Monday, July 7, 2008

License to Pray

South Carolina is on the verge of issuing Christian license plates. The plates would have a big yellow cross and the words "I Believe" on it. The state legislature passed the authorizing legislation unanimously, and the governor allowed it to become law without his signature.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a multi-religious group currently led by a mainline Protestant reverend, opposes the plates as unconstitutionally promoting Christianity over other religious and over non-religion. License plates with other religious symbols can be requested, for a $4,000 fee, but cannot have any text and face other restrictions that the "I Believe" plates would not.

Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, one of the leading supporters of issuing the plates, has said that issuing them is a free speech issue for Christians. Bauer went on to say that opposing the plates is equivalent to being prejudiced against Christians.

To stop the program, a Federal court will have to step in. I hope for the love of all that is holy (or unholy, I do not want to discriminate on religious grounds), that the court smacks the South Carolina legislature and Lt. Governor Bauer across the back of their collective head and screams (with more appropriate legal jargon) "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!?!?!"

As for me, I just have one question for the ardent Christians of South Carolina. When did religious bumper stickers go out of style?