This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Lawsuit filed over 'I Believe' plates in S.C.

Lawsuit filed over 'I Believe' plates in S.C. - Comments

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 1 by Cartomancer

What really gets me is the low degree of conviction among christians that the consumption of gaudy paraphernalia like this implies. Yes, so you believe in the magic sky goblins - good for you - but why do you need to shout it from the rooftops and staple a bit of iron with cross on it to everything you own in order loudly to proclaim the fact? Surely just believing is enough? Why declare this particular belief with trinkets and gewgaws and not other things you also happen to believe? Why is there no agitation for number plates proclaiming belief that the second world war happened, or that the sky goes dark at night, or that you like crunchy nut cornflakes?

Perhaps because these things are self-evident and you don't need to constantly remind yourself of how much you really should believe in them in case you suddenly realise what twaddle they are and stop? That's all the crass symbolism of this boils down to - empty vessels making the most noise.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:18:00 UTC | #186737

jimbob's Avatar Comment 2 by jimbob

Republican House Speaker Bobby Harrell said residents asked for a way to express their beliefs, and legislators responded.


A simpler response would be get a bumper sticker!

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:21:00 UTC | #186741

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 3 by mordacious1

Where's my "Belief is Stupid" license plate?

edit: I'd be more likely to flip off a driver with one of those...just when I was getting my road rage under control.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:25:00 UTC | #186745

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 4 by Apathy personified

'I believe', what happened to 'WWJD'?

jimbob,
Ha, touche.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:31:00 UTC | #186748

Sciros's Avatar Comment 5 by Sciros

Easier to distinguish the loonies, I figure. Cross hanging on rearview mirror, obnoxious bumper sticker, vanity plate with Jesus on it, whatever.

Sure, I would like to see this killed in a federal court because any precedent against religion in politics is helpful in the long run, but this is *really* small potatoes.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #186749

DPB's Avatar Comment 6 by DPB

Once again it shows us how the religious are self centered and selfish. look at me look at me!
Plus in my opinion, Its a easy way for the government to make some cash by feeding off the simple minded. These same people are the ones who would buy that bridge everyone talks about...
Or jesus on some toast!

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:44:00 UTC | #186757

eh-theist's Avatar Comment 7 by eh-theist

$4000 to start your own series of plates? I'm thinking we could have some fun with this one!

Teapot Bless ?

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:50:00 UTC | #186758

Big City's Avatar Comment 8 by Big City

Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed the lawsuit on behalf of two Christian pastors, a humanist pastor and a rabbi in South Carolina, along with the Hindu American Foundation.
What the hell is a 'humanist pastor'?


Paula:
Would this be the ONLY licence plate available in S. Carolina, or would it simply be one option among several?
There is a variety. You can pay extra to pick which one you want, and, if the design is sponsored by a private organization, I think they get a cut of that fee as a donation.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:51:00 UTC | #186759

Sciros's Avatar Comment 9 by Sciros

Paula it would an option among very many.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:53:00 UTC | #186761

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 10 by Paula Kirby

Sciros: Paula it would an option among very many.
Sorry, I've probably caused confusion now, since I deleted my question after re-reading the article and working out the answer for myself! Thanks for your reply though! (To Big City too.)

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:56:00 UTC | #186764

Nentuaby's Avatar Comment 11 by Nentuaby

((Edit: I see the original comment was deleted while I wrote... I'll leave this here for anyone else who might be puzzled. ;) ))

It would be one among many, Paula. The issuee would pay an extra amount along with his license fee to get one of the "special" ones instead of the default design showing a solid color or simple state iconography. There are usually on the order of a few dozen special plates to choose from.

The main issue, aside from the fact that it's a government issued item with religious iconography on it, is where that extra fee goes. Special plates are (in most states at least, including Florida where this has already gone through) a form of fund raising. The extra fee to get the special plate goes to a non-profit organization championing whatever the design on the plate supports. So, for instance, a plate with whales sends money to a marine conservation group; a plate with finger painting funds a children's issues charity.

Here, the money goes to a "faith based charity," which is generally understood by opponents of this sort of thing to mean that the state government is collecting money for religious proselytizing.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:58:00 UTC | #186767

SonOfSLJ's Avatar Comment 12 by SonOfSLJ

Quoth the article:

"That's what critics always say when they see something they don't like," Harrell said. "I think this has less to do with the First Amendment and more to do with their disdain for religion generally."

Exactly! Because nothing brings clerics from multiple denominations of Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism together (along with Bob knows who else) quite like their mutual disdain for religion!

...

What an idiotic demagogue. Way to vindicate Rev. Lynn's suspicions without even realizing it.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 09:59:00 UTC | #186768

al-rawandi's Avatar Comment 13 by al-rawandi

I am officially finished with the south.




All you atheists move north.



Bunch of fucking inbred ass clowns.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:00:00 UTC | #186769

Big City's Avatar Comment 14 by Big City

When Paula says 'Jump,' we say 'How high?'

...from midair.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:00:00 UTC | #186770

lefty's Avatar Comment 15 by lefty

Rob Mallicoat (lefty)

Nice to see this article bringing a few responses in.. I had to read the original twice before deciding to submit it to RD...

I like the idea of creating a new set of plates.. something like

I Believe... Darwin

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:12:00 UTC | #186773

Paula Kirby's Avatar Comment 16 by Paula Kirby

Big City: When Paula says 'Jump,' we say 'How high?'

...from midair

Oh dear. It's safe to land now, I promise! :-)

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:15:00 UTC | #186777

notsobad's Avatar Comment 17 by notsobad

Someone point those people to their commandment number 2, the one about idols.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:21:00 UTC | #186779

Devolution's Avatar Comment 18 by Devolution

Come on guys, how is the magic sky fairy supposed to tell us heathens from his chosen ones without a thin piece of metal attached firmly to our vehicles. Makes perfect sense :/

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:24:00 UTC | #186783

WilliamP's Avatar Comment 19 by WilliamP

I doubt the state will be able to justify this in court. The state needs to show that it has a secular purpose for these liscense plates, no religious promotion, and no excessive ties to religion. Giving people an outlet for their faith is probably not a secular purpose. If making money is the state's aim, there are other ways to make money than pimpin' out Jesus. The law will probably be shown to be too closely tied to religion or promoting it.

But if the plates pass muster, I suggest that every drug dealer and smuggler in South Carolina buy one. Who would suspect them?

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:38:00 UTC | #186797

MelM's Avatar Comment 20 by MelM

What I'm seeing is that the first stage of theocracy building is, in effect, underway. I see a common element in ID, "moment of silence", "bible literacy", 10 commandments weekend (SR 483), license plates, "American Religious History Week" (HR 888), amd religious posters on government building walls. The effect of what we're seeing is a push to make government the mouthpiece of religion--specifically, of "Christian Nation" propaganda. I have no idea whether or not this general goal is deliberate. But,in effect, this is what's happening. I think the results so far are mediocre because the courts are still holding up the wall-of-separation. As jimbob pointed out above, a bumper sticker would serve just fine. For all I care, they can even tattoo "I believe" on their foreheads. This license plate bit--like all the others--gets government into the act of carrying the message. I'm afraid we're going to really regret the fact that (link: "In God We Trust") is the national motto.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:45:00 UTC | #186799

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 21 by robotaholic

why do official license plates get to have any special designs on them at all anyway? - I mean your driver's license doesn't have different styles to chose from - the whole thing is stupid stupid stupid - retarded - this is such a waste of time and money -

License Plates should be white with black characters and that's all- based completely on utility

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 10:58:00 UTC | #186806

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 22 by Border Collie

DPB ... great comment ... ha, ha, ha, ha ...!
"cheapen, compromises, shallow" ... Like it takes the State to do that? Hell, let 'em do it, who cares? Maybe they won't have any $ left over to buy the little Jesus fish. I can't wait until one of them shows up on Cops, drunk and stupid, with the "I Believe" license plate.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:03:00 UTC | #186812

8teist's Avatar Comment 23 by 8teist

Carto, where can I get a crunchy nut cornflake plate.... i need one ..now
I need to proclaim my LOVE for crunchy nuts..
oh god I need that plate.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:11:00 UTC | #186818

MelM's Avatar Comment 24 by MelM

California


A   SAMPL

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:20:00 UTC | #186827

bluebird's Avatar Comment 25 by bluebird

Coincidence, we just read this in today's paper... *rolled collective eyes*...

Jesus on toast, or, Virgin Mary on the rocks:
http://current.com/items/89029449_mother_mary_spotting_in_a_missouri_rock

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:32:00 UTC | #186837

tahustvedt's Avatar Comment 26 by tahustvedt

That is one god awful ugly licence plate design. No wonder it was rejected.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:36:00 UTC | #186845

Logicel's Avatar Comment 27 by Logicel

Mordacious1 wrote: I'd be more likely to flip off a driver with one of those...just when I was getting my road rage under control.
_______________

From a recent Mind Hacks post: The abstract below suggests that bumper stickers are potentially an expression of territorial markers and that aggressive people are more likely to use more,...

Excerpted from: http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2008/06/number_of_bumper_sti.html

So all those mild-mannered Christians with Christian sayings, icons, etc., festooned all over their Christian vehicles are really aggressive road ragers? Tell me, it ain't so!

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 11:38:00 UTC | #186846

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 28 by mordacious1

bluebird

If you tilt you head to the left, it looks like a fish fossel. Your avatar reminds me of something too, but I won't say what.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 12:07:00 UTC | #186877

Dane's Avatar Comment 29 by Dane

From what I've gathered from the above article, it is just a novelty plate similar to the ones we have in Ontario.

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/graphic1.htm

Big deal.

I think we should ban the Ontario Square and Round Dance Federation's license plate too.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 12:36:00 UTC | #186907

DPB's Avatar Comment 30 by DPB

All those plates are secular,this piticular one is singling out a specific religion.(favoritism)
But it does show how people love getting thier egos stroked. Self centerism once again.
I agree with the bumper stickers.

Fri, 20 Jun 2008 13:25:00 UTC | #186938