Board OKs Christian-Themed License Plate

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The Texas Freedom Network just sent out the following press release:

STATE APPROVAL OF CHRISTIAN-THEMED LICENSE PLATE DISRESPECTFUL OF CHRISTIANITY, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

DMV Board Vote Diminishes Religious Liberty in Texas

Thursday’s approval by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board of a Christian-themed specialty license plate is disrespectful of Christianity and the religious freedom of people of all faiths, spokespersons for the state’s leading religious liberties watchdog said today.

“It’s become pretty clear that our governor is dismissive of religious beliefs other than his own, and now his governmental appointees have voted to send a message that Texas is unwelcoming to the religious faiths of some of its citizens,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said. “The truth is that giving government the power to play favorites with faith ultimately diminishes religious freedom for everyone.”

The DMV board approved the “Calvary Hill” specialty license plate design on a 4-3 vote. Proceeds from the government-approved design, which includes the words “One State Under God” and three crosses on a hill, will benefit a Christian youth outreach program. Christians themselves should be concerned by the board’s approval of the license plate design, said the Rev. Dr. Larry Bethune, a TFN board member and pastor of University Baptist Church in Austin.

“I’m disappointed to see the state endorse a particular faith, even if it’s mine, and to see Christians trivialize our faith into slogans and symbols on the back of a bumper,” Bethune said.

The design’s approval by board members appointed by Gov Perry is just the latest disappointment in a challenging year for supporters of religious liberty, Miller said. In August, for example, Gov. Perry hosted a Christians-only prayer event in Houston organized by an anti-gay hate group. The governor has also made appeals specifically to Christians a central strategy of his presidential campaign. Just yesterday, for example, a new Perry campaign ad cited the governor’s Christian faith and charged that President Obama is engaged in a “war on religion” and that liberals are engaged in “attacks on our religious heritage.” The ad suggests that policies promoted by the Obama administration, particularly ending the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy against gays in the military, are anti-Christian.

20 Responses to “Board OKs Christian-Themed License Plate”

  1. Ben Says:

    Now they’ll have to okay a Flying Spaghetti Monster plate, too. I want one of those.

  2. Marsisi Says:

    State fundraising project for one sect — the Christian sect. What about other religious sects? Buddhists? Muslims? Hindus?

    How about a license plate for atheists and agnostics? The proceeds could go toward a 20-foot statue of Madalyn Murray O’Hair installed on the Capitol lawn. Wouldn’t that be fun!

  3. JamesBreck Says:

    Hmm. South Carolina tried to do this a year or so ago and backed off when informed they were in violation of the Constitution and would be sued. But I don’t know whether that was a specialty plate. It would stand to reason, however, that if a Christian plate is offered then those that practice other religions shoud have an opportunity to purchase a plate celebrating their religion too. Please send me the plate featuring the smiling L. Ron Hubbard.

    In his new book “The Jefferson Lies” David Barton claims that US law is based on English Common Law and English Common Law is based on the Bible, ergo US Law is based on the Bible. However, as Jefferson himself pointed out in 1813, US law is based on English Common Law, but the roots of English Common Law pre-date the arrival of Christianity by some 173 years. Not that truth matters to Barton fans, those who have no interest in accurate history. I’m sure the book will find its way into the Liberty University curriculum sometime soon.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I, too, want an FSM plate, if only to irritate the Religious Reich.

    This is an incredibly bad idea, even if it raises funds for a good cause. But why was that particular cause chosen? Did someone on the DMV Board have a connection to that cause? (Inquiring minds want to know.) Are we staring down the barrel of a license plate for each faith, each denomination? That would be another asinine idea.

    Sometimes I wish Perry would get elected President just to get him out of Texas. Then I wake up.

  5. jtlapp Says:

    I’m not sure why this is unconstitutional in itself. Seems like it would only be unconstitutional if, after issuing this plate, the state refused to issue a plate for any other religious group (or atheist group) that requested it. Issuing the plate certainly puts them in tricky territory, since they could be opening floodgates for religious plates.

    However, it is unfortunate that most religious minorities would probably refuse to display their religion on their plates for fear of attacks from the righteously religious majority. Imagine having a Muslim plate or an atheist plate in Texas! That’s an invitation for verbal abuse and maybe a keying from so-called “Christians.”

  6. blaakwater Says:

    I am quoting a friend of mine who said it better than I could: “Dear State of Texas DMV Board: When will specialty license plates celebrating Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and other faiths (as well as atheism) of the citizens of Texas be available for purchase?”

    Indeed, what she said.

  7. JamesBreck Says:

    Upon further review South Carolina did not back down over the license plate issue but rather went to court and lost back in 2009:

    The full article is here: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/29/2964.asp

  8. Jeff Says:

    Kudos to Rev Bethune for speaking up!

  9. Mark Coomes Says:

    I would like a Unitarian Universalist chalice image on my license plate. I would like the money generated from the sales of UU plates to go to Friends of the UUA, http://uua.org/giving/friends/index.shtml, a Boston, MA based organization. How can I make this happen?

  10. JamesBreck Says:

    Mr. John Cook:

    In his ruling in the South Carolina religious license plate case the judge told the state that our founders had a clear understanding that mixing government and religion tends to destroy government.

    That is exactly what James Madison concluded in 1774. If you would like to continue our conversation about Madison, who I believe was the most brilliant of our founding fathers, please let me know.

  11. Chuck Dunning Says:

    I want a Star and Crescent license plate that says “One State Under Allah.” Or maybe a Pentagram plate that says “One State Under the Goddess.” Ooo, how about a Question Mark plate that says “One State Under…?”

  12. David Says:

    I want a license plate that doesn’t include “Arabic numerals”. The use of arabic numerals is obviously part of the plot to institute sharia law in this country.

    Slightly off topic: I’m really p/o-ed at the “War on Christmas” demagogues, because they’re destroying the fun of Christmas in their effort at vile political manipulation. They’re the ones ruining Christmas.

  13. Marion Rosenwald Says:

    If one can have religious license plates in this free country, it obviously includes all citizens. Where can I go
    that features “Chanukkah”.?

  14. Marion Rosenwald Says:

    Obviously, mine is not the only religion being ignored..if we counted the various other faiths,we would find a large
    percentage of Texans being denied equal rights.

  15. David Says:

    My Zen orientation would prefer: “One state that is not a state”.

  16. Chrissy Says:

    WOW!! First of all, why is everyone freaking out!! U don’t like it don’t buy it!! Jesus didn’t die for us to have a religion. Geezzzzz!!! No wonder so many fires, earth quakes, floods etc. r happening every where. U all r pissing GOD off!!! And I’m buying the plate!!!

  17. Hartmut Says:

    Cthulhu Fhtagn! for my front plate and One Ring to Rule Them All for the back plate, please.

  18. Edd Doerr Says:

    Why can’t folks who want to advertize their religion on their cars just use bumperstickers instead of dragging government into the matter? Don’t they know what Ben Franklin wrote about religions who call for the help of the “civil power” rather than on God or their own initiative? — Edd Doerr, arlinc.org

  19. David Says:

    Chrissy. I’d appreciate it if you and Gov. Perry and all the other Bible thumpers would shut up long enough to crack the book open and read Matthew 6.

  20. David Baccus Says:

    I’m not sure what is happening in this country. This argument would have NEVER happened 20 years ago!
    Interesting thought!

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