I Believe in the Establishment Clause

Last week a federal judge ordered that South Carolina temporarily stop making the “I Believe” license plate. This obviously was the correct decision.  The state does not and cannot sponsor Christianity as this plate so boldly suggests, as it would be a government establishment of religion. I take it a step further and propose that absolutely no advertising belongs on any license plates for any state. No sports logos or political statements like “I Choose Life” or “Support Public Education.”  A license plate is designed to be a clear way for law enforcement officials to check the registration and legality of a vehicle.  It should not be obstructed or used as a billboard.  By the way, state Attorney General Henry McMaster believes the plate is completely constitutional and wants the DMV to appeal the decision.


5 Responses to “I Believe in the Establishment Clause”

  1. I recently heard a radio segment regarding this issue and I couldn’t help but take issue with the person they interviewed. They claimed that it was merely the “non-believers” trying to deny the “believers” their first amendment rights.
    First, the fact that I believe this person is an idiot proves that I do, in fact, believe in something. Don’t call me a non-believer simply because I don’t believe in your imaginary friend. Feel free to call me a non-follower, if you wish.
    Secondly, this isn’t an issue of free speech. I take no issue with people putting bumper stickers all over their cars, cramming their opinions down my throat on my daily commutes. I do, however, have a serious problem with people attempting to use a governmentally affiliated program as a soapbox to push their religious agendas.

  2. They claimed that it was merely the “non-believers” trying to deny the “believers” their first amendment rights.

    Wow!! These people have no idea what the constitution says and they have no idea what case law has established. I agree with you, I believe that person and anyone who supported this license plate are idiots. I’m glad the court saw it our way. This time.

  3. fellow non-follower! Says:

    i think the plate rocks!
    I think we also need an islamic plate, buddist plate, a shinto plate, a hindu plate…..after we finish with all the religions. Let’s start using the publics tax dollars to produce a plate for bush-haters, pro-war, pro-peace, pro-Obama, I mean the list goes on forever.
    What stupid idea!!!!!!!
    Get a grip public servants!
    Go back to school!

  4. I think if a person requested to have that said on their license plate, it should be allowed.

    But then as ‘fellow non-follower’ said, it could be a problem.
    I think we should be able to request a custom license plate for a price, but free customizations would create havok!

  5. @garrett

    The thing regarding license granting is the fact that there are two types: state plates and private plates. State plates a standardized group of plates sponsored by the government, meaning that they are required to follow the church state rule. Private plates cost about 10,000 dollars to register, plus the individual price of the plate. They can say pretty much anything they want, as the state doesn’t pay for them in any way shape or form and they cost more than state mandated plates.

    If the “I believe” plates were private, I’d have no problem with them, and in fact I would call anyone who tried to get rid of them a zealous moron. The problem is that they were in fact state plates, and were being paid for in part by ALL of the taxpayers in SC, which unquestionably crosses the church-state separation boundary. SCatheist shouldn’t be forced to help pay for these plates any more than any christian should have to pay taxes that help fund the building of a monument by a local satanist group.

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