Pharyngula

Now Phil is trying to kill me—he sent me this link with a knowing smirk, plainly telling me that he knew it would raise my blood pressure. People, think this stuff through: if I were found dead in my chair, one clawlike hand clutching my chest, my face in a rictus of agony, and there on the computer screen in front of me was an email chortling over giving me apoplexy, the police would come calling, and they wouldn’t be cheerful. My family, amoral godless atheists all, would probably put out a hit on you via the Infidel Mafia. Be more careful!

As you can tell, though, I survived this episode. Basically, it’s a small, studied insult, just one more piled up on many: in Alabama, getting a license plate with “God Bless America” stamped into it has no extra cost, but various specialty plates (such as those for some veterans) will require a few bucks extra.

It’s stupid, but I can’t respond with much more than a resigned sigh. For one thing, it’s Alabama (sorry, Blue Gal, but if I got upset every time Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas, etc., insulted my intelligence and that of every sensible person north and south of the Mason-Dixon line, I’d be exhausted); secondly, looking at the standard plate choices, I see it as similar to the choice between an ordinary plate, and a disability plate. People who pick the “God Bless America” plate are merely notifying other drivers that their car is being piloted by someone with a different kind of disability.

Poor things. Maybe they could be privileged with special spots in their church parking lots, too.

Comments

  1. #1 Jeff
    November 29, 2006

    Just when you think that the South couldn’t get any stupider.

  2. #2 PZ Myers
    November 29, 2006

    I never, ever thought that.

  3. #3 Coragyps
    November 29, 2006

    Special spots in the church parking lot….yeah. I’ve often thought that some folks, several that I can think of being Religious Rethuglicans, could be issued license plates telling everyone that they are Morally Handicapped. Then they could park anywhere they wished with no fear of a ticket or a tow.

  4. #4 Daedalus
    November 29, 2006

    I’m from Alabama. It would be nice if we could counter things like this, but how are we supposed to do so with people like Francis Collins, Stephen J. Gould, and Ken Miller running around denying there is any conflict between science and religion?

  5. #5 Diego
    November 29, 2006

    But why would they choose a silly flag whan they could get “Stars Fell On Alabama”? I always hum that song whenever I see the standard ‘bama plate. Few other states have plates which are so hummable.

    “Moonlight and magnolias, starlight in your hair. . .”

  6. #6 Phil Plait
    November 30, 2006

    Damn! And I was so close. Then *I* would be the king science blogger, and I could mock squid and octopi and cephalopods at my leisure! BWAHAHAHAHahahahaha.

    Damn.

  7. #7 bernarda
    November 30, 2006

    You scoff-gods don’t have a clue. Let Stephen Colbert set you straight on god and Amerika at Wikiality.

    http://www.wikiality.com/Bible

  8. #8 Blue Gal
    November 30, 2006

    Oh honey, if I got upset every time Alabama alone went Jesus silly I would no longer be blogging. The best revenge is to use it as a foil, as we both do. Thanks for the link and keep on keeping on…

  9. #9 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    November 30, 2006

    Just when you think that the South couldn’t get any stupider.

    Just when I though rash generalizations were something that rational thinking people didn’t use.

    We in South Carolina have this choice at least.

  10. #10 Will
    November 30, 2006

    I was just going to post about the reason plates in SC, BigDumbChimp. I wish I lived in the lowcountry.

  11. #11 Occam's Electric Razor
    November 30, 2006

    Yes, it’s the same here in Indiana…I am stuck subsidizing the ignorant with my registration dollars.

  12. #12 Baratos
    November 30, 2006

    We should all be thankful that Alabama is sucking up most of the stupid in the world. We really should put some kind of biohazard warning on its borders. No reason for innocent bystanders to catch stupid by accident.

  13. #13 Baratos
    November 30, 2006

    We should all be thankful that Alabama is sucking up most of the stupid in the world. We really should put some kind of biohazard warning on its borders. No reason for innocent bystanders to catch stupid by accident.

  14. #14 Southern Fried Skeptic
    November 30, 2006

    There are scattered enclaves of rational thought around the Georgia-Alabama area. I think my state, Georgia, is just as balls-to-the-right crazy as Alabama, but at times they try to exercise slightly more discretion since they don’t want to frighten the rest of the world away from our own little international hub, Atlanta. When our secretary of education wanted to stop using the word “evolution” but still teach the concept, the large corporate influence here reigned her back in quickly.

    And Phil, your blog is great. I know yours did not get mentioned in a Richard Dawkins best-selling novel, but hey P.Z. didn’t get to hang with Derek and Swoopy at Dragon*Con.
    You have your niche and it should be steady unless P.Z. starts being the guest in more podcasts. Then you may have to get serious and send him links daily.

  15. #15 Phil Plait
    November 30, 2006

    I don’t want to pander too much. It’s a tough balance.

  16. #16 Gerard Harbison
    November 30, 2006

    It would be nice if we could counter things like this, but how are we supposed to do so with people like Francis Collins, Stephen J. Gould, and Ken Miller running around denying there is any conflict between science and religion?

    Steve ain’t doing too much running these days.

    (Enter fundie mode) …except from those demons torturing him with hot irons for all eternity! BWAHAHAHA! Repent, while’s there’s still time, you atheists! (end fundie mode)

  17. #17 dr. dave
    November 30, 2006

    The discount makes sense, since they won’t be needing their registered vehicles after the Rapture anyway.

  18. #18 Keith Douglas
    December 2, 2006

    Stars fell on Alabama? That explains a few things …

    And here we only get (I translate from the French): “I remember …”