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Author Topic:   A Year in Jail for Not Believing in God?
Bliyaal
Member (Idle past 651 days)
Posts: 171
From: Quebec City, Qc, Canada
Joined: 02-17-2012


(1)
Message 1 of 9 (680938)
11-21-2012 6:02 PM


Probably nothing new for some of you but for a happy canadian like me... wow!?

quote:
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.

The law and its sponsor, state representative Tom Riner, have been the subject of controversy since the law first surfaced in 2006, yet the Kentucky state Supreme Court has refused to review its constitutionality, despite clearly violating the First Amendment’s separation of church and state.


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

The most surprising thing to me is that the courts refused to see it as unconstitutionnal.

Edited by Bliyaal, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Adminnemooseus, posted 11-21-2012 6:29 PM Bliyaal has not yet responded
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 Message 5 by subbie, posted 11-21-2012 7:06 PM Bliyaal has responded
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jar
Member
Posts: 31451
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 2 of 9 (680946)
11-21-2012 6:27 PM


Check your link.
Please check your link unless you are just spamming.

But that's Kentucky.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Bliyaal, posted 11-21-2012 7:32 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3896
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 3 of 9 (680947)
11-21-2012 6:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Bliyaal
11-21-2012 6:02 PM


Link needs fixing
Worthless as it currently is, unless it works better for others.

Adminnemooseus


Or something like that©.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Bliyaal, posted 11-21-2012 6:02 PM Bliyaal has not yet responded

    
Shield
Member (Idle past 1145 days)
Posts: 482
Joined: 01-29-2008


Message 4 of 9 (680953)
11-21-2012 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Bliyaal
11-21-2012 6:02 PM


Lawmaker in Kentucky Mixes Piety and Politics
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tom Riner looks for God everywhere, and in places he does not find him, he tries to put him there.
or more than 30 years, Mr. Riner’s singular devotion has been to inject God into the public arena. It has guided him as he preached the Bible in the countryside of Nicaragua and Jamaica. And it steers him as he proselytizes the formerly homeless and drug-addicted people who live with him at his ramshackle church in one of the poorest sections of this city.

But this unrelenting mission has also frequently taken Mr. Riner and the Kentucky legislature, where he has been a Democratic representative for 26 years, across the constitutional barrier between church and state.
In December, an atheist organization and a group of state residents sued Kentucky over Mr. Riner’s most recent incursion: a 2006 law he sponsored requiring that the state’s homeland security office post a plaque recognizing God’s role in keeping the country safe.

“The church-state divide is not a line I see,” Mr. Riner, a Baptist minister, said of the lawsuit. “What I do see is an attempt to separate America from its history of perceiving itself as a nation under God.”

A mild-mannered man, Mr. Riner, 62, speaks in a near-whisper, clearing his throat with each sentence as though he would prefer to remain quiet. He declined a request to be filmed by a video crew because it would not be in keeping with scriptural teachings about humility, he said apologetically.

And yet, Mr. Riner’s intense and silent stares convey a focused will. His friends and adversaries recall the time in the 1970s when the musical “Hair” first came to this city, and Mr. Riner, upset by its nudity, quietly interrupted the show by climbing on stage, a Bible in hand.

“Tom is as pious as he is persistent,” said State Senator Kathy W. Stein, a Democrat from Lexington. “He’s also prone to legislative stunts that are embarrassing and expensive for this state.”

Since 2002, state and local officials have spent more than $160,000 in legal fees, having lost case after case to the American Civil Liberties Union for posting the Ten Commandments in public buildings, and they still owe $400,000 for a 2005 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that such displays should be removed.

Still, Mr. Riner soldiers on.

While many Kentuckians see the religious displays as an antidote to what they view as the growing immorality in society, Mr. Riner cites the displays as a bulwark against the drift by teachers and politicians away from the historical role that God played in the thinking of the nation’s forefathers.

“If we don’t affirm the right to recognize divine providence, then that right will disappear,” Mr. Riner said. “It’s part of our history. Whether we believe it personally or not, it’s what America is.”

In 2006, he had “In God We Trust” written in large letters above the daises in the Senate and House chambers. He wrote the new state motto in Latin expressing gratitude to “Almighty God” for the state’s civil, political and religious liberties.

Mr. Riner was also integral in passing a measure to erect a monument with the Ten Commandments in front of the State Capitol. And he sponsored the legislation that permitted the Ten Commandments to be displayed in other public buildings, as long as they appeared with other historical documents.

Mr. Riner’s law involving the homeland security office says that its initial duty should be “stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth.”

The plaque that the law required the office to post has an 88-word statement that begins: “The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.”

Gov. Steven Beshear, a Democrat, said he intended to keep the plaque in place and to follow the law.

Al Cross, the director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, said Mr. Riner’s measures rarely faced resistance in the legislature.

“Politicians are afraid of attack ads that will say they voted against God if they vote against measures like the ones that Riner puts up,” Mr. Cross said.

He added that voters regarded Mr. Riner as a stickler for ethics, having sponsored bills for more disclosure by public officials.

“That rankles some of his colleagues,” Mr. Cross said. “But those who know him well have no doubt about his sincerity.”

Indeed, his sincerity is hard to miss.

Walking the grand marble halls of the Capitol in Frankfort, Mr. Riner takes the back stairs to avoid the lobbyists lingering near the elevators.

When he travels for work, he stays with missionaries or friends, rather than in a hotel with other state lawmakers.

At home, Mr. Riner seems more at ease tending to his other flock: a motley crew of the formerly destitute who live in Christ Is King Baptist Church, where he is the pastor.

“You can relapse into drugs or fall down on your luck,” he said standing alongside a former crack addict named Mike, who sleeps on a mattress in the church basement. “But the only rule we have to staying here is never lie.”

Each morning at 7:15, Mr. Riner hosts prayer meetings for whoever wanders by. A space heater warms the tiny church. The back alley is stacked with scrap metal that he collects to trade for money for poor neighbors.

“The Riners are really an example of what one family can do in pursuit of their calling,” said David Edmunds, a policy analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky, a conservative Christian advocacy group.

When Mr. Riner’s wife, Claudia, was a state representative, she sponsored a bill in 1978 requiring that classrooms display a copy of the Ten Commandments. In 1980, the United States Supreme Court ruled the bill unconstitutional.

In 2005, when Mr. Riner’s son Noah was the student body president at Dartmouth, he was criticized by the student newspaper for “preaching his faith from a commandeered pulpit,” after using a welcome speech to incoming freshmen to talk about Jesus.

But for all their devotion, the Riners miss a basic point, said Ms. Stein, the State Assembly’s only Jewish member. “Just because the nation’s forefathers held certain views about God,” she said, “does not mean that all of those views fit today’s more diverse context.”

Stopping the family pickup truck in front of the City View Park housing projects on Louisville’s West End, part of her husband’s district, Ms. Riner stepped out and pointed to several houses that had the Ten Commandments on wooden signs posted in their front yards.

“Christian values are part of this country’s history,” she said. “Without God, this society would be anchorless.”

As she spoke, the sign behind her read Muhammad Ali Boulevard.


https://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/us/04louisville.html?_r=1&

The article that started that rumour.

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.

No, there are no such law. The law simply required that homeland security office post a plaque recognizing God’s role in keeping the country safe.

That may be a stupid law, but it did not require any one going to prison for not believing in god, nor refusing to mount that silly plaque...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Bliyaal, posted 11-21-2012 6:02 PM Bliyaal has not yet responded

    
subbie
Member (Idle past 26 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 5 of 9 (680968)
11-21-2012 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Bliyaal
11-21-2012 6:02 PM


The law the alternet article refers to requires the executive director of the state's Office of Homeland Security to

Publicize the findings of the General Assembly stressing the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth by
including the provisions of KRS 39A.285(3) in its agency training and educational materials. The executive director shall also be responsible for
prominently displaying a permanent plaque at the entrance to the state's Emergency Operations Center stating the text of KRS 39A.285(3);

KRS 39A.285(3) states:

39A.285 Legislative findings.
The General Assembly hereby finds that:
(1) No government by itself can guarantee perfect security from acts of war or terrorism.
(2) The security and well-being of the public depend not just on government, but rest in
large measure upon individual citizens of the Commonwealth and their level of understanding, preparation, and vigilance.
(3) The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God as set forth in the public speeches and proclamations of American Presidents, including Abraham Lincoln's historic March 30, 1863, Presidential Proclamation urging Americans to pray and fast during one of the most dangerous hours in American history, and the text of President John F. Kennedy's November 22, 1963, national security speech which concluded: "For as was written long ago: 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.' "

Nothing in that law provides for any penalty if the executive director refuses to comply and nothing in the law requires anyone else to do anything at all. I have no idea where the alternet author got her understanding of the law.

If there's another law relating to this issue, I haven't found it yet.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Bliyaal, posted 11-21-2012 6:02 PM Bliyaal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Bliyaal, posted 11-21-2012 7:40 PM subbie has responded

  
Bliyaal
Member (Idle past 651 days)
Posts: 171
From: Quebec City, Qc, Canada
Joined: 02-17-2012


Message 6 of 9 (680976)
11-21-2012 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by jar
11-21-2012 6:27 PM


Re: Check your link.
Wow sorry, I don't know what happened with the link! No, not spamming, probably a real bad cut and paste!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by jar, posted 11-21-2012 6:27 PM jar has acknowledged this reply

  
Bliyaal
Member (Idle past 651 days)
Posts: 171
From: Quebec City, Qc, Canada
Joined: 02-17-2012


Message 7 of 9 (680979)
11-21-2012 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by subbie
11-21-2012 7:06 PM


If that's all, so much for the credibility of that "award-winning news magazine" (from their about page)!

I don't know what to think of that. From what I read in the previously mentionned page, they show a clear bias to the left wing. Maybe someone wanted to take a stab at the religious right.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5586
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 8 of 9 (680984)
11-21-2012 7:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Bliyaal
11-21-2012 6:02 PM


I would expect courts to mostly avoid dealing with this unless
  • somebody is actually sentenced to prison; or
  • a plaque is mounted and that plaque is challenged in court.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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subbie
Member (Idle past 26 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 9 of 9 (680986)
11-21-2012 7:56 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Bliyaal
11-21-2012 7:40 PM


Perhaps this is where the AlterNet article author got her information about a year in jail

The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled that the statute is constitutional, but there was a dissenting opinion. Senior Judge Shake wrote:

More troublesome though, is that the statutes are located within a chapter of the Kentucky Revised Statutes which further states “any person violating any provision of this chapter or any administrative regulation or order promulgated pursuant to this chapter for which another penalty is not specified shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.” KRS 39A.990. Therefore, failure to abide by the challenged statutes is a crime punishable by up to twelve months in the county jail.

Now, the fact that is it punishable by up to one year in jail does not mean that anyone violating the statute would in fact actually serve a year in jail. In fact, for a first offense, it is quite unlikely that they would get a year. But that potential is there.

However, this doesn't change the fact that the only person to whom the statute applies in the director of the Office of Homeland Security. Nobody else is in danger of prosecution under this statute.

{AbE}

Oh, and the director wouldn't go to jail for not believing, but for not putting the plaque up, in the extraordinarily unlikely event of charges being brought and a conviction being obtained. And by extraordinarily unlikely, I mean no fucking way.

Edited by subbie, : As noted


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Bliyaal, posted 11-21-2012 7:40 PM Bliyaal has not yet responded

  
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