I've commented on the recent stupid behavior of a couple of atheist groups, so it's nice to be able to focus on some Christians. There was a rally Wednesday night in South Carolina protesting a federal judge's ruling that blocked production of Christian-themed license plates. The ruling was based on grounds that the plates would violate the establishment clause. A picture of the license plate can be seen here, along with a report on the court case.
The plate has a stained-glass window, a cross, and the words "I believe." Now to many people, those symbols on a government-issued license plate might indicate government support for the Christian religion. But not to the South Carolina state legislature, which authorized the plates with an overwhelming majority. There's plenty of stupidity right there. And then there are the comments made at the protest rally, as recounted by Greenvilleonline.com.
The pastor of the church holding the rally said that he was "fed up that Christians cannot display anything that symbolizes Jesus Christ or Christianity." Really? Since when? He then went on to say
"We've lost so many rights as a Christian over the last few years, the right to prayer in public and call the name of Jesus, the prayer in schools, and this, that and the other. ... The people of South Carolina are really stirred up about this"Last I checked anyone could pray in public, and I seem to hear Jesus' name all the time. And you can pray in school too, as long as you do it silently. Somehow I don't think his supposedly ominipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God needs to hear people make a public display of their prayers. Another person complained that the plate should be allowed because sports-themed plates are ok. Apparently she doesn't see any distinction between religion and sports.
Lest anyone think I'm just picking on some clueless locals, the state attorney general and lieutenant governor were also present at the rally and "echoed the crowd's sentiments." Here's the lt. governor
"Total freedom of speech doesn't mean everybody but Christians. When a secular group can get a license plate and nobody challenges it, but Christians can't, there's a problem in the system," Bauer said. "Quite frankly, we're under attack."You'd think someone who managed to reach the rank of number two executive in one of our states would be able to figure out why secular messages on government license plates don't involve the same issues as religious ones. But no, to him any objections mean that Christians are "under attack."
Anyone with an ounce of basic common sense would have understood that passing this measure was a bad idea from the start. It clearly raises a church-state issue for no good reason. It's totally unnecessary and pointless to put religious messages on a type of media that is a government requirement for operating a vehicle. The judge's injunction against the plate wasn't an attack on Christianity; it was an attack on stupidity.