Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Less than equal

Although South Carolina has more than two hundred other specialty license plates, this one is unacceptable. When it comes to free speech, Christians [and presumably other faiths] have fewer rights than the advocates of any number of organizations and causes including the Secular Humanists of the Low Country, Choose Life, NASCAR, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and licenses declaring "In God We Trust" and "Support Our Troops." From TheState.com:
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that South Carolina can't issue license plates showing the image of a cross in front of a stained glass window along with the phrase "I Believe."

U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie's ruling said the license plate was unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment ban on establishment of religion by government.
Needless to say, Americans United was the organization that filed the suit and the Baptist Joint Committee [with which Seventh Day Baptists are affiliated] applauded the decision.
The BJC and others have been quick to point out that the "I Believe" plates are different from other specialty plates. These plates were the product of a special initiative of the South Carolina legislature rather than through the normal Department of Motor Vehicles approval process based on a private application by a private organization.
Any bets on what position the BJC and Americans United will take on a private application? Won't approval by South Carolina's DMV constitute an "establishment of religion" in their peculiar interpretation of religious freedom?

Federal judge nixes SC license tag with cross - Breaking News - TheState.com