Judge orders S.C. to stop making 'I Believe' license plates

A federal judge on Thursday temporarily stopped the state from making and issuing “I Believe” religious license plates, granting a request from a group that had argued the plates showed an unconstitutional preference for Christianity.
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U.S. District Court Judge Cameron McGowan Currie issued the preliminary injuction after finding that the statute creating the plate violated the constitutional establishment clause forbidding government from establishing a religion.

The license plate, approved by the Legislature, contains a stained glass emblem with a cross on it and the words “I Believe” on top. No plates have been distributed, though hundreds have been ordered.

Currie ordered that the state cease any production of the plates, stop taking any orders for them and provide for an alternative plate for those who have already paid for the plates until the lawsuit is decided.

greenvilleonline.com/article/20081212/NEWS/312120001/1001/NEWS01

I’m not sure the government should be manufacturing plates with religious symbols on them. How about just “I Believe” without the cross?

Born 1948 in Florence, SC

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U. S. District Court, District of South Carolina
**Nominated by William J. Clinton **on January 27, 1994, to a seat vacated by Falcon B. Hawkins; Confirmed by the Senate on March 10, 1994, and received commission on March 11, 1994.

A 60 year old, “free speech” advocate. Yeah. Right.

And all this from the usual suspects:

Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

You pay taxes. You pay for the plate.

You can’t have this:

http://www.ltgov.sc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/0699C4A4-7280-43C5-BBDA-9F431B612DC8/0/IBelievePlate.JPG

But you can have this:

http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/plates/plate1.jpg

scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/plategallery.aspx?q=all

From the website of the: Low country Secular Humaist Club of SC:

“These plates are an alternative to the existing “In God We Trust” plates that are already available in South Carolinia for those who feel that “In Reason We Trust” better describes their situation.”

AND

"Why did we arrange for these tags?
In South Carolina, there are many people driving cars with license tags that say “In God We Trust”. However, those of us who do not believe in God, as well as some who do, think that drivers ought to be using reason while driving and not just trusting their safety to a supernatural being. For instance, a driver approaching a dangerous intersection and hearing a siren could use reason to conclude that it might be reasonable to slow down, or they could trust that God will protect them and drive on at top speed.
So, as a political statement that not all South Carolinian drivers believe in supernatural beings, to show support of the power of human reasoning (which, after all, allowed us to build cars and invent traffic lights in the first place), or just because you think it sounds cool, please consider ordering an IRWT plate for your own car! "

So this is an attack on Religious. No suprise there.

It’s nice to know that the government or SC endorses surfing, square dancing, secualr humanism, and for the Jimmy Buffet fans, there’s a Parrot Head plate, which was also enacted legislatively.

It’s nice to know that the government of SC legislatively endorses pot smoking and “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw”. But “I Believe”, whooa that’s just over the top.

Why not take your plates off and write your own message.

I see no problem with the religious license plates being made as long as they produce atheistic ones as well and don’t try to promote one religion over another. This would be against the Constitution of trying to establish a religion through the government.

goofyjim;

I see no problem with the religious license plates being made as long as they produce atheistic ones as well and don’t try to promote one religion over another. This would be against the Constitution of trying to establish a religion through the government.

I disagree.

  1. If they make a Muslim plate, because a Muslim group pushes for it, then fine. But they should not be forced to make a plate for Christians on their own accord. Only if a group asks for one.

  2. A license plate is hardly trying to establish one religion over another! How ridiculously PC!

Plus, we are paying for those plates! Who is the Government, to tell us no?!:mad:

This is essentially why the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, back in June, filed the lawsuit. Apparently no group plunked the $4000 or 400 prepaid orders for this particular license plate. Rather, the plate was given the go ahead based upon a vote in the state legislature.

The Lt. Gov. of the state said he was willing to put up the $4000 and get reimbursed later, but a spokesman for the DMV said, in June, it wasn’t necessary.
home.peoplepc.com/psp/newsstory.asp?cat=TopStories&id=20080619/4859d9c0_3ca6_15526200806191521708731

It sounds as if the whole controversy could have been avoided if the government of South Carolina had just followed their own guidelines.

Dale_M;

This is essentially why the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, back in June, filed the lawsuit. Apparently no group plunked the $4000 or 400 prepaid orders for this particular license plate. Rather, the plate was given the go ahead based upon a vote in the state legislature.

The Lt. Gov. of the state said he was willing to put up the $4000 and get reimbursed later, but a spokesman for the DMV said, in June, it wasn’t necessary.
home.peoplepc.com/psp/newsstory.asp?cat=TopStories&id=20080619/4859d9c0_3ca6_15526200806191521708731

It sounds as if the whole controversy could have been avoided if the government of South Carolina had just followed their own guidelines.

Is it Constitutional or not to have a legislature favor a certain political view over another?

How does this plate establish one religion over another?

“No plates have been issued, although several hundred car owners have ordered them.”

The judge said this:

“Currie said the plates, to be legal, must pass a three-part test – that they have a primarily secular purpose and a secular effect and avoid involving government and religion.”

“I find it unlikely the act satisfies even one of these,” she said.
upi.com/Top_News/2008/12/12/Judge_bars_I_Believe_license_plates/UPI-99741229126057/

Lemon Test:

the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principal or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion; finally, the statute must not foster “an excessive government entanglement with religion.”

Secular: State Revenue.

No advancement nor inhibition. (It’s a license plate!)

This is hardly an excessive government entangelment. It’s a license plate, lol

Apparently because the state legislature exempted these Christian plates from a process which all other religions would have to go through.

What if they start making license plates with a satanic symbol on them? And what if they discontinue all the other plates?

Would you stop driving?

What’s wrong with a cross on the license plate. Isn’t it that the constitution is founded on christianity.

If you take this out then you will have to take it out from our preamble, our money, our buildings…everything.

Stop taking God out of this country. You sinful generation.

Dale_M;

Apparently because the state legislature exempted these Christian plates from a process which all other religions would have to go through.

I understand the concept, I do. But how does this declare(establish) a state religion?

Neil_Anthony;

What if they start making license plates with a satanic symbol on them?

In my personal opinion: Terrible, but acceptable.

And what if they discontinue all the other plates?

Ah, the line that changes everything and does not apply. Well, if that happened, I would be against it. But that is not what happened here.

Would you stop driving?

I would either pick up a gun or move out of that state.

:confused:
Because the state is granting special privileges to Christianity. Again, it didn’t need to be this way. The plate was perfectly acceptable to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. What they objected to was how it was approved by bypassing the regulations that any other religion would have to adhere to.

nilofc;

What’s wrong with a cross on the license plate. Isn’t it that the constitution is founded on christianity.

Well, that’s not the issue. The issue was that a legislature passed that.

If you take this out then you will have to take it out from our preamble, our money, our buildings…everything.

Uh huh. That is why I support this. If people were not trying to do just that, then I would be against what the legislature did.

Stop taking God out of this country. You sinful generation.

LOL Not all of us. Some of us are trying to fight just as hard, but have to fight not only the ones who do want to take God out, but the ones who should be helping us too.

The Consitution never mentions Christ or Christianity.

If you take this out then you will have to take it out from our preamble, our money, our buildings…everything.

Again, no mention of Christ or Christianity on these things.

Dale_M;4556931]

Because the state is granting special privileges to Christianity.

It’s a license plate. But there are other examples of the gov granting speacial privleges to other religions but that are overlooked:

csmonitor.com/2007/0712/p01s03-ussc.html?page=3

If we are all about “fairness”, then this license plate situation should be overlooked.

Again, it didn’t need to be this way. The plate was perfectly acceptable to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. What they objected to was how it was approved by bypassing the regulations that any other religion would have to adhere to.

Again, I accept that. But I also saw the description on their website about their plates. I think that it was more than that. There plate was created out of disdain.

"Why did we arrange for these tags?
In South Carolina, there are many people driving cars with license tags that say “In God We Trust”. However, those of us who do not believe in God, as well as some who do, think that drivers ought to be using reason while driving and not just trusting their safety to a supernatural being. For instance, a driver approaching a dangerous intersection and hearing a siren could use reason to conclude that it might be reasonable to slow down, or they could trust that God will protect them and drive on at top speed.
So, as a political statement that not all South Carolinian drivers believe in supernatural beings, to show support of the power of human reasoning (which, after all, allowed us to build cars and invent traffic lights in the first place), or just because you think it sounds cool, please consider ordering an IRWT plate for your own car! "

I support this because it is a simple license plate, and as a means to fight back against their hatred and ridicule.

Dale_M;

The Consitution never mentions Christ or Christianity.

100% true.

Again, no mention of Christ or Christianity on these things.

Again, 100% true. Just that they were added by Christians, when it was not considered hateful, illegal, cruel, mean, etc.

I agree with you. The letter of the law kills, but the spirit of the law gives life. We would be better off if we we avoid inflexible “letter of the law” decisions.

Dale_M;4557076]

I agree with you. The letter of the law kills, but the spirit of the law gives life. We would be better off if we we avoid inflexible “letter of the law” decisions.

You aren’t gunna make this fun for me, are ya? LOL Well, ok. Agreed. lol

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