License to Plate: Play by the rules?

In God We Trust license plate
I’ve not been a fan of the newer “In God We Trust” Indiana license plates for a few reasons, but the one that bothers me the most is that Indiana drivers don’t have to pay extra for the special plate.

That should bother any tax payer, yes?

I can see how some of my Christian friends would want to get one of these faith-based plates, or as The Christian Post puts it:

Indiana’s newest faith-friendly license plates are doing well in purchases, allowing thousands of state drivers to express their relationship with God.

So a lawsuit was filed yesterday (and it made its way through the AP wire via Indy Star) that the ACLU finds the license plates “unconstitutional.”

And, I have to agree with them on this one.

The man who filed the suit has a point:

“I’m into the environment. I wanted to make a statement,” Studler said. “And for them to just come out and put out a free plate that’s a special plate” seems unfair.

I have difficulty, though, with the logic of the religious view (offered up by Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute)

“We mention God in the Declaration of Independence and in many of our founding documents, and so I think it’s very appropriate and legitimate to encourage the dissemination of this phrase.”

But that’s not what the original intent of the plate was:

Rep. Woody Burton, R-Greenwood, led the effort in 2006 that created the plate. He has said that judges are chipping away at the Judeo-Christian foundation of America, and he backed the plate to give like-minded residents the chance to show their concern.

I think I know where this is headed (even though there are now over a “half-million” of the plates sold in a 5-month period). I expect a lot from the folks on the right in this “conversation” but I have a feeling that they will cry “foul” or play the “historical” argument as Smith does. What is more unfortunate is that my conservative Christian friends won’t play fair because they feel that their beliefs trumps all things. God, believers, the country–are not being persecuted on this issue. This issue is about not giving special privileges to people because of their beliefs (be it God or the environment or Riley’s Hospital or Indiana University or Grace College or the World Champion Colts).

And I know it’s cliche, but I think the spirit of the phrase is true: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Go pay the $20 fee and play nice with others.

Now, let’s work on the mandatory pledge and moment of silence in Indiana schools.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Belief, Culture, education

One Comment on “License to Plate: Play by the rules?”

  1. Robin Says:

    Just read this after flipping through your website.

    The only right word to say here is “amen,” although that seems highly ironic…

    Thank you for putting putting words to an issue I have trouble expressing without offending.


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