Texas vs. the First Amendment

Once again demonstrating they don’t know the Bill of Rights from Longhorn Pie, the state of Texas has approved this vanity plate design:

Of course, to be in constitutional compliance Texas would have to offer plates for people who are not Christian. I’m betting a few live in Texas. I’m proposing the following designs:

Of course, actually putting one of the alternative plates on one’s car would no doubt incite some born-again yahoo to slash one’s tires.

To Texas’s credit, it nixed a Confederate flag plate proposed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I understand the Sons are suing.

25 thoughts on “Texas vs. the First Amendment

  1. From Bloglines Answers an important distinction..

    “Who Owns License Plate.

    A license plate is owned by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state that you live in. The state issues the plate to people as proof that their car is registered with the state…”

    IMO, evangelicals work OT trying to blur the distinction between Church and State. This BS is an attempt to brand government property, which license plates are, with Christian symbols. And they know it. In the courts, the sponsors of the plate will equate this with a ban on religious bumper stickers. The crucial difference being – bumper stickers are private property.

    The precedent of Christian symbols on State property is dangerous. Its a small step for a lawyer to defend Christian symbols, 10 Commandments or Nativity scene or life-size crosses on State property if the government has already sanctioned those symbols on State property

  2. The moron Repuglicans who took over NC during the low-turnout 2010 election have been causing enormous grief. One small item was a proposed “Choose Life” plate— which the ACLU (Thank Goodness!) blocked because there was no “Pro Choice” option. I expect, at the end of the day, Texas will be forced to comply with the law as well, and will have remove that plate or offer other options.

  3. There’s no way this gets construed as constitutional. No chance. Why do they waste everyone’s money and time by doing this shit. Seriously. Feel free to paint crosses all over your car and on your body. Hell, why not put one on top of your car. You can re-enact Jesus getting executed scenes till you can say Resurrection. But why do they insist on doing this on state owned and thus, sanctioned, items.

  4. You can tell I don’t live on a farm – it took me a few hours to realize what “LongHorn Pie” really is!

  5. Tom – Beware of the ‘offer other options’ approach. Christians are in the vast majority in Texas, and evangelicals are the most vocal and politically active faction. They want to put religion out there – state sponsored and eventually, state enforced. If you allow state sponsorship of religions in general, and then stack various boards with evangelicals, you can suppress minority religions any time you wish. (Let them sue. Its expensive as hell for the small religion, but the State of Texas will pay to defend the position of evangelicals.)

    Getting your foot in the door is what they want. Establish this small incursion of mixing religious symbols on State property, and then go after school prayer, then have baptist preachers teaching religion as ‘ethics’ in public school, later moving from a ban on abortion to a ban on contraception. And they can get away with it if the courts decide that there’s no harm in implementing the religious views of the religious majority on all society, with the false equivalence that the minority have the right to scream foul.

    That’s where ‘offer other options’ leads if those other options allow representation proportionate to population in a bid to suppress the rights of minorities. (Minorities like sexually active women and the entire gay and lesbian community, all atheists & non-christians) It allows minority views to be crushed by the most radical evangelicals in any ‘Christian’ state, because most Christians don’t read the fine print which defines the tyrany that would result.

    ‘Offer other options’ is a sucker bet any time the wall of separation between Church & State is fractured. Even a little bit.

  6. “Why do they waste everyone’s money and time by doing this shit?”
    Because they are obsessive compulsive ass holes.
    That’s the exact reason, and they can’t stop.
    They firmly believe that the lock ‘n load Jesus they worship needs to be wound up every day in order for them to gain salvation. Screw doing good acts, just pledge your love and be the biggest ass hole you can.

  7. “longhorn pie” sometimes has special mushrooms that the local kids pick after a summer rain in these parts.

  8. erinyes,
    Wasn’t that what Little Boots was referring to when he nicknamed that cow patty in human form Karl Rove “Turdblossom?”

  9. A few decades ago, when I was involved in fundamentalist Christianity, I dated a girl who remarked that she wished all the Christian guys would wear something on their sleeve so she could single them out. That’s what the license plate thing is about. People from one tribe finding each other, finding safety and assurance that they’re not alone.

  10. There is still an irony in all this since the first people to come over to this country were seeking religious freedom. But, I guess it was religious freedom for only them and no one else–especially the indigenous people of this land.

  11. Yes, Bonnie. The Puritans hung at least one Quaker woman who wouldn’t keep silent about her faith, while proclaiming theirs.
    And, as you know, the Indians needed to be Christianized, as well, so they could be good obedient slaves.

  12. it took me a few hours to realize what “LongHorn Pie” really is!

    It’s like a road apple but moister.( more moist?). Actually it’s more of a geographical designation..up in the Northeast they were called cow pies.

  13. Through it all Newt still turns my stomach..during the debate they panned the camera on Calista when Newt was explaining away his propensity for cheating and I noticed that with Calista’s sharp angular features and coiffed bonnet she looked similar to a snowy Egret.

  14. @Doug. Agreed. But the plates are one battle of many that we are in. The GOPers are all about vote suppression, charter schools, Fracking, DOM, and a variety of other assorted evils. The plates are not at the pinnacle of my outrage meter.

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