Friday, June 20, 2008

South Carolina "I Believe" Licene Plate

Today is getting to be a busy day in the Pledge Project.

In South Carolina, a lawsuit has been announced against the legislature for approving a vanity plate that says, "I Believe."

I wrote in an earlier posting when Florida considered the same style of vanity plate that I have no moral objections against it. The person who buys the plate is making a personal statement (using the personal pronoun 'I'), so I see it as being permissible.

It is the case that the legislature would be wrong to allow one religion this type of plate and deny it to others. This would amount to giving one religion special powers denied to other religions. But it is the refusal to grant this opportunity to others that would be morally objectionable, not the decision to grant this opportunity to Christians.

On the other hand, South Carolina allows people to buy a vanity plate with "In God We Trust". Given that this is a bigoted statement that says, "The government sees those who trust in God as being one of us, while those who do not trust in God are not to be considered one of us."

As such, "In God We Trust" is an immoral use of government power to promote religious bigotry within the state. That is not morally permissible.

Anyway, Tim Funk has asked for opinions on the matter, and I have sent him mine.

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