Monday, December 12, 2011

Texas DMV Approves "One State Under God" License Plate

The governing board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has approved a "Calvary Hill" license plate featuring the phrase "One State Under God".

A Christian youth organization, Glory Gang, which is an outreach dedicated to helping at-risk kids age 3 to 12 years old, will receive a portion of each purchase of the plates. This is typical for specialty plates of any kind.

There are several specialty plates already available in Texas including, "God Bless Texas" and "God Bless America."

Kathy Miller, president of "Texas Freedom Network," is blaming Governor Rick Perry for creating an environment that allows such things to happen.

Other atheist groups are mad.

However, there is a differing view within the Christian community. Imagine that.

Rev. Larry Bethune, pastor of University Baptist Church in Austin says, "I'm disappointed to see the state endorse a particular faith, even if it's mine and to see Christians trivialize our faith into slogans and symbols on the back of a bumper."

University Baptist Church, affiliated with the American Baptists, defines itself as a "Progressive Voice of Faith."

However, Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs for Liberty Institute said, "Private speech, protected by the First Amendment should not be second class treatment...Anyone who opposes this plate either doesn't know the law or has no respect for the First Amendment."

Should this be allowed under the First Amendment? If so, does this trivialize the Christian faith? Or is an appropriate Christian expression of free speech?

I personally agree with Liberty Institute regarding the First Amendment. I disagree with the pastor. In this culture of images and sound bites, I do not believe Christian expressions placed in the public square trivializes Christianity.

The threat is from those who seek to silence any public Christian expression. The greater threat is our allowing them to do so.

What do you think?

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14 comments:

  1. I have often wondered how one could have both free speech and prohibit pray in school. Pray is nothing more than speech to God.

    The first paragraph after the preamble states: "All legislative authority herein granted belongs to a congress consisting of a house of representatives and a senate."

    If ALL legislative power belongs to congress then NO legislative power exists anywhere else. Legislative power is the power to create law. The President can do it and the Supreme Court cannot do it. Only congress can create law.

    The fist amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    If Congress were to pass a law prohibiting prayer is school would it violate that part of the first amendment? You bet it would.

    If Congress; whose job it is to create law, can't do it, how did the Supreme Court do it when they are prohibited from creating any law?

    PRS in FW

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  2. Gary,

    I agree with Liberty Institute and yourself. We should not seek to see mention of God scrubbed from public view or expression. I believe we should see God glorified and given credit wherever possible. I am also in favor of the ten commandments dispay in the judicial system, etc. Thank you for the insights.
    - Grant

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  3. If a state selling license plates with Christian slogans were a First Amendment / freedom of speech issue, the state would be obliged to allow ALL speech that is protected under the First Amendment. That is not the case here.

    After all, if a Christian group's First Amendment rights are violated if "One State Under God" does not appear on license plates, then why isn't an atheist group's rights violated if "One State Free From God" doesn't appear on Texas plates?

    The First Amendment gives citizens freedom of speech (among other things). It does not compel the state to publish that speech on its license plates, especially in this case where the state is choosing to publish speech promoting only one religion and no others.

    Tony

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  4. Gary - As long as you are genuinely good with

    "One State under Satan"
    "One State under Allah"
    "One State under Zeus"
    "One State under Humanism"
    "One State under homosexuality"
    Etc

    Are you??? Is it really free speech you are protecting?

    Patrick


    I look forward to your answer

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  5. I WANT ONE OF THOSE LICENSE PLATE OPTIONS IN WASHINGTON STATE!!! Maybe it could benefit Union Gospel Mission? What are our options here? What do we need to do to get this license plate available here??

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  6. Tony

    It neither compels or prohibits. Religion is left to the states per the Tenth Amendment.

    Patrick

    The basis for our laws and form of government is the Bible. The general principles of Christianity as John Adams said. It's not based on the satanic bible, the Koran, Greek mythology, Karl Marx or the behavior of a few.

    Did you know our founders made provision for the Bible to be taught in the (gasp) public schools?

    Good for Texas, I'm glad they're protecting our heritage.

    Craig in Lacey

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  7. PRS: Chidren are allowed to pray in school right now. What you want is not the ability to pray in school. You want the school to endorse which prayers students should participate in. That government endorsement of one religion over another is what violates the first amendment.

    Tony

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  8. Craig,

    Thanks for reminding us that our laws came from the Bible. I don't how people forget this. Where else would the laws against worshiping false gods or graven images have come from? The law against using the Lord's name in vain sure didn't come from the Koran. I could go on about the laws against coveting your neighbors wife or working on Sunday, but you get the point.

    Plus, why else would stealing or murder only be against the law in Christian nations?

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  9. Craig, your first sentence is correct. The government cannot prevent or compel religious worship. The 10th amendment allows states to form their own laws. But they cannot violate the first amendment. The amendments do not exist independently of each other.

    Tony

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  10. "Plus, why else would stealing or murder only be against the law in Christian nations?"

    What an incredibly ignorant statement. Stealing and murder are against the law in Islamic nations, in Hindu India, godless communist nations, Buddhist nations across Asia,etc. etc. Unbelievable that you think Christians have an exclusive claim to such basic laws.

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  11. 4:54
    Your sarcasm is misplaced.

    Was I being obtuse or did you not understand the words that were coming out of my mouth?

    I said the Bible is the basis for OUR laws, not that other religions don't say this or that or what other nations base their laws on. Pay attention.

    10:50

    You forgot to claim that the satanic bible prohibits murder and stealing.=) You can't possibly say that murder was against the law in Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany or Maoist China when the state was knee deep in murder and stealing. Where did you learn history?

    What's incredible is how ignorant people are of the history of this country.

    Tony

    The 1st Amendment prohibits the federal government fron establishing a national denomination (i.e. as in Europe). It does not prohibit it from promoting general morals and as I referenced earlier the Bible was taught in the public schools for decades with no issues.

    It does not prohibit the states from forming their own denominational preferences, most chose not to, but made provision for the teaching of good morals. Gasp! Guess which book they used? The Bible.

    Craig in Lacey

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  12. Craig,

    I do pay attention. Apparently you are saying that murder and stealing are only against the law because the bible says so. That it's only coincidence that other countries share these laws.

    So, is it your assertion that if murder and stealing weren't mentioned in the bible, they wouldn't be illegal in the US? And, if this isn't your assertion, what does the bible have to do with it at all since they would have been illegal either way?

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  13. That would be my assertion because God pre-dates the Bible, Koran or any other book. He has always been and will always be. No, it's not coincidence. Eternity has been placed in the hearts of men so that they are without excuse.

    The question is what are our laws based on and that's the Bible. If they were based on the satanic bible or godless communism I'm sure murder and stealing would be just fine=)

    Craig in Lacey

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  14. You're talking in circles again. You think everything is based on god. There's no rational discussion to be had here.

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