South Carolinians use their license plates to support worthy causes like “Endangered Species” and the “National Multiple Sclerosis Society.”
They display their pastimes and favorite spectator sports: “Amateur Radio,” “Gone Fishing” and “NASCAR.”
They declare their support for any number of colleges and universities in South Carolina.
Now, South Carolinians can use their license plates to proclaim their faith — at least if they’re Christians.
The state legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill for a specialty license plate with “the words ‘I Believe’ and a cross superimposed on a stained glass window.” It became law without the governor’s signature on June 5.
The issue isn’t entirely resolved because, on June 19, a lawsuit challenging the law was filed by four Christian clergy from South Carolina (two Christian pastors and a rabbi) as well as the American Hindu Foundation. There’s a lot at stake here. Already politicians in other states are talking publicly about proposing similar legislation.
But what do you think? What does this license plate say to you? Do you think the “I Believe” tag violates the separation of church and state? Should the specialty tag be withdrawn? Should license plates be opened to other faiths? Or is this just, as one commentator put it, one of the “silly things” state legislatures sometimes do?
Please — add your Comment to the discussion, or take our Quick Poll — and, please, consider signing up for our more in-depth survey by adding your email to the box in the left corner of our Web site. (You can click there to learn more about the in-depth survey.)