do realise that you’ve contradicted yourself, don’t you? First you say people beseech your god for help, but then you say your god helps those who help themselves. Which is it?

    Wait, there’s more:

    Explain to me why a belief that God is in the end the final arbiter is a bad thing?

    Let’s see – because the only explanation we have for his arbitration is a patently unreliable source: the bible, and its numerous variants. It is profoundly flawed – as one would expect from what was cobbled together from the oral traditions of a tribe of bronze-age goat herders, and then added to by a succession of pedantic bureaucrats, power-hungry despots and no small number of mentally-defective, small-minded bigots over the centuries.

    And you keep going:

    So why do you ridicule a belief in God?

    Because believing in your god is ridiculous; ergo, you and others like you are ridiculed. You’ve really got to brush up on your language skills.

    This is a doozy:

    We pray that they will see the benefit of peace.

    Why don’t you trying doing something that might work instead? Tell you what I’ll do – I’ll think for both of us.

    Okay, I think I’ve had my fun for the moment. No doubt the others will be queuing up for the opportunity to hand you your ass on a platter. Now, Jim Dicken, some advice: get back on the short bus and go home. You’re embarrassing yourself – and Kentucky deserves better.

  95. #95 Sili
    November 29, 2008

    Somnolent Aphid #10
    Unfortunately you’re right. After 9/11 I remember several Letters to the Editor blaming Atheists for the attacks. The following Sunday I went to the community Outreach just to see what that church was going to do. They blamed it on the lack of mandatory prayer, abortion, homosexuality, and so on. I was pretty disgusted.
    Posted by: Alverant | November 28, 2008 6:26 PM

    Iono why. Personally I think more mandatory abortions and homosexuality would the world a world of good.

  96. #96 Citizen Z
    November 29, 2008

    And what the hell is a “liberal-con”?

    A liberal-conservative? No, I think it’s a Transformer. Like the Paleocons, the ones that transformed into 6,000 year old dinosaurs. Those were great.

  97. #97 Iain Walker
    November 29, 2008

    Jim Dicken (#90):

    Because our lives are ruled by right and wrong, because we chose to responsibility for action [sic] instead of the blame the government mentality of liberals we are ridiculed.

    Uh huh. And you’ve got the nerve to accuse other commenters here of ignorance and bias? Also, it’s kind of amusing to hear someone talking about choice and responsibility when their idea of morality ultimately depends on scrabbling for the approval of some arbitrary and unaccountable authority.

    So why do you ridicule a belief in God?

    For starters, because it’s a badly thought-out claim backed up by hopelessly flawed reasoning. How many reasons do you need?

  98. #98 ppb
    November 29, 2008

    But Kentucky already experienced a major terrorist attack in 1964.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldfinger_(film)

  99. #99 castletonsnob
    November 29, 2008

    To Mr. Dicken, of Kentucky, who writes:

    Ahh the liberal-cons are at their best when ridiculing the religious.

    The “liberal-cons?” What on Thor’s green Earth is a liberal-con? If con is short for conservative, what could liberal-con possibly mean?

    Because our lives are ruled by right and wrong,

    Please define right and wrong, and then provide evidence to support the assertion that people who believe in a god are more likely act morally than those who don’t.

    Because a people beseech God for help, is not ignorance. It is faith.

    Please explain how faith–the belief in something in spite of, or contrary to, objective evidence–isn’t a form of ignorance.

    Whether God is Muslim or Christian,

    Please describe how you know that this god must be limited to one of these two religions to the exclusion of the thousands of others worshipped with equal sincerity throughout human history.

    The Constitution recognizes a God,

    Really? The U.S. Constitution? The one that begins “We the People?” Please show me where.

    Explain to me why a belief that God is in the end the final arbiter is a bad thing?

    I’ll leave that to Richard Dawkins:

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

  100. #100 JeffreyD
    November 29, 2008

    KY security? A lock on the sex toy box?

    Ciao y’all

  101. #101 TC
    November 29, 2008

    Show me where all the data is for the occasional abortion bombing that has gone on in Kentucky? Whoever said this is a liar. As a citizen of Minnesota and not living far from the U, we need to get Professor Myers fired, he probably would get a nice pension for his big fat rear end paid by the public by the way and is probably living high on the hog anyway poisoning the minds of youth. Garbage like this should not be teaching in the school systems.

  102. #102 Wowbagger
    November 29, 2008

    Can the inbreeding of siblings followed by the mother/aunt smoking and drinking while pregnant causing severe mental retardation in a child be considered a terrorist attack?

    If so, congratulations Jim Dicken, #90 – you’re the victim of terrorism!

  103. #103 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    November 29, 2008

    Whether God is Muslim or Christian, he set things in motion, but FREE CHOICE is what drives the bus.

    Is your god omnipotent, infinite and all knowing?

  104. #104 Wowbagger
    November 29, 2008

    Hear ye, hear ye: I submit the comment of TC, #101, as evidence that a short bus has indeed broken down somewhere near an internet café.

  105. #105 BobbyEarle
    November 29, 2008

    In the Miss “Which U.S. state is the greatest laughing stock in the World” pageant, Kansas has been having her crown threatened by the likes of Louisiana, Texas, and Florida (if we missed your state, well, sorry). Entering into the fray is the grand old state of Kentucky…known for a shitload of gold bars, a horse race, and mint juleps.

    I really don’t know how to end this silliness…it is all just too depressing.

    Marc Abian @92…

    To blockquote use the tag

    [blockquote]text to be blockquoted[/blockquote]

    Use angle brackets instead of the square brackets.

  106. #106 ggab
    November 29, 2008

    After reading posts #101 and #90, I was wondering if there was a way that I could delete the earlier post where I admitted that I was from Kentucky?
    Do you cats mind just pretending you never read that?

  107. #107 BobbyEarle
    November 29, 2008

    Sorry, ggab…

    It Is Too Late.

  108. #108 castletonsnob
    November 29, 2008

    For TC @101:

    Information about abortion clinic violence can be found here: http://www.prochoice.org/about_abortion/violence/history_extreme.asp

    There you will find that since 1997 there have been 2 arson attacks against abortion clinics, one in 2000 and the other in 2001. If you want to criticize PZ for calling them bombings, I think that’s fair. But to call for him to be fired because of it? That seems a bit extreme, to say the least. Could it be you have some other reason or motive for calling him “garbage” and wanting him to lose his job?

  109. #109 genesgalore
    November 29, 2008

    hey wowbagger, what’s wrong with “inbreeding”????? “inbreeding” done right produces a superior product.

  110. #110 clinteas
    November 29, 2008

    Mentally ill creo taliban @ 101 wrote:

    living high on the hog anyway poisoning the minds of youth. Garbage like this should not be teaching in the school systems.

    Poisoning the minds of youth(s) by teaching science and critical thinking,it is truly appalling.I am as shocked as you are.

  111. #111 Mikael HafO
    November 29, 2008

    Nick Gotts:

    How you managed to read my first comment as some kind of anti-Eastern Europe statement eludes me. Please do not ascribe various opinions and standpoints to me, that I don’t necessarily share. I’m all for the expansion of the EU to other countries, including Turkey. And I share your concern for the rising number of extremist parties and movements, but I also see the religious radicalism as a part thereof. In e.g. Poland and Italy the “purity” of Christianity as well as the “purity” of whatever the indigenous people may be called, is used as a tool to stir up xenophobic feelings.

  112. #112 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    November 29, 2008

    They blamed it on the lack of mandatory prayer, abortion, homosexuality, and so on.

    So this church agreed with the terrorists. Nice.

  113. #113 Mikael HafO
    November 29, 2008

    Marc Abian @ #92:

    Blockquote by wrapping your quote in these tags (minus the first b):

    Text goes here

  114. #114 Mikael HafO
    November 29, 2008

    Ok… didn’t work. Let’s try again, shall we?

    [blockquote]Text[/blockquote]

    Change [] to <>

  115. #115 Tulse
    November 29, 2008

    Jim Dicken:

    The Constitution recognizes a God

    The US Constitution most decidedly does not recognize a God. Article VI, section 3 states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”. And of course, the most relevant clause in this discussion is from the First Amendment, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.

    Citizens can believe (or not) whatever they want. They are free to worship (or not) how they choose. But by the supreme law of the land, the government is not allowed to favour one religion over another, or to promote religion in general. That’s basic US civics, and it astounds me that US citizens have to be reminded of this most basic fact (and astounds me even more that state lawmakers would ignore it).

  116. #116 Richard Harris
    November 29, 2008

    Under state law, God is Kentucky’s first line of defense against terrorism.

    Bwahahahaha.

    Wait a moment, isn’t this the same feckin’ god as the one in the bible book, aka Yahweh or Jehovah or Allah? What a nasty bit of work – look at his record. I wouldn’t trust that bugger as far as I could throw him.

  117. #117 Snarki, child of Loki
    November 29, 2008

    Hey, what are y’all carping about?

    Hasn’t Ginormous Sky Fairy kept Kayntukky safe from hurricanes, since, like, firever? Hunh? Hunh?

    And tiger attacks are *down* this year, praise be!

    So leave off tryin’ to grab that $26M homer-land sekurity cash. Ginormous Sky Fairy’s got expenses y’know. And no, it’s not all for hookers-n-booze, sheesh.

  118. #118 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 29, 2008

    But if they have God on their side, who needs homeland security? Isn’t that displaying a disturbing lack of faith?

    “I find your lack of faith… disturbing.”

    Oh, Owlmirror. You have opened a Pandora’s Box. You figure out how to post images yourself?

    Worse yet. He unashamedly used a <span> tag, and it got through! I thought <span> tags were automatically removed?!? I have to test that immediately: This is big and red.

  119. #119 Lexingtonian
    November 29, 2008

    It’s fine to blast the politicians, but don’t for a moment assume that all Kentuckians agree with this crap.

    Kentucky doesn’t get attacked because other than it’s two major cities, it’s rural (and beautiful, I must say.)

    Sometimes when I look out over the countryside, you do have to think that if there was a God, he might just stay ’round here, enjoying the clean air and green hills, sipping some bourbon and enjoyin’ eternity.

  120. #120 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 29, 2008

    So <span> is now legal, even if I apparently didn’t get the font-size part right…

    Anyway, the Declaration of Independence does recognize a god, but that’s the one of the Deist founding fathers, the one who just created the universe, set it in motion, and then sat back to watch — the one who, Deists believe, most assuredly helps neither those who help themselves nor anyone else.

    That’s already a kind of lowest common denominator of all of theism, and when they went on to draft the Constitution, they dropped even that.

  121. #121 Nick Gotts
    November 29, 2008

    Nick Gotts:
    How you managed to read my first comment as some kind of anti-Eastern Europe statement eludes me. Please do not ascribe various opinions and standpoints to me, that I don’t necessarily share. – Mikael HafO

    That wasn’t my intention, but I see now my comment could be read that way. I apologise.

  122. #122 Nick Gotts
    November 29, 2008

    “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” – Richard Dawkins, as quoted above.

    …and that’s on his good days!

  123. #123 Jeeves
    November 29, 2008

    “Hopefully directed by what is right. God does not make our choices WE DO. Whether God is Muslim or Christian, he set things in motion, but FREE CHOICE is what drives the bus.
    What is really interesting here is that Kentucky RECOGNIZES that there is a God, “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.”

    When people capitalize random words on this site (and many others, I should add) they are almost certainly conservative Christians. Look at World Net Daily for a taste. Is there a reason for it? Do they think we wouldn’t understand their sentiments unless they capitalized the important words? It’s kind of fun to practice. God is a MANMADE invention DESIGNED to control PEOPLE. SEE? (sorry). That was neat to try. Any ideas?

  124. #124 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    David #120,

    the DoI has no legal authority, so whether it recognizes a God or not is of no relevance. Having said this, although Jefferson was a Deist and a critic of religions, he wrote the DoI in terms which the majority of the time would have to agree with and it’s hard to interpret his writing as a purely “sit back and watch deist God”, notably the last sentence :

    And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

  125. #125 Deacon Barry
    November 29, 2008

    Autumn (#76) there is no UK football team. There are the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish teams, to which the rest of your comment equally applies.

  126. #126 Liberal Atheist
    November 29, 2008

    Jim Dicken,

    Belief in mythological creatures belong in the dark and ignorant past, when people were haunted by demons. Now we have science, we’re enlightened and whether the ignorant fools want it or not, I will do everything I can to fend off their attempts at ruining modern civilisation and taking us back to more primitive times!

    Also, the bit about how your god helps people if they help themselves makes me wonder why he bothers if I’m already helping myself? And what if I’m in such a situation that I can’t help myself? Is that why he enjoys watching people die while their aeroplane is plunging towards the ground? After all, there’s nothing they can do to help themselves, so screw them, right? Nice god. Says A LOT about those who worship and love him.

    Not only that, but that whole idea of him helping out only after you’re helping yourself sort of reminds me of The Simpsons:

    Bart: Do you know what this means?
    Milhouse: Yeah… But you say it first!

  127. #127 Paul A.
    November 29, 2008

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,…”

    Does this mean states can establish a theocracy?

  128. #128 raven
    November 29, 2008

    Well the Liars, Hater, and Killers for jesus crowd are up to their usual. Lying. Two family planning clinics in Kentucky have been the victims of arson attacks.

    I like the way the Kentucky contingent just flat out claims there have been no Xian terrorist attacks in Kentucky. They just outright lied without bothering to even pretend to check the facts.

    Kentucky does seem to have a religious kook terrorist problem with xian death cultists. They also have a xian Liar for jesus problem. And their god run homeland security is incompetent as well, they never caught the criminals.

    Violence Statistics for 2001
    DATE STATE/PROVINCE/TERR. TYPE ESTDAMAGE CASE STATUS
    6/2001 Washington ARSON Remains open
    6/2001 Washington BOMB $6,000 Remains open
    4/2001 Kentucky ARSON Remains open

    Violence Statistics for 2000
    DATE STATE/PROVINCE/TERR. TYPE ESTDAMAGE CASE STATUS
    7/2000 Vancouver STABBING
    5/2000 New Hampshire ARSON $20,000 Remains open
    4/2000 Kentucky ARSON Remains open
    4/2000 Florida ARSON $2-3,000 Remains open

  129. #129 rich (richmanwisco)
    November 29, 2008

    So does that mean that the rest of us 49 states and territories who haven’t had a terrorist attack in the last 7 years are just plain lucky?

  130. #130 Mikael HafO
    November 29, 2008

    Nick Gotts: No, if that wasn’t your intention, it’s me that should apologize (I’ve been cranky all day). If you’d been here I would have bought you a coffee as a gesture of apology :)

  131. #131 Kagehi
    November 29, 2008

    God helps those who help themselves.

    Someone explain to me where these kooks come up with this one from scripture? I mean, first, its not true because the Bible is rife with examples of their god just helping who ever he happened to like this week, and pissing on everyone else. And second, its ***really*** clear that he actually hates people that help themselves, going as far as destroying everything they built if they think for a moment they can get by with doing something without his direct intervention, but parts of the Bible even go as far as to praise people that are too stupid, lazy or ignorant to do anything for themselves, stating that its *these* people that are them most blessed, because only God can providing them with any clue how to do *anything*.

    And even this clown knows that is what it says, because he contradicts himself in the same fracking paragraph, by saying the exact opposite of the above statement. But, I suppose, its that kind of self justifying idiocy that you have to shoehorn into your brain to be able to live in the modern world, where “everything” is done by people, or follows clear rules, and still believe in something that sits around waiting to violate all those rules, and help people that won’t get off their ass to do anything. Tell me Jim, how many prosperity ministries are their in your city, and how many of those people are looking at selling moonshine, or what ever you people did the last time the economy tanked, to drag themselves out of the hole they dug, by believing that their God would reward laziness, stupidity, and, well… belief, by keeping the his “true” followers from losing everything? Bet the only “true followers” turned out of to be the people with access to the money from the collection plate too. Rather odd, don’t you think?

  132. #132 Captain Ricard
    November 29, 2008

    88 word statement? Maybe it’s the ghost of Hitler that protects Kentucky.

  133. #133 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    88 word statement? Maybe it’s the ghost of Hitler that protects Kentucky.

    Or maybe because it’s untouchable, therefore won’t be subject to a terrorist attack.

    (an untouchable number is one that cannot be expressed as the sum of the divisors of any integer : 2, 5, 52, 88 are the first 4)

  134. #134 Jason Failes
    November 29, 2008

    Only cruised through the comments, so I’m not sure if this is a repeat, but it simply must be said:

    Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm!
    Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, dad.
    Homer: Why thank you, honey.
    Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
    Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
    Lisa: It doesn’t work; it’s just a stupid rock!
    Homer: Uh-huh.
    Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?
    Homer: Hmm… Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

  135. #135 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 29, 2008

    it’s hard to interpret his writing as a purely “sit back and watch deist God”, notably the last sentence :

    Oops. You’re right.

    an untouchable number is one that cannot be expressed as the sum of the divisors of any integer

    Wikipedia says “proper divisors” instead, and defines “proper divisor” as “A positive divisor of n which is different from n is called a proper divisor (or aliquot part) of n“, but that still doesn’t work. Surely 2 and 3 are proper divisors of 6, and surely 5 is their sum? Then why is 5 an untouchable number?

  136. #136 mcmillan
    November 29, 2008

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,…”

    Does this mean states can establish a theocracy?

    Under the original constitution, yes. In fact a lot of the states had officially recognized churches for quite a while after the constitution was ratified. However the 14th amendment is interpreted by just about everyone to make the same restrictions that the bill of rights put on congress apply to other levels of government as well.

  137. #137 bluescat48
    November 29, 2008

    One question? How many states have had terrorist attacks on them since 2006?

  138. #138 Owlmirror
    November 29, 2008

    So <span> is now legal, even if I apparently didn’t get the font-size part right…

    I’m afraid you misremembered. The <span> tag has always been legal, as has the “style” attribute within various tags (span, p, blockquote). It is the “class” attribute that is, counterintuitively, stripped out.

  139. #139 thalarctos
    November 29, 2008

    Surely 2 and 3 are proper divisors of 6, and surely 5 is their sum? Then why is 5 an untouchable number?

    Perhaps because it is off by one? If 1, 2, and 3 are the proper divisors of 6, then it’s one of those numbers whose sums of its proper divisors is itself–forgotten the term, though. And 5 is then one less than the sum of the proper divisors of 6.

    Where’s Zeno? He’ll know for sure.

  140. #140 Owlmirror
    November 29, 2008

    God helps those who help themselves.

    Amusingly enough, this is not from the bible at all, but from a collection of pagan stories by a pagan who lived in pagan times and was originally about the pagan gods (in the specific tale it comes from, Herakles (who was really more of a heroic demigod, although I see that, like most things relating to religion, this idea was argued over)).

    I am not surprised that the moral was eventually absorbed into Christianity, though. Those Christians who genuinely believed that God could and would do anything, and did in fact do everything, and they themselves could be perfectly passive in accepting God’s will… tended to die out.

  141. #141 thalarctos
    November 29, 2008

    Perhaps because it is off by one? If 1, 2, and 3 are the proper divisors of 6, then it’s one of those numbers whose sums of its proper divisors is itself

    Feh. Clearly the tryptophans and booze penumbra is interfering with clear writing.

    “it” in the first sentence = 5, while “it” in the second sentence = 6.

  142. #142 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    Surely 2 and 3 are proper divisors of 6, and surely 5 is their sum? Then why is 5 an untouchable number?

    Because 1 is a always a proper divisor.

  143. #143 blf
    November 29, 2008

    In addition to the arson attacks, some people have admitted to threatening to bomb an abortion clinic. From The New York Times:

    [I]n April [1995], a woman pleaded guilty to threatening to bomb an abortion clinic in Kentucky.

  144. #144 Rey Fox
    November 29, 2008

    “then it’s one of those numbers whose sums of its proper divisors is itself–forgotten the term, though.”

    Perfect number.

  145. #145 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    Ok of course, “proper divisor” (divisors except the number itself), but it’s not necessary to mention it, by definition it’s obvious that no number would be untouchable if it were the divisors including the number itself. You would then have n=n+1+x where x≥0

  146. #146 blf
    November 29, 2008

    Deacon Barry @ 125:

    Autumn (#76) there is no UK football team. There are the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish teams …

    In context, I suspect Autumn was refering to the Univ. of Kentucky gridiron team. And any reason you omitted Northern Ireland’s soccer team? (I trust you are aware (the Republic of )Ireland isn’t part of either UK?)

  147. #147 negentropyeater
    November 29, 2008

    Does anybody know of an interesting place on the web which discusses the possible reasons why the declaration of independence is a theist document (or generic religionist), whereas the constitution is a secular document ?

    Did Pharyngula cover this before ?

  148. #148 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 29, 2008

    Because 1 is a always a proper divisor.

    Oh, so the definition should read “the sum of all proper divisors of another integer”? That makes sense.

  149. #149 Wowbagger
    November 29, 2008

    Oh, so the definition should read “the sum of all proper divisors of another integer”? That makes sense.

    I, for one, welcome our new math nerd overlords.

  150. #150 abb3w
    November 29, 2008

    Much like how elephants hide in cherry trees by painting their toenails red.

  151. #151 thalarctos
    November 29, 2008

    Perfect number–yes, that’s it; thank you, Rey.

  152. #152 Edwin Hensley
    November 30, 2008

    American Atheists Suing KY
    The American Atheists are suing KY over this law. I will be one of several plaintiffs in this lawsuit. The leader of KY Atheists believes we have a great chance of winning.

  153. #153 bezoar
    November 30, 2008

    Ok, hold on a minute! I live in KY. Let me expound on the things we have going for us. We have the highest edentulous population in the country; we have the creation museum; we have KERA (KY education reform act) that teaches spelling by phonetics and guess what, we contine to spell that way into adulthood; we started the Oxycontin “epidemic”; We wear our stoopidity on our sleeves as a point of pride; So, I don’t want to hear any more critics waxing on about our fair state. Geez, I’m tired of defending our dumbass motherfuckers–Whew, I have a headache.

  154. #154 SteveM
    November 30, 2008

    [Jefferson] wrote the DoI in terms which the majority of the time would have to agree with and it’s hard to interpret his writing as a purely “sit back and watch deist God”, notably the last sentence :

    Jefferson did not invoke the “Supreme Judge”, it was added by Congress.

    http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/congress.htm

    Any additions made by Congress appear «this way»
    We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in General Congress Assembled, «appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions,» …And for the support of this declaration, «with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence,» we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, & our sacred Honor.

  155. #155 William Miller
    December 1, 2008

    The thing is, Kentucky *won’t* have terrorist attacks. What’s the target? The Appalachian region is also free of volcanoes, at a low risk of hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and destructive blizzards.

    So if any state – heck, any part of Earth- can claim this sort of thing with a minimal chance of being proven wrong, it’s Kentucky.

    (I wonder if 50 years from now, without any terrorism there, dominionists will be pointing to this as “a success for Godly government” or whatever the code words they use are.)

  156. #156 Pip
    December 2, 2008

    I think it’s a bit sad how everyone is linking to this without, well, actually citing the law correctly. If you want it straight from the horse’s mouth, you want:

    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/039g00/010.pdf

    and

    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/039a00/285.pdf

    Interestingly, I think this actually endorses fasting as a way to improve national security. Who’s up for an RCT?

  157. #157 Nerd of Redhead
    December 2, 2008

    Law suit filed.

  158. #158 hery
    January 25, 2010

    All I can come up with is fried chicken, a horse race that you people mispronounce