Tuesday, December 9, 2008

License To Discriminate?

I found this article at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. I thought it was interesting but cut it down so follow the link to read the full story. (For some reason it seems like I am on a crazy Christian binge. Not gonna lie, it happens time to time. lol) What I find really upsetting is the way people can’t even see why this is wrong.

On Dec. 11, U.S. District Court Judge Cameron McGowan Currie will hear arguments in Columbia, S.C., on whether the state should be allowed to issue license plates that feature the words, “I Believe,” accompanied by a depiction of a yellow Christian cross superimposed on a multicolored stained-glass church window.


State authorities have indicated plans to start issuing the plates in mid December.

Earlier this year, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit on behalf of several religious leaders and minority communities whose First Amendment rights are infringed by the proposed plate.

The Summers v. Adams lawsuit charges that the Christian plate gives preferential government treatment to one faith in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs in the case include four South Carolina clergy, the Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Summers, Rabbi Sanford T. Marcus, the Rev. Dr. Robert M. Knight and the Rev. Dr. Neal Jones, as well as the Hindu American Foundation and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

The measure authorizing the special plates was passed unanimously by both houses of the legislature, with the active support of Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. As Americans United notes in its motion for preliminary injunction, some legislators candidly admitted that they would not vote for similar plates for minority faiths.

Asked by a reporter if he would support a license plate for Islam, Rep. Bill Sandifer replied, “Absolutely and positively no…. I would not because of my personal belief, and because I believe that wouldn’t be the wish of the majority of the constituency in this house district.”


So most people would think no big deal right? Well, beside the fact that most people are raging morons, there are a few things definitely wrong here.

First, is the fact that specialty license plates are usually put forth by organizations, not the legislature.

Second, is the fact that the DMV usually allows only the names of the sponsoring organization and its logo but no other words, phrases or slogans. Obviously this isn’t the case in this instance, clearly showing preferential treatment.

Another problem is with the costs. Most specialty plates typically cost $30 to $100 above the regular fee, with the sponsoring organization receiving a cut of the funds. They also have to prove, before production begins, that there is sufficient interest by putting down a $4,000 deposit or providing 400 pre-paid orders. In this instance, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer paid the $4,000 deposit himself, with plans to be reimbursed by the state. On top of that lunacy, Gov. Mark Sanford has ordered the DMV to charge no more than the cost of production for the plate, which has been estimated to be four to six dollars.

I think the denial of preferential treatment at this point is just offensive to even the lowest human intelligence. This obviously constitutes governmental speech because the plate was designed, proposed and approved by, and will be produced and distributed by, state officials.

Of course South Carolina officials reacted to the Americans United lawsuit the only way Christians seem to know how, with hate and complete misunderstanding of the situation.

“For those who say this violates the Constitution by giving preference to Christianity, I think this lawsuit clearly discriminates against persons of faith,” Lt. Gov. Bauer said in a statement. “I expect the state attorney general to vigorously defend this, and it is time that people stand up for their beliefs. Enough is enough.”

Enough is enough? Discrimitates against persons of faith? Yes, that's it. They're discrimitating against you discriminating. Man, what is going on in these people’s head? I didn’t know South Carolina was giving the special kool aid to law officials now.

Then to top it all off, the day the suit was filed, AU’s office was inundated with hostile e-mails from outraged Religious Right sympathizers, furious over the legal action.

These people are freaking mental.

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