I Believe! I Believe!

I believe this is a violation of the First Amendment!!!!


South Carolina is always trying to enhance its reputation as a conservative crazy backwater that does things like elect Joe Wilsons to the congress and flies the Rebel Flag over its state house and stuff. Recently, the state legislature approved a version of a license plate for the state with a big-ole cross on it and the phrase “I Believe” written on it.

District Judge Cameron Currie said that the plate violated the First Amendment, which enshrines the separation of church and state.

A similar bid by a group in Florida last year did not pass state lawmakers.

The governor has made the claim that since there are over 120 different plates already available, this could not constitute a church-state separation issue. The Federal Judge totally pwned the gov in a Pot Meet Kettle kinda way:

“Whether motivated by sincerely-held Christian beliefs or an effort to purchase political capital with religious coin, the result is the same.

“The statute is clearly unconstitutional and defence of its implementation has embroiled the state in unnecessary (and expensive) litigation.”

Ha!

Source: BBC
Hat tip: Virgil Samms

Comments

  1. #1 NewEnglandBob
    November 10, 2009

    That Currie was too hot for the Governor, I guess.

  2. #2 tl
    November 10, 2009

    I think these plates are silly; in my state you can get a Jimmy buffet parrothead plate! In South Carolina you can get plates for the Freemasons, several sororities and fraternities, and yes, even a Parrothead plate. (Heck, they already have an “In God We Trust” plate) It looks like the only reason this doesn’t pass muster is because it was sponsored by the governor, instead of by some other group. So, expect some group to petition the state for a similar plate. What I’m waiting for is the athiest group to petition for the “I don’t believe” license plate.

  3. #3 José
    November 10, 2009

    How exactly does a license plate meant to ward off tailgating vampires violate the first amendment?

  4. #4 a lurker
    November 10, 2009

    I suppose they would not allow someone to subvert it would they? For example “I believe” tag with “Its not butter” or “in no God” as the license plate number.

  5. #5 mxh
    November 10, 2009

    I suppose they would not allow someone to subvert it would they? For example “I believe” tag with “Its not butter” or “in no God” as the license plate number.

    You’d better believe (!) they’d come up with a reason why doing that is inappropriate (if they don’t arrest you first).

  6. #6 JThompson
    November 10, 2009

    @a lurker: No, trying to cover up or alter any part of a plate will get you in trouble. Trust me on this one, we had a bunch of people in Alabama that got in some trouble over putting tape or whatever over the stupid slogan on our tag.

    Somehow the “But they have other choices!” nonsense worked for the jerkoffs in our state.

  7. #7 Joshua Zelinsky
    November 11, 2009

    This seems unconstitutional. If one was willing to make any design that a certain number of people signed off one then this sort of thing might be ok. Even then, it would be pushing it. But as implemented this is clearly a no go.

    I really don’t understand the need to push one’s religion at every opportunity. It is almost like they are compensating for something.

  8. #8 Treppenwitz
    November 11, 2009

    I’ll have you know that the confederate flag is no longer on top of the state house! It was moved to the front of the state house, which was apparently seen as some kind of compromise despite actually being more prominent at street level.

    What I’m waiting for is the athiest group to petition for the “I don’t believe” license plate.

    The closest thing I’m aware of is a snazzy “in reason we trust” plate courtesy of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry.

  9. #9 MadScientist
    November 11, 2009

    Is the cross aflame and are there hooded figures next to it?

  10. #10 MikeMa
    November 11, 2009

    Once again it would seem that the Gov’s god is too small and weak and therefore needs this kind of exposure. Without it, no one will worship at all I’m sure.

  11. #11 momkat
    November 11, 2009

    Looks like idols for worship to me. And making a show of piety in public. The list is goes on.

  12. #12 John McKay
    November 11, 2009

    If atheists go for an “I don’t believe” plate, then agnostics should go for an “I’m just not sure” plate. The possibilities are endless.

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