Judge Rejects Christian License Plates in South Carolina

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A federal judge halted South Carolina’s plans to offer Christian-themed license plates last week, ruling that to do so would constitute state-sponsored religious preference, <a href=”http://www.thestate.com/local/story/618428.html” target=”_blank”>reports <i>The State</i>
</a>.</p>
<p>
<a href=”http://www.religiondispatches.org/blog/religiousright/869/south_carolina_christian_license_plates_blocked_for_now/” target=”_blank”>According to <i>Religion Dispatches</i>
</a>, the concern over the legality of the plates mostly has to do with process. Private organizations can offer specialty plates through the DMV, and do, like one for the <a href=”http://lowcountryhumanists.org/default.php” target=”_blank”>Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry</a> inscribed with the words “In Reason We Trust.” Another privately-produced (and currently available) plate sports an anti-abortion message, <a title=”notes Associated Baptist Press” href=”http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3710&Itemid=53″ target=”_blank”>notes <em>Associated Baptist Press</em>
</a>. Since the “I Believe” licenses were sponsored by the state legislature, however, they were subject to legal challenge. Take a look at <a href=”/2008-07-08/spirituality/religious-freedom-violated-by-palmetto-state-license-plates.aspx?blogid=28″ target=”_blank”>this <i>Utne</i> blog</a> from last summer, which explores the uproar around the case in more depth.</p>
<p>South Carolina is not the only state to debate religious plates–<a href=”http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/04/24/license.plate.ap/index.html” target=”_blank”>Florida and Indiana have courted controversy</a> after attempting to approve similar designs. Check out Stephen Colbert’s hilarious response to Florida’s most recent attempt:</p>
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