It’s on! There are people in our country who have tried to turn the First Amendment around 180 degrees in an attempt to deny the very rights it was written to protect! Those people have tried to use intimidation (via lawsuits) to silence the freedom of religious speech. Now, they are (as expected) taking on the SC “I Believe” license plates. This isn’t about a piece of metal on the back of your car, it’s about freedom of religious expression in all of it’s forms: speech, press, assembly, and petitioning the government for a redress of grievances.
Some people just don’t get it. But the juxtaposition of the two images above is priceless.
The issue here is 1st amendment protected (and endorsed) freedom of religious speech and press.
The Americans United for Separation of Church and State lawsuit is ludicrous, but necessary to clarify the founder’s original intent of the first amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
There is nothing about the SC license plate that involves the US Congress.
There is nothing about the SC license plate that involves an establishment of religion.
Trying to prohibit SC from making these license plates would be “prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, i.e., “prohibiting the free exercise of religion”.
There is nothing in the first amendment about a “Separation of Church and State”.
There is nothing in the first amendment to prohibit the “endorsement” of Christianity, which our government has endorsed since the opening prayer of the very first Congress. There has never been a session of Congress which did not open with a prayer.
“The state has clearly given preferential treatment to Christianity with this license plate,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “I can’t think of a more flagrant violation of the First Amendment’s promise of equal treatment for all faiths. I believe these plates will not see the light of day.”
How ludicrous! There is no “promise of equal treatment for all faiths” in the First Amendment! Our country was founded as a Christian nation. The first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court said so himself.
“Providence,” said he, “has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
The issue that would be worthy of a lawsuit would be if another religious group had enough people to request a plate, and their request was denied. The idea here is that no preference be given to one sect to the prejudice of others. All groups are guaranteed the same freedom of religious expression. But it is wrong to allow environment worshippers to have a license plate and then try to deny Christians the right to have one.
The Americans United lawsuit says the Christian license plate violates the separation of church and state as well as freedom of speech. It notes that other religions will not be able to get similar license plates expressing differing viewpoints, nor can a comparable “I Don’t Believe” license plate be issued.
You won’t find the words “separation” or “church” in the US Constitution. And I don’t believe it has a “penumbra”.
Who said that anyone else will not be able to get similar license plates expressing differing viewpoints, or a comparable “I Don’t Believe” license plate? I think that is a lie. Let the other groups come forward for their plates. If they get denied, then bring a lawsuit. They won’t get denied, as long as they have a sufficient number of people to cover the costs.
“The state has made believers of non-Christian faiths feel that they are second-class citizens,” Lynn said. “Under our Constitution, that’s impermissible.”
The Constitution does not make hurting people’s feelings impermissible. Boo-freakin’-hoo. Grow up. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings if Muslims (or athiests, or anyone else) got their own license plate.