Sunday, February 10, 2013

The "I Believe" License Tag

At the instigation of evangelistic Christians, Florida and South Carolina have entertained proposals for "I Believe" license plates. The idea failed in Florida, but got adopted in South Carolina. The plate in question featured the motto on the bottom: "I Believe," with an image of a stained glass window and a cross on the left:

While these certainly seem to violate the Establishment Clause regarding religion, there should also be some room for Freedom of Choice and self-expression. I'm libertarian enough for that.

But how can there be a reconciliation of the desire to keep Church and State separate, while still encouraging self-expression? I think I have an idea.

Have the state issue a generic "I Believe" license plate, with space on the left for the purchaser to affix any decal of their choice in that space on the left. So, if they wish a religious tag, they can come up with their own Cross or Crucifix. Or Star of David. Or Buddha.  Or Islamic crescent. Or Darwin's picture (maybe the young one, though).  Or favorite university logo. Or a beer mug. Or Democratic Party or Republican Party symbol. Or Starbuck's mermaid. Or gay rainbow. My point is that people have lots of different things that they believe in, and they also deserve an opportunity of airing their beliefs. Especially if they're willing to pay an extra $25 or so to the state for that privilege. 

I believe in encouraging pole dancing as an art form. The pole dance is one of the lively arts; but I don't think that the current state tag to "Support the Arts" had that in mind. Therefore, I would like my "I Believe" tag to feature a pole dancer.


TexWisGirl said...

'i believe' you have a good idea!

Mike said...

I "can't" believe that state did that. I see a court case coming soon. I know I would probably be arrested for defacing a licence plate.

Anemone said...

I wish CA would issue a surfer license plate!

John Hill said...

States use these types of plates to raise don't get these babies for free! Some of the specialty plates have a portion of the extra fees go to certain charities.

I really can't see that there is a problem other than every belief wanting a similar plate.

...and I don't believe that my wife would like it if I had a pole dancing as art plate.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

TexWisGirl -- Thank you! Hopefully, everyone gets his/her own way on her/his own car. And it gives snarky people another venue for snarkiness.

Mike -- I know you can get in trouble for that in NH.

Anemone -- Florida does issue an Endless Summer one, with a surfer.

John Hill -- Yes, states could gain a lot of revenue and muscle into the business that had been for bumper stickers.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Didn't the University of Alabama use the slogan, "We Believe" back when Bear Bryant was coaching?

Bilbo said...

Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have a gin and tonic. Double.

The Bastard King of England said...

Can I get Newcastle Ale for my license?

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Elvis -- There may be a Church of Bear Bryant, for all I know.

Bilbo and King -- I'll drink to those!
Would drivers or cars bearing such a plate be more likely to be given breathalyzer tests? Is that a form of profiling?

Insane Penguin said...

I believe in pole dancers.