gRegorLove little g big R

License plates

Apparently license plates are a hot topic in Indiana. Whoever said Indiana is a boring state, well! Um... OK, maybe you got us this time.

We now have an alternative plate that says “In God We Trust”, and there is no additional cost for it. I could simply say that if we did not have government vehicle registration/licensing, this would not need to be an issue (OMG! We'd all die), but that makes for far too short a post, and I wanted some variety.

The most prominent concern is probably the 1st Amendment (tangent: I think we'd all be better off if this was left at its first 5 words, “Congress shall make no law.”) I do not understand this concern. Congress has not passed a law “respecting an establishment of religion” here, nor “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Indiana state legislature has not done so, either. They passed a law that allows for an alternative license plate, that's all.

The other concern (OK, so there's only 2 that I really know of; I alluded to the interest level of this story already) is that the state is not charging extra for these plates like they do specialty plates. The problem here is that the organization fees for specialty plates go to support an organization. Where would the organization fees for these plates go - on an altar for God to lick up from the sky by fire? (I Kings 18) I suppose the argument could be made that they should at least charge the $15 administrative fee as with specialty plates, but aha - even some of them are excluded from the administrative fee (“Support our Troops”, “Pearl Harbor Survivor”, and “POW”). Honestly, my instinct tells me these administrative fees are just a fleecing, anyway. This concern seems to be closely associated with the first one: to prevent the state establishing a religion by stamping some vague cliché on a piece of metal, the state should charge more money for it. Or so the argument seems to go?

No, I'm not really arguing in favor of the plates. I would not get one personally; I think it's an overused phrase that essentially means nothing (not to mention the collectivist nature of the “we” is irksome). Overall I think it's a petty issue, though.

(This post is brought to you by the left and right parentheses.)

Coming up next: Congressman Ron Paul's run for President in 2008.

This article was originally published on INtake Blogsquad.

View responses or leave your own response


Jeremiah Jeremiah
It just makes me more frustrated with our government.

And what would we ever do without the left and right parentheses?

Crystal Crystal
To be honest I can understand the concern, at least to a certain extent. America, despite it's claims to freedom of religion and free speech, has a tendency to respect a certain status quo, which is, in particular, Christianity, over and above all other religious (or anti-religious) beliefs. The license plate thing just seems to serve as an “in your face!” to other religions and beliefs who get regularly slammed by the religious/fundamentalist right. And it's kind of fuel for the fire of all of those folks who would call America a “Christian nation”, and then try to make laws to rule over everyone else based upon their own personal religious convictions. You know what I mean?

And I know the argument, that the “God” in the statement can refer to a generic God, and not necessarily the Christian God... but c'mon, that's a load of crap. How many people are going to buy that plate who aren't referencing it to the Christian God? Do you really think that whoever came UP with the idea wasn't referencing the Christian God?

My only question is this: is the state prepared to also provide, for no extra cost, a plate stating “In Darwin We Trust” or “In Science We Trust” or “In Buddha We Trust” or, heaven forbid, “In Mohammed We Trust”? I doubt it, for one thing, because “we” don't trust in Mohammed. And neither do “we” all trust in the particular “God” that the license plate spotlights.

Inasmuch as I don't think the state has any business dictating MOST of the things it decides to dictate in my life, I don't feel particularly like the state has any business declaring for me in whom I put my trust.

Stephen Stephen
How many of us even trust in God these days? I don't believe that Hoosiers really trust in God all that much. I'm a Christian who believes that we should trust in God, and even I'm not presumptuous enough to put a plate on the rear end of my car proclaiming how much I trust in Him.

Crystal Crystal
Whoah! Apparently according to Intake the point of your whole blog entry was:

“To prevent the state establishing a religion by stamping some vague cliché on a piece of metal, the state should charge more money for it.”

Uh, weren't you stating someone ELSE'S concern in that sentence? Man I love out of context quoting. *rolls eyes*

Actually, I chose the tagline, and I don't believe they edit those at all.

I chose it because I found it humorous (sarcasm? me?) and I didn't have anything else from the article that I thought was suitable for it. And I was too lazy to write some summary statement for it. :)

crystal crystal
LOL! Huh. See, I thought, “who's the idiot that pulled this quote out? It makes it look like that was his whole point. Stupid editorial sensationalists.”. Knowing you're that idiot leaves me a little conflicted. ;). Forgive me for being stuck in critique mode (just came from a creative writing workshop), but I wonder if there's a way to clarify that little stitch of irony.

Although, I got it on my RSS feed and read the article before I read the tagline. If you read the tagline first it makes a lot more sense.

Nevermind. I'll find another excuse to rant about media puppetry. ;)

(not-so) big Ben (not-so) big Ben
hey man great article especially the tangents. About your points on the sense in actually having a plate, I gotta agree with everyone, yet still I got me one. Just to show up atheism or something. :) Still glad you posting this stuff. -Ben

Hoosier Yankee Rick Hoosier Yankee Rick
With vanity plates available in this state as a combination of 3 letters and 3 numbers looking more like a “regular” license plate, I have applied for a license plate for my wife's car to read:PMS-247

Allison Allison
Your face supports our troops!!!

OK, so this isn't a social network profile. I don't care. “Whatevah, whatevah, I do what I WANT!”

Shawn Shawn
The 4th Commandment We Break

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