The South Carolina House has passed a bill on a 109-to-0 vote to put a Christian cross and the phrase “I Believe” on the state’s license plates.
‘I Believe’ Special License Plates
Section 56-3-10110. The Department of Motor Vehicles may issue ‘I Believe’ special motor vehicle license plates to owners of private motor vehicles registered in their names. The plate must contain the words ‘I Believe’ and a cross superimposed on a stained glass window. The biennial fee for this special license plate is the same as the fee provided in Article 5, Chapter 3 of this title. The guidelines for the production of this special license plate must meet the requirements contained in Section 56-3-8100.”
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Governor Mark Sanford’s office says “We certainly don’t have a problem with what it says,” and looks prepared to give final approval to the bill.
Under this plan, South Carolina won’t offer Jewish license plates. No Muslim license plates either. No Pagan plates. No Buddhist plates. Just Christian plates. Only Christians will get their special plates.
Using the tools of government to empower the spread of Christian messages but not other messages about religion? That’s not only unconstitutional. It’s parochial. It’s insecure. It’s also tacky. With its tasteless religious bigotry, South Carolina sends the message that it is a place best avoided. If I were religious, I’d be getting down on my knees right now and praying, “Please, Lord, whatever you do, don’t send me to South Carolina!”