A Blog of Reason From a Godless Liberal

UPDATE: Religious License Plates Ruled Unconstitutional

In church/state, Culture Wars, editorial, religion, updates on November 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Story from The Associated Press

Remember when Florida and South Carolina decided that Christian themed license plates were a good idea? After all, what is a better medium to announce your beliefs (as long as they are Christian) than a license plate? Luckily, the plates were held up with an injunction earlier this year after several secular groups sued.

Well, the matter finally had its day in court, with great results. Not only did U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie say that plates where unconstitutional, in her ruling the judge blasted the defense.

… [To] gain legislative approval of a specialty plate promoting the majority religion: Christianity. 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 defense of its implementation has embroiled the state in unnecessary (and expensive) litigation.

Judge Currie got it exactly right. This is another blatant attempt by politicians (and the state) to cash in on the peoples’ religion, and for some, to proselytize. Sure, religious establishments make money hand over fist exploiting their flock, but the state has no business or legal right to do the same.

Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, who endorsed the evolution denying Mike Huckabee for President, was the driving force behind the plates. He, like all theists, predictably tried to play the victim. Blaming liberals for his judicial defeat, the idiot Bauer coughed up this gem:

“I don’t expect anything different from a liberal judge who was appointed by Bill Clinton, if she wants to single me out, so be it.”

Adding:

“[The ruling] once again shows how liberal judges are not just interpreting the law but making legislation.”

This quote raises some obvious questions: How stupid can one be and still be Lt. Governor of South Carolina? How ignorant can one be of U.S. history and law and still get elected (See: Sarah Palin)? I mean, Bauer has to have read the first amendment, right? Is he familiar with the idea of a legal precedence? Hell, does he know what precedence means? What is more, I fail to see how Judge Currie’s ruling is “just interpreting the law but making legislation”.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

That is pretty hard to misinterpret, don’t you think Mr. Bauer? Indeed, it’s very clear. Face it kooks, religion has had no place in state, and hasn’t since the founding. This is, and never has been a Christian nation.

Fundie groups are already planning to skirt the law.

Within hours, a private Christian group said the ruling doesn’t stand in the way of its “plan B” to get a similar plate issued using a state law that permits private groups to issue tags they design.

[…]

But the Palmetto Family Council will try to get the tags on the cars faster. The council registered “I Believe” as a group’s name with the South Carolina Secretary of State in March as the license tag case simmered on Currie’s docket.

“This is day one for that process,” said Oran Smith, the council’s president. “If we meet all the requirements, which I hope we would as an organization, we would certainly want to move forward very quickly with our own ‘I Believe’ tag.”

And the Culture War continues.

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  1. I am not sure I understand their “Plan B” — it sounds as unobjectionable as bumper stickers, unless it gives off the impression the government did indeed indorse the plates, even though they technically didn’t.

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