Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The "perks" of being a christian

Most, if not all states in this country (that being the US of A) have long offered what are referred to as "vanity" auto license plates on which purchasers can request the plate's "number" be a particular word,short phrase or some other combination of letters and numbers significant of something or other as long as the message is not obscene or considered to be otherwise offensive. These messages are usually limited to no more than 7 digits or letters. Now, many states offer "specialty" plates that promote a wide variety of things such as state colleges & universities, cancer research, sports teams, arts organizations, the environment and so on. Normally, a portion of the collected fee goes toward the benefit of the respective organization, cause, etc.

Recently, here in good old Indiana Woody Burton, a state legislator led a successful effort to make available a plate with the legend "In God We Trust" stamped upon it. They were made available a few months ago and have proven to be wildly popular here in the bible belt. While I find them somewhat offensive, I thought - What the hell? Who gives a crap. It wasn't a battle worth fighting. I knew that to actively oppose the plate would lead to the inevitable charge that, if I am so offended by the phrase, I should stop carrying and using US currency upon which the odious phrase has long been emblazoned. (Actually, I don't use cash much any longer owing to the ability to use debit cards pretty much everywhere.) But, at any rate, I thought - Let it be.

However, an enterprising fellow in Allen County, Indiana, one Mark Studler persuaded the ICLU (Indiana's version of the national ACLU) to file suit on his behalf against the state as regards these very plates. The legal issue at hand is not the plate per se, but the fact that they have been made available to anyone wanting them at no additional charge while all other specialty plates sold in Indiana have an additional $15 administrative fee tacked onto them. It is this fellow's and the ICLU's contention that either all specialty plates be charged the fee, or none of them should be so charged. I must agree.

What would come as a surprise to no one, the Indiana State Legislature is largely made up of devout, protestant christians who were either enthusiastic promoters of the plate, or if they had any misgivings, did not dare voice them so as not to offend the tender sensibilities of their properly righteous fellow lawmakers or their like minded constituents.

While given the bigger picture, this is pretty small potatoes, lest we forget Fascism started out as relatively small spuds as well. If we don't fight them in the trenches, we've got no chance when they lock down the Federal government and force all of us to have "In God We Trust" tatooed onto our foreheads.

TLS

10 comments:

Terra said...

Keep us posted. I'm curious how it will turn out. Seems pretty glaring that they'd charge extra for every other plate, but not the gawd plate.

Terry S said...

The ICLU says that the issue is not religion, that it is the fees, or lack of them that is at the crux of their suit.

Of course the proponents of the plates claim that the suit is an attack on religious freedom, an argument I believe to be bogus.

While I don't particularly approve of the plates, as I indicated, it's just not a battle I would choose to fight. The issue of the fees, however, is another matter. Why do christians get a pass, but not environmentalists, or proponents for cancer research, or supporters of the arts? It's just a load of christian crap.

TLS

DBULL said...

Right, our currency and the auto plates say "In God we trust" they just don't tell you "which god" it is they are trusting. It is my view that 99% of what calls itself christianity today is an apostate lie. I hear alot about Jesus today but I am convinced that the Jesus today's so called christians worship IS NOT the same Jesus that I worship. For instance, today's apostate christian Jesus WILL kick your ass, and blood cannot be spilled quickly enough in the middle east for these people. These same people claim the George Bush is a "godly" man. I would agree that he is, his god is the god of this world, satan, and by satan's standards George W is quite "godly". Today's so called christianity makes me sick, although I myself am a disciple of the Son of God, I can't get far enough away from the religious people of our day. They are a brood of vipers. Your brother~D

Anonymous said...

Terry and Friends,

If you're interested, I have some stickers you can put on your license plates that read ONE NATION INDIVISIBLE, a play on "...one nation, under god, indivisible...". I'll make them available to all comers for free.

If interested, contact me at robert_spam@yahoo.com

Best Wishes,
Robert Herrick

Anonymous said...

Terry and Friends,

One more thing, am I the only one that uses a hole-punch to remove the word God from my money?

So far no problems except from some vending machines.

Robert Herrick

Terry S said...

dbull,

I must agree with you that a significant portion of the christian world has become militant and, I believe poses a significant danger to the future of this country and the wider world, especially when adding radically militant muslims and jews into the mix.

As you must have noted, I am not a believer at any level. But it is just that rise in militancy (the image of a kick-ass Jesus wearing crossed ammo belts over his chest and sporting some kind of machine gun and a blood splattered robe, with a kind of crazed smile on his face) and the efforts of a number of such people to establish a christian theocracy in this country that initially led me to this blogging effort.

While I don't share your faith, I do agree with you that what passes for christianity today is far removed from that which I knew as a child.

TLS

Terry S said...

Robert,

Fortunately, my plates have no religious references. In their infinite wisdom the state chose to put its web site address on the regular plates. Very artistic and attractive.

Just a suggestion:

If you could reduce the size of the hole, you could just eliminate one letter leaving say, In od We Trust, or In Go We Trust. That might be fun.

I guess I'm not that concerned with what the money says on it. Hell, they could replace George with a picture of Sanjaya, and I wouldn't much care as long as I can spend it. If it'll get me a Big Mac and Fries, then whatever they print on it is acceptable to me.

I know I am being dismissive about this, but, as I stated in the post, it's not a winnable battle at this point. Maybe someday. However, since I am a ripe 60 years old, it's not likely that any great changes in beliefs are going to happen while I continue to draw breath, unless we manage to blow most of ourselves into a pink mist.

TLS

jazzycat said...

dbull seems a bit judgemental and unloving, eh!

Terry S said...

Jazzy,

Mmmm. Yes. He seems a bit "out there."

How ya doin? Good I hope.

TLS

jazzycat said...

Doing fine. I hope you are doing well. BTW, I think we at Jazzycat are going into the carbon credit business. I have several thousand trees here on my place and rather than cut them down for paper, I can sell them to people with large carbon footprints (like Al Gore). As you know trees take CO2 and make oxygen.

For a slogan and jingle, we could use.... "Buy carbon credits from Jazzycat and be guilt free in your private jet or SUV."

What do you think?